Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #23
CE Offered: BACB

On Disseminating Behavior Analysis in an Anti-Behavioristic Environment: Behavior Based Safety in Germany. Why Radical Behaviorism is Essential for Organizational Behavior Management

Saturday, May 27, 2017
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 4
Area: OBM; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Christoph F. Boerdlein, Ph.D.
Chair: Douglas A. Johnson (Western Michigan University)
CHRISTOPH F. BÖRDLEIN (University of Applied Sciences Wuerzburg)
Christoph Bördlein is a professor of behavioral social work, general and clinical psychology at the University of Applied Sciences Wuerzburg-Schweinfurt in Germany. He earned his doctorate in psychology from the University of Bamberg in 2001. He worked in an institution for the occupational rehabilitation of visually impaired and blind adults and served as head of the Department of Occupational Health Management and Psychosocial Care at the Federal Court of Auditors in Germany. He is a consultant for Behavior Based Safety and authored the first textbook on Behavior Based Safety in German (Verhaltensorientierte Arbeitssicherheit, 2015). Dr. Bördlein is also known for his engagement in critical thinking in the German Skeptic's Society. He co-founded the German chapter of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and serves on the board of the European Association for Behavior Analysis (EABA).

Although it's one of the biggest economies worldwide, in Germany Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), the application of behavior analysis to behavior in the workplace, is virtually nonexistent. The reasons for this situation are manifold; the nearly complete lack of research and teaching in behavior analysis being the most significant. The background for this situation is a total ignorance of radical behaviorism, the philosophy of the science of behavior. On the other hand, effective OBM applications like Behavior Based Safety (BBS) are attractive to German companies. Consultants without any background in behavior analysis try to bridge this market gap with half-baked or "cognitive" versions of these applications, ignoring their foundations in radical behaviorism. But one cannot have the success of OBM applications without consideration of radical behaviorism and basic behavioral principles. Christoph Bordlein describes his efforts to promote the scientific basis for Behavior Based Safety in an environment that lacks institutions and structures for behavior analysis.

Target Audience: OBM scholars and practitioners, ABA practitioners
Learning Objectives: oUnderstand the importance of the philosophy of a science of behavior, radical behaviorism, for practicing in Organizational Behavior ManagementoUnderstand the obstacles of practicing Organizational Behavior Management in an environment without any academic background in behavior analysis



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