In an organization, employees have to learn and practice productive work behaviours.
In an organization, employees
have to learn and practice productive work behaviours. The manager’s task is to
provide sufficient learning experiences to employees in an environment that
will facilitate learning process and promote desired behaviours. Training
prepares employees to meet the challenges of the job, for which incentives are
to be provided to learn and practice right behaviours. The following are the
important theories of learning.
Classical conditioning is the
process by which individuals learn to link the information from a neutral
stimulus to a stimulus that causes a response. This response may not be under
an individual’s conscious control. Pavlov, in his experiments, hanged some meat
in front of dogs. This meat is unconditioned stimulus or unlearned stimulus.
The dogs responded to this stimulus by salivating. This kind of response was
instinctive or unconditioned. Afterwards Pavlov started to ring a bell at the
same time when meat was offered. Ringing the bell without offer of meat was not
connected to any responses. However, by ringing the bell every time when meat
was offered, Pavlov established a relationship between the two stimuli that is
the bell and the meat. With the continuation of the process, the ringing of the
bell alone acted like a stimulus to evoke the response of salivating even
without presentation of meat. As a result, the bell became a conditioned
stimulus leading to conditioned response.
B.F. Skinner coined the term
operant conditioning to refer to a process by which individuals learn voluntary
behaviour. Voluntary behaviours are called operant because they operate or have
some influence on the environment. Learning occurs from the consequences of
behaviour, and many employee work behaviours are operant behaviours. As a
matter of fact, most behaviours in everyday life are forms of operant behaviour.
Managers are interested in operant behaviours because they can influence the
results of such behaviours. On the basis of the direct relationship between the
consequences and behaviour, the management can identify the relationship and
try to modify the behaviour. That is how the behaviour can be controlled by
manipulating its consequences. Two principles guide this relationship.
-- The behaviour that results in positive
rewards is likely to be repeated and behaviour with negative consequences is likely
to be extinguished.
-- Based on such consequences, the behaviour can be predicted and
Therefore, some consequences can
be used to increase the recurrence of desired behaviour and some other
consequences can be used to decrease the recurrence of undesired behaviour.
Tags : Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Perception And Learning
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