Date of Award

4-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Ron Van Houten

Second Advisor

Dr. Heather McGee

Third Advisor

Dr. Brad Huitema

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Laura Methot

Abstract

The term ‘culture’ can be used to describe both a ‘social culture’ and a ‘work culture’. A social culture can be defined behaviorally as a pattern of overt and covert behaviors that are consequated by the verbal community and the contingency specifying rules that facilitate behavior independent of any first hand experience. It is this community that defines which behaviors are reinforced, extinguished, or punished. Similarly, a work culture can be defined as a pattern of overt and covert behaviors that are consequated by the work community (leadership, employees, self, etc.) and the contingency specifying rules that facilitate behavior/performance independent of any first hand experience. Behavioral techniques such as the use of task clarification, and feedback have been utilized in many organizations and within a number of industries to change behavior and transform work culture. The current study used these tools and techniques to change behaviors determined to be key to the success of the organization’s Permit-to-Work System. The same checklist was used to obtain data on these key behaviors in both baseline and intervention phases. During intervention the researcher provided task clarification, feedback, and recognition to participants regarding their performance on the key checklist behaviors. The results demonstrate the efficacy of the behavioral tools and techniques in changing behaviors and improving performance. The success and opportunities for improvement are discussed with regard to changing the work culture as well as the work behaviors within. Also, recommendations are provided for future research and future practitioners.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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