Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Maria E. Malott

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan D. Poling

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ramona Houmanfar


This dissertation demonstrated the use of behavioral systems analysis tools in the development of a useful service in a non-profit association. The purpose of this study was threefold: (1) to design a placement system that would add value to the field of behavior analysis by placing behavior analysts in appropriate jobs, internships, and graduate programs; (2) to develop a data collection infrastructure that would assist the Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the assessment of the trends related to the human resources of the field; and (3) to advance the knowledge and methodology of behavioral systems analysis.

Six objectives were specified in the design of the placement system that would lead to the aforementioned objectives: (1) to increase the number of users; (2) to ensure that the service is easy to use and manage; (3) to organize the convention process to better serve clients; (4) to include graduate training opportunities; (5) to collect data; and (6) to engage in system development efforts on a regular basis.

An on-line system was designed and implemented to address all of the above purposes. Performance trends, marketing results, and field-related data collected from the implementation of the system indicated that these six objectives were successfully met, but could be improved upon. The highest impact is seen in number of applicants who used the service in 2002, increasing 158% from 2001. The number of job posting increased 31% and the number of employers increased 9% in 2002. The largest demand for behavior analysts was in the area of autism. Efforts to improve the system are presented and include those that have been implemented, those that will be implemented soon, and those that should be implemented in the future. Future research is needed to determine whether the methodology for designing a useful placement service could be replicated and generalized to any type of organization and discipline.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access