Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Behavior systems analysis is an approach to designing and managing systems that incorporates the human-performance-technology model of systems analysis and considers the basic principles of behavior when analyzing causes of performance deficiencies and in selecting interventions to address those deficiencies. Behavior systems analysis focuses on three major conditions that influence behavior: (1) the motivation of the individual, (2) the immediate environmental cues, and (3) the consequences of behavior (Malott & Garcia, 1987; Suarez, 2001). The present study used behavior systems analysis to design a knowledge management system (independent variable) for a small business, a consulting firm in the employer-provided training industry. A six-phase process of analysis, goal specification, design and development, implementation, evaluation, and recycling was used to meet the system's objectives.

The objective of this study was to use the principles of behavior analysis and the behavior-systems-analysis method to design a knowledge management system that would support employees' performance on the job in a way that clearly linked to business results (high impact) and that was appropriate for a small business. The behavior systems analysis approach is described and a review of the traditional theoretical underpinnings of knowledge management is provided. In addition, many concepts in knowledge management are explained using a behavior-analytic interpretation.

The knowledge management system (KMS) was evaluated with subjective measures, process measures, and performance measures, which assessed employee satisfaction, productivity, and work performance (dependent variables). Subjective measures indicated a positive effect on employee satisfaction and productivity. Process measures indicated reasonable business outcomes would result. Performance measures were assessed with statistical tests, which indicated a significant increase in the frequency of performance (i.e., the frequency of creating a particular work product supported by a knowledge item in the KMS) after the KMS implementation for one of the two subject groups (chi-square for independence test); and a significant improvement in the consistency of performance (i.e., the similarity of a particular work product to expected attributes provided in the KMS) after the KMS implementation for both subject groups (t-tests for independent samples).

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access