A Comparative Analysis of Preintervention Diagnostic Tools in Organizational Behavior Management

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Douglas A. Johnson

Second Advisor

Dr. Heather McGee

Third Advisor

Dr. Alyce Dickinson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Julie Slowiak


Assessment, behavioral systems analysis, performance diagnostic checklist, diagnosis, diagnostic tools


Formal functional assessments have been conducted with a great deal of experimental rigor within many areas of applied behavior analysis and have come to be considered the gold standard. While many researchers and practitioners within the field of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) would adopt a similar position and therefore recommend preintervention assessments, data supporting the use of formal assessment tools specific to OBM is sorely lacking (Johnson, Casella, McGee, & Lee, 2014). The two assessment approaches that are among the most widely used in articles published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and perhaps the field as a whole are Behavioral Systems Analysis (BSA) and the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC). The purpose of the present study was to help develop this area of research by exploring the type of findings generated by BSA compared to those generated by the PDC. The results indicated that 29 total findings were generated (24 using BSA and 5 using the PDC). BSA required 10 hours and 30 minutes of direct interview time with the participants while the PDC was completed in one hour and 15 minutes. Overall, the set of findings produced using BSA were preferred by the client relative to the set generated using the PDC even after the time commitment was specified.

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