Application of Reinforcement Theory Organizations

Application of Reinforcement Theory Organizations

Theory of Reinforcement is one of the arguments the focus on explaining human behavior as a function of its consequence.  Skinner points out that human behavior tends to repeat itself while the person with negative behavior tends not to repeat the action. Human practices in workplace or organization apply reinforcers daily without realizing they were doing it.  For instance, the management in an organization who want to motivate employees, focus on reinforcing the behaviors that will yield desired results by providing a reward. Conversely, if the management wants to weaken any behaviors that disrupt organization operations, they use punishments.

Regarding Skinner idea on operant conditioning that claims learning occurs through rewards and punishment of human behavior. It’s worth noting operant conditioning in person connects the association between an individual’s behavior and consequences. Regarding Skinner’s suggestion, the organization continues to focus on designing an external environment to enhance and sustain positive behaviors. For instance, it’s well acknowledged that workplace safety is closely associated with excellent performance. When the organization set goals for improving workplace safety, employees feel motivated and recognized which is a vital resource required for maximum results. Effective workplace safety policies that aim at protecting the worker from harm and injuries, insurance covers and specific compensation plan motivate the employee to commit the knowledge and skills for the overall growth of the company.  According to Skinner, the manager supervising junior employees learn the behavior of worker by looking at the actions and consequences coined “operant conditioning.”

Additionally, when the management in a specific work environment detects deviation from normalcy, they applied behavior modification that comprised changing environment associated with observed behaviors. The organization responds to workers who ignore safety may reinforce the through rewarding of any work found wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). In doing so, operation conditioning hypothesized by Skinner could become useful in shaping behaviors to achieve the desired outcome. Finally, reinforcement approach to maintain or eliminate behavior can be applied in any organization control the practice of employees.




Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2016). Theories of personality. Cengage Learning