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Behavioral Modification Using a Pre and Post Intervention Technique for Accountability Enhancement

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Individual Dynamics and Leadership Final Report

Behavioral Modification using a Pre and Post Intervention Technique for Accountability Enhancement

Division I Group 2

Chirag Aggarwal I002

Ayush Gupta I019

Priyanka Gupta I020

Ruchi Jadhav I025

Kriti Marwah I040

Vaibhav Shah I058

Devdutt Upadhye I064

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies

Abstract

This report is aimed at identifying the key challenges faced by small to mid-sized businesses face with respect to their employees and understanding the methodologies that can be used to tackle these problems based on organizational theories and tools. For the purpose of this study, we approached Mr. Harish Nishar, a third generation promoter of Rajat Stationery and Xerox, a chain of reputed printing and binding sites in the Churchgate area of Mumbai. Based on our data and using behavior modification techniques we endeavored to deal with the shortcomings that we had identified. We followed this up by suggesting a set of recommendations, the implementation of which we are confident will lead to better productivity and optimization.

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Objective of the Study
  4. Review of Literature
  5. Statement of the Research Problem
  6. Method of Study
  7. Analysis and Results
  8. Discussion of Findings
  9. Conclusions and Recommendations
  10. References

                             

                               

Introduction

Rajat Stationery and Xerox has been in existence for over 30 years. Their clients include top corporates like Deloitte and the stores have a vast footfall of customers with various requirements. Mr. Harish has run the stores for five years and having recently operationalized a new location, he was observing an uptick in reports of lackadaisical behavior from new employees through his interactions with his overseers. We proposed to identify and define the problems faced by the organization and then conduct an intervention. With a problem statement that harmonized well with our aim of employing behavior modification techniques and allied learnings into a real world scenario, we opted to take up this project. The scale of the project being manageable, with the execution also being suitable to our expectations, the feasibility of this project was a welcome feature as well.

Objective of the Study

The purpose of this project at the time of conceptualization was to solve a pre identified problem of employee apathy and lack of accountability by way of utilizing behavior modification techniques and correction concepts.

The task was to modify the behavior and hence create a lasting impact. This necessitated planning, data collection and subsequent analysis. The first objective was to understand the scope and severity of the problem faced by the proprietor and whether it could be dealt with using our techniques.

In accordance with this objective, our team conducted a series of visits to and observations at the stores in question and the preliminary data led us to a consensus that the problem could be a feasible one to delve into deeper.

The lack of proper employee guidelines and formal training at small to mid-sized businesses constitutes a real problem in their day to day operations. Insufficient management, combined with a lack of motivation presents a formidable challenge to ensuring smooth functioning. Also, it is widely noted that absenteeism has been sub planted by shirking of duties and duty compartmentalization nowadays.  Some of the common problems faced by proprietors facing this issue are:

  1. Loss in sales due to salesmen and shop assistants going AWOL
  2. Demotivation of other, previously motivated employees due to lack of repercussions to the employees who shirk their duties
  3. High attrition of staff due to a resultant lack of job satisfaction
  4. Increased overheads due to the need to replace these lost employees

After conducting the primary research and after being fully convinced that the issue needs the immediate attention and intervention we decided to implement some of the below mentioned behavior modification theories in hopes of changing at least some, if not all cases of the undesirable behavior

  1. Hawthorne Effect
  2. Situation Awareness Theory
  3. Applied Behavior Analysis

Each of these theories have different application techniques but their impact is the same – a change in the behavior that can be quantified by pre and post intervention application analysis of these theories.

Review of Literature

Behavior is the set of characteristics a person demonstrates under a set of conditions. It is a function of continuous, multidimensional interaction between the person and the situation. When the set of conditions are reinforced in a person, the outcome achieved is a behavioral change.

Behavioral measures are the personality assessments that involve observing an individual’s behavior in a controlled situation.

Hawthorne Effect

In theory. The Hawthorne Effect is described as a type of reactivity in which individuals modify an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed.

In application. During the post intervention, we observed the behavior of the employees. Most who noticed the cameras ceased taking long breaks during working hours and the previously noticed preponderance of cell phone usage deceased. This behavior was expected and in line with the Hawthorne Effect wherein we noticed rising rates of acceptable behavior when the employees perceived being under observation.

The Hawthorne Effect works due to a combination of underlying effects, namely:

  1. Increased productivity posts the feeling of being observed
  2. Increased productivity due to the perception of receiving feedback on their performance which improves their skills when an experiment provides this feedback for the first time.
  3. Research on the effect also shows that the target of the experiment may be motivated to please the experimenter by acting in a way he thinks of as desirable.

For our purpose we went ahead with the assumption that the chief motivator was the first factor, as the other factors were either too difficult to consider meaningfully or were too difficult to form a control group for, which wasn't too feasible given our current limitations either.

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