I work in a strange and mysterious place…the rare books and special collections in the Waldo Library. Not many souls wander up to peruse our selection of 12 th century manuscripts or a signed edition of Walden by Thoreau. In the summer of 2005, our beloved boss Dr. Thomas Amos died suddenly. Very sad indeed.
Note: This presentation is hypothetical but all the places and contingencies are real. This feasibly could be implemented in this environment. There really is a rare books room! (hint: go visit it!)
It was going to take a good deal of time before they could find anybody to replace him, so for about one whole year, this department in the library was basically student run. So, you can imagine how much work was getting done.
Dat iz because your arr lazy, students worker-types bums. Yous iz no good for doing zee Library vork. Now that, Mr. Librarian, is victim blaming, saying the victim of the problem is the cause of the problem. We student workers were experiencing the real cause of poor-self management; where there was poor rule control by outcomes, which in our case, were too small to control our behavior.
Fixing a book requires the help of some not-so-nice-smelling chemicals like leather cleaner and 200 proof ethyl, de-natured alcohol. Starting repairs is liable to make you experience a new world of aversive smells you didn't even know existed. Also fixing a book requires the use of many sharp tools. My lovely assistant Gus (and model in all these pictures) cut the tip of this finger off fixing a book. No joke. Libraries can be dangerous.
THE DANGERS OF LIBRARY WORK!
Natural Competing Contingency No aversive smell of glue/ mold killer BEFORE AFTER BEHAVIOR Repair one book aversive smell of glue/ mold killer
Analyze the Natural Contingencies Ineffective Natural Contingency Given amount of books to repair Repair one book Slightly less amount of books to repair
Baseline Graph This graph starts with month 1 being January 2006. The number of books we repaired definitely dropped in the summer months. baseline
The main goal is to increase the output of repaired books.
To facilitate this we need to complete a goal-directed systems design form. In this, we can see where the personnel (front-line and managers) come into play with regards to the goal of this system.
The four main organizational outcome measures of quality, quantity, timeliness, and cost will be used as standards to compare the current state and the ideal state after the addition of the performance-management contingency.
Input-Process-Output Model (Repaired Book) [output] Production: fix broken book [process] (Broken Books) [input]
Goal Specification Form Broken Books Input R&D__ _ Distribution_ __ Production: X Fix Broken Books Process Less than $100 spent on intervention N/A Cost Before new shipment of books No deadline Timeliness 4 books a day 1 books a day Quantity Books repaired properly 100% of the time Books repaired properly 80% of the time Ideal Current Quality Standards Fully Repaired Books Output
The intervention that has been put into place is relatively basic and easy to manage. I typed up and gave my fellow employees a performance contract , a written rule statement that described the behavior (correctly repairing books), when that behavior should happen (at work), and the added outcome (monthly bonus points contingent upon amount of books fixed).
At the end of the month when statistics are taken for how many books repaired and by whom, the amount of books repaired per person will earn the person with the most repairs a special bonus for that month.
Design the Intervention Performance Management Contingency Fear the loss of a point toward bonus Will lose points toward bonus at end of month Repair one book Repair one book Will not lose points toward bonus at end of month Do not fear the loss of a point toward bonus
In month 10 we hired three new employees so we had to recycle the objectives since it generally takes about one full year before you learn to do everything 100% correctly at this job. The number of books was lowered from 4 a day to 2 books a day. This decrease in the amount required ensured that sloppy work wasn’t being done just to meet the daily requirements.