1. Describe Stanley’s reaction to being “put on the list,” and why he reacts as he does.In cultural terms, how does his reaction reinforce Ben’s power?Stanley’s reaction when he finds himself on the list is normal given the kind of anticipation he had. Stanley had waited for a long time to be put on that list. He had inquired from other members of staff and found out literally everything about the people who were allowed to use the door. He knew that Franklyn had his own people who were allowed to use the door. He found out about this from the information he gathered from his colleagues. Finding his name on the list was therefore a pleasant surprise for him. Being new in the organization, he had never thought of making it to the list. He knew that the door was only reserved for Franklyn’s people. Stanley knew he had been accorded a rare privilege in the organization. When Franklyn announced this to him, he reacted with happiness and surprise. He had never anticipated that from him. Stanley’s reaction reinforces Ben’s power since it confirms Ben’s authority to hand over specific privileges to any member of staff he chose and his power to reward members of staff as he so wished.
2. Have you known any supervisors who have used contrived rewards and punishments to bolster their positions?Many supervisors use rewards to affirm their authority or superiority over other workers. One supervisor used to hand pay increases to workers who threatened his position as a supervisor.
3. What would your reaction have been to both being denied the right to use the door at first and then being granted the right later on?
Being denied the right to use the door is very disheartening especially if other workers use it. My reaction in this case will be one of disappointment and rage for this kind of discrimination. The act of being granted the use of the door later on would come as a surprise and a cause of even greater joy, considering the disappointment I had expressed on being denied that right. I will take it as a reward for my good work.
4. How did Ben Franklyn use the principle of negative reinforcement to achieve his objective?Ben Franklyn used the principle of negative reinforcement to reward the members of his project group. He called for meetings at 6:30 am and when he achieved the level of co-ordination he desired, called off the meetings. Calling off the group meetings was an act of negative reinforcement, since it was like a reward to the members who loathed the early morning meetings.
5. Why did negative reinforcement work better than punishment or positive reinforcement in this situation?
Negative reinforcement strengthened the group and motivated them to work even harder. To the workers, they had received a favor from Ben and this motivated them to work harder.
6. Can you think of similar examples from your own experience?
One incident of negative reinforcement that I can recall relates to a supervisor who extended the working hours for production area workers in a new line of production. He did this for one month and then reduced the hours to the previous working hours. This act bolstered the workers initiative and motivated them to do their best.
7. Was the supervisor as clever as Franklyn in arranging to deflect personal criticism? Was he/she successful?Like Ben, this supervisor was clever, since he created the impression that he had relieved the workers of the extra working hours yet in reality, he was the one who had cleverly created the situation. At the end of it all, the supervisor achieved what he had planned. He managed to motivate the workers to produce more.
8. In terms of principles of reinforcement, what was Kerry’s error?
Kerry’s error was his use of punishment to discourage behavior he thought led to reduced sales. The use of punishment in reinforcement does not produce desirable results.
9. What would you have done in [Kerry’s] situation?If I were in Kerry’s situation, I would have found out ways through which I could motivate them to make more sales. For instance, I would give rewards to those who posted maximum sales during a particular day; this would act as enough motivation for them to give good sales reports at the end of the day.
10. Is the influence of rewards on behavior different from the influence of punishment on behavior? If so how?
When punishment is used, workers do not try to change their behavior, rather they conceal those elements of their behavior that may attract punishment. On the other hand, rewards motivate workers to work harder. A worker knows that a change of behavior will attract a hefty reward, so they direct their efforts towards behavior that will earn them a reward.
11. Why measure performance in the first place?
An organization measures employee performance in order to be able to gauge the competitiveness of its employees relative to its strategic goals. Competitors are increasingly becoming more ingenuous in their competitive tactics, and the organization must ensure that these employees have the capability to face this competitive environment.
12. What is the downside to doing so?
The downside is that hardworking employees will mostly be discouraged when their performance is measured. Some organizations have performance measuring methods while others do not.
13. Do all organizations have a method to measure performance? Why or why not?
Many organizations lack effective performance measurement methods because they do not understand the implications of measuring employee performance. Many employee performance methods are difficult to implement and pose a challenge to supervisors who may not want to contact with their subordinates.
14. What is the meaning of Faust’s statement “that running The Agency is quite unlike running a business? One cannot grow unless one overspends.”Faust implies in this statement that the money the organization has should all be spent. In this case, the surplus money should be diverted to other uses.
15. How can this nonsense be avoided? Is it inevitable that this stuff will go on in public agencies?The misuse of money resources in a public agency is a deplorable thing. Instances of money laundering can be avoided if public agencies set in place structures to check the use of money and funds allocated to the company. Public agencies can avoid the misuse of money if they set up such structures and encourage transparency in the use of money.
16. Have you seen examples of this type behavior in the past? Where?
Misuse of money occurs especially in large government enterprises where the bigwigs use the extra money in their hands for their own interests.
17. The governor of Montana has recently announced that state agencies that have not spent all their money for the current fiscal year may use it to provide equity pay raises for valuable employees. Is this a good thing to do with leftover funds for government agencies? Why or Why not?The use of surplus money to give pay raises is acceptable if there are no other important financial obligations by the company to which the money can be channeled.
18. At the end of the 2010-2011 academic year, the ISU Men’s basketball team had nearly $30K in leftover funds (much of which it had raised on its own through booster donations). Needing money to plug other wholes in the athletic department’s budget, the Athletic Director took the basketball team’s money and used it to pay other bills. Is this an effective way to use surplus funds? Why or Why not?
In the case of the basketball team, the use of the surplus funds was not the correct action to take since it was used to cover expenses, which were not budgeted for. It would have been prudent to save the surplus and wait for the correct allocation to cover the expenses.