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1.) Critically review learning theory.
Learning theory is a routine that is carried out on a daily basis in order to have an experience in various fields of work. There are several theories that explain learning theory. One of the theories is Maslow’ Hierarchy of needs which explains that, when the need level is satisfied, it ceased to become a motivator and fulfillment of higher level is the next goal. (Francesco and Gold, 2005).The second theory is Hertzberg’s motivation hygiene theory which states that, employees’ growth and esteem needs are driven by the motivation factors, responsibility and achievement. This wills results into a job satisfaction at work place. (Francesco and Gold, 2005).
The third theory is McClelland’s learned needs theory which explains that needs is learned through Childhood environment, social norms and assists in the understanding of individual motivation (Francesco and Gold, 2005). The last theory is ERG theory which contributes on Maslow theory. It has three categories of needs. Existence which is the physical and psychological need, relatedness which is the need to share ideas with others and feel secure and growth is the need to achieve to fulfill of self esteemed needs. The learning theories have assisted very many people at work place especially the people who are working in the organizations. (Francesco and Gold, 2005).
There have been several philosophers who have tried to explain what is learning. Various theories of learning have been therefore have been discussed. Learning theories are the ideas about why or how changes occur. There has been a theory on the behaviorist orientation to learning .This theory is from theorist such as Thorndike, Pavlov and skinner. (Smith, 1999).This theory argues that people change their behavior from the kind of learning they get. People according to the theory are stimulated by the environment they live in.
When people live in a good environment they learn to be good and vise versa. Behaviorists argue that people can be taught to produce behavior change in the desired direction. An educator trying to teach people to change should arrange environment of the person to get the desired response. People can learn through skill development and training as well as behavior according to behaviorists. (Smith, 1999).
There is another theory on cognitive orientation to learning. Cognitivist such as Piaget, Bruner and Gagne believe that learning process is an internal mental process. Internal mental process includes receiving insight about information, processing the information, memorizing it and finally making a perception. (Smith, 1999).That is how the learning process is according to Cognitivist. People according to the cognitivist learn through the internal cognitive structuring. This structure helps people develop skills and capacity to learn better. Cognitive structure if followed can help a person develop intelligence learning and memory as function of age as well as learning how to learn. Whichever the theory that is followed learning is an important aspect of human being and people should strive to learn more to improve themselves. (Saljo,1979)
2. Positive and negative reinforcements, punishment and extinction in shaping behavior
There are many types of positive reinforcements that Godot can use. First Godot can reward excellent behavior. This is normally a very effective method of reinforcing good behavior. (Verddelho, 1999)The implication here is that when an employee is rewarded for good performance, the employee feels motivated to do even better the next time. In the end this will lead to an improved performance which is good not just for the individual but also for the organization.
The second positive reinforcement is recognition. Recognition here implies acknowledging excellent behavior of good work. In this case the meaning for this is that supervisors like Godot can simply acknowledge and commend a well performing employee like Diane. Recognition of good work has the implication of having positive congratulatory words for a job that has been well accomplished. This can simply be achieved by a simple word of mouth like ‘well done.’ Unknown to many supervisors, this simple act of recognition normally has a very positive effects on the motivation of an employee of an individual and can result in positive work behavior. (Francesca & Gold, 2008)
The use of incentives is another positive reinforcement that can result in improved positive behavior. In this case incentives can be in form of extra or bonus pay for exemplary performance. Incentives can go along way in improving an individual’s performance on the job. (Francesca & Gold, 2008)This is more so if an individual is capable of making more money by displaying good performance method. In this case the issue of a tip was a good gesture to the employees since those with exemplary performance would feel encouraged to do more.
One negative way of reinforcing behavior is through harshness. In this case, the employees will only perform well because of fear of reprimand by Godot and not because they feel a compelling need to work hard. This is a negative reinforcement because positive organization behavior should be forced but should come spontaneously. The implication here is that employees should not be coerced into behaving well but rather positive behavior should just come naturally. This therefore means that these employees should not work hard because of fear of being reprimanded by the supervisor but instead should do so because of a need to do so. (Dwyer, 2005)
3. Discuss the impact of these reinforcements and punishment has on behavior and on Diane’s behavior specifically
Reinforcement theory suggests that a reinforcement/reward and punishment of certain behavior will most likely result in a repeat of that particular behavior. That is to say that if behavior is not recognized or appreciated chances of it being repeated will be low. . (Francesco & Gold, 2005) However, the consequence of reinforcement is determined by whether it is negative or positive. Positive reinforcement will motivate employees and result in behavior that will increase an organization’s output and the opposite is true. . (Francesco & Gold, 2005)
Diane works hard and her output is great. However, when she breaks a plate one day, Godot yells at her and even makes her pay for the broken plate and the cost of cleaning up the messed caused. Diane has been waiting all along for recognition but she only gets a negative reinforcement for her good output. As it is, it is better to motivate people for the right reasons rather than to punish them for the wrong reasons. (Skinner, 1957).
Diane is punished for the wrong reason and fails to get reinforced for the right reasons. Negative reinforcement is not likely to motivate individuals and therefore this will in turn lead to them slacking in their work and thus the overall out put will be low. (Skinner, 1957). It is because of this that she relaxes when carrying out her duties.
Reinforcement suggests that behavior determines outcome and a person will be motivated to seek reinforcement and avoid punishment. When she got a chance to work at a fancy French restaurant at Sydney known La Maison, Diana a University Student could not spend her vacation at her parents home Queabeyan, since she needed money to change on her diet during her next semester . (Skinner, 1957).
Ready to prove how good she was, she would balance several plates on her arm and the customers would compliment her on her efficient service, but one day she dropped a bowl of bouillabaisse appetizer on the carpet and hurriedly went for sponge while apologizing but Godot shouted at her that he would deduct $24.95, $20 from her pay to compensate for appetizer and cost of cleaning rugs respectively, out of anger and confusion, next day Diana slowed down to avoid recurrence of same incident thus she carried no more than two dishes at a time thus slugging her tips down (Skinner, 1957).
Q4 .Effectiveness of hourly pay rates and tips as a method for reinforcing desired behaviors.
Tips and hourly rates have been used as a mode of payment against other methods of payment like piece rate and monthly payments. There is a big variation in the effectiveness of the methods. When hourly rate is used as the mode of payment, it has been found to have an effect on quality and speed. These two factors are the one that determine the output of any activity (Encina, 2000). Payment in work acts as an incentive to the worker. Whenever the worker is paid well he will work well and poor pay means poor jobs. It is noted that the worker will always optimize what he has at hand. When he is paid hourly he will do he/her work according to the hour he is being paid. This will spoil the consistency (Encina , 2000).
When tips are added to the hourly rate, the worker will optimize on the tips and he/she will improve on his hourly work to get more tips. Things are different when hourly pay is made without the tips as there will be no motivation. Paying on an hourly rate together with the tips may improve on speed but destroy the quality. The use of tips and hourly rate need a balance as what motivate the worker are the conditions of work. Diane on his part was being motivated tips (Encina , 2000).
Apart from the pay, there are other factors that motivate worker during their work. Recognition during work is another factor that lender the effectiveness of work. A worker may improve his effectiveness due to tips. This will improve his/her efficiency. When a worker feels that his efficiency has improved, he will look for recognition. Payment on hourly rates can improve the behaviors of the worker but additional inputs like recognition should be added. Diane opted to work in the right he will perfect the work and in return he will be recognized to get a better pay. For the behavior of an hourly paid worker to improve, incentives have to be added. This will help in improving the efficiency of work and altitude towards work will improve (Schildkraut 2003).
The behavior of workers depends very much on the pay and recognition. As much as workers are paid hourly tends to improve the output, their behavior depends much on the supervision. Workers will always maximize on their man hours instead of employers manpower (Schildkraut 2003). Therefore to ensure that the behavior of the worker is good requires supervision. The supervision should not oppress the worker but instead it will help improve his behavior. The role of the supervisor for hourly paid worker is to help the worker to improve in his productivity. Though the supervisor will optimize on production, it should not destroy the quality of the work (Schildkraut 2003).
In conclusion hourly rates can improve on the worker behavior but proper measures should be put in place to ensure that the objectives of the company or organization are met. The measure can include recognition after improvement, controlled supervision, and improvement after achievement. There should be no mistake of paying hourly for organization benefit but it should be to the worker (Schildkraut 2003).