TABLE OF CONTENTS
Concept Of Learning
Components Of Learning Process
Factors Affecting Learning
Theories Of Learning
Cognitive Learning Theory
Social Learning Theory
Types Of Reinforcement
Organizational Behavior Modification
CONCEPT OF LEARNING
According to Dictionary Of Psychology, learning means, “the process of
acquiring the ability to respond adequately to a situation which may or may
not have been previously encountered, the favorable modification of
response tendencies consequent upon previous experience, particularly the
building of a new series of complex coordinated motor response; the fixation
of items in memory so that they can be recalled or organized; the process of
acquiring insight into a situation.”
Mitchell has defined learning as follows-
“Learning is the process by which new behaviors are acquired. It is generally agreed that
learning involves changes in behaviors, practicing new behaviors and establishing
permanency in the change.”
COMPONENTS OF LEARNING PROCESS
1. Drive: Learning frequently occurs in the presence of drive. Without drive, learning does not take place
or, at least, is not noticeable.
2. Cue stimuli: Cue stimuli are any objects existing in the environment as perceived by the individual. The
idea here is to discover the conditions under which a stimulus will increase the probability of eliciting a
specific response. Two types of stimuli:
3. Responses: Stimulus results into responses. Responses may be in the physical form or may be in terms
of attitudes, familiarity, perception, or other complex phenomena.
4. Reinforcement: Without reinforcement, no measurable modification of behavior takes place. The term
reinforcement is very closely related to the psychological process of motivation. Reinforcement may be
defined as environmental events affecting the probability of occurrence of responses with which they are
5. Retention: The stability of learned behavior over time is defined as retention and the converse is
FACTORS AFFECTING LEARNING
Motivation: Moves a
person to action and
continues him in the
course of action
Mental Set: Refers to
preparation for an
Nature Of Learning
learning by providing
the clue for
Practice: The more a
person practices, more
he absorbs learning
Environment in which
Behavior is learned by a repetitive association between a stimulus
and a response(S-R association).
4 Elements Of
IMPLICATIONS OF CLASSICAL
Classical conditioning does not explain total behavior of
Classical conditioning is passive, i.e., something happens and
we behave in a specific way.
It explains simple and reflective behavior whereas human
behavior is voluntary rather than reflective.
Operant conditioning suggests that people emit responses that are
rewarded and will not emit responses that are either not rewarded or
Behavior is voluntary and it is determined, maintained and controlled
by its consequences.
PROCESS OF OPERANT CONDITIONING
CLASSICAL CONDITIONING OPERANT CONDITIONING
Response is Voluntary
Change in stimulus will
elicit a particular response
One particular response
out of many possible ones
occurs in a given stimulus
Stimulus is presented
every time for response to
Reward is presented only
if the organism gives the
Outcome of deliberate thinking about the problem or situation both
intuitively and based upon known facts and responding in a goal
Cognition is the act of knowing an item of information and this affects
the behaviour of the person so the information provides cognitive cues
towards the expected goals.
In this category, two important theories are:
Cognitive Dissonance- By Festinger
Theory Of Lateral Thinking- By De Bono
According to this theory, individuals tend to seek consistency among
their cognitions (i.e. knowledge, beliefs and opinions).
Two factors affect the strength of dissonance:
Number of dissonant beliefs
Importance attached to each belief.
Three ways to eliminate dissonance:
Reduce the importance of the dissonant beliefs.
Add more consonant beliefs that outway the dissonant beliefs.
Change the dissonant beliefs so that they are no longer inconsistent.
Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must
choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions.
THEORY OF LATERAL THINKING
Based on the premise that many problems require a different perspective to
Main principle is that breaking up the elements and recombining them,
perhaps randomly in a different way can achieve a different perspective on a
4 critical factors associated with lateral thinking:
Recognizing dominant ideas that polarize perception of a problem.
Searching for different ways of looking at things.
Relaxation of rigid control of thinking.
Use of chance to encourage other ideas.
SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY
Combines and integrates both behavioristic and cognitive concepts.
Learning can take place via modelling.
o Involves observational learning.
o Learning occurs in two steps:
Person observes how others act and then acquires a mental picture of
the act and its consequences.
Person acts out the acquired image and if the consequences are
positive he will tend to do it again. If consequences are negative the
person will not do it again.
Definition: It can be defined as anything that increases the strength of
response and tends to induce repetitions of the behaviour that preceded the
reinforcement. Though it plays an important role in Motivation, it is
different from the latter.
Reinforcement is important because behavioural response is conditioned by
Some learning theorists like Mendick comments that “all that is necessary
for an association to develop between a stimulus and a response is that they
occur together frequently. Reward does not seem to be necessary. When
reward is used, however, conditioning proceeds far more rapidly and with
greater vigour.” This suggests that though reinforcement is not necessary for
learning, its presence increases the learning.
Stimulus Event Behavioral Response
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN REINFORCEMENT AND BEHAVIOUR
TYPES OF REINFORCEMENT
1. Positive and Negative Reinforcement
• Positive and Negative reinforcement accomplish the impact on response on
different ways. The former strengthens and increases behaviour by the
presentation of a desirable consequence while the latter strengthens and
increases behaviour by termination or withdrawal of an undesirable
• Positive reinforcement increases the probability of desirable behaviour for
getting for getting desirable consequence, negative reinforcement increases
the probability of desirable behaviour to avoid undesirable consequence;
negative reinforcement is also called avoidance.
• Withdrawal of positive reinforcement is sometimes used to weaken particular
behaviour of employees which was desirable at one point. This is known as
2. Extrinsic and Intrinsic Reinforcement
• An extrinsic reinforce has no direct relationship with the behaviour
itself. It is artificial and often arbitrary. Intrinsic rewards, on the other
hand, are natural consequences of behaviour. Both are related closely
3. Primary and Secondary Reinforcement
• A primary reinforce is innately satisfying to the person and directly
reduces his primary motivational drive. Secondary reinforcement
depends on the individual and his past reinforcement history. Thus,
these are primarily learned ones.
Since reinforcement is necessary for learning, a manager must
administer it in such a way that it has its maximum effects.
Costello and Zaldkind have summarised the nature of
reinforcement as follows:
1. Some type of reinforcement is necessary to produce change.
2. Some types of rewards are more effective for use in the
organisation than others.
3. The speed with which learning takes place and how lasting its
effects will be is determined by the timing of reinforcement.
Aspects For Administering Reinforcement
1. Selection of Reinforcement: The first step is to select reinforcers
that are sufficiently powerful to maintain responsiveness while
complex patterns of behaviour are being established and
2. Contingent Designing of Reinforcement: Reinforcement must be
designed in such a way that reinforcing events are made contingent
upon the desired behaviour. Rewards must result from performance.
3. Reinforcement Scheduling: The reinforcement must be designed in
such a way that a reliable procedure for eliciting the desired response
pattern is established.
Fixed Ratio Schedule: Under this schedule, a reinforcer is administered only after certain
number of responses. If the schedule is in fixed ratio, the exact number of responses is
specified. Administering reward under a fixed ratio schedule tends to produce significantly
higher rate of responses.
Fixed Interval Schedule: Under this schedule, a reinforcement is given only when the
desired response occurs after the passage of a specific time since the previous
Variable Ratio Schedule: Under this schedule, a reward is given only after a number of
desired responses, with the number of responses changing from the occurrence of one
reinforcer to the next.
Variable Interval Schedule: Under this schedule, the reward is given after a randomly
distributed length of time rather than after a number of responses.
Punishment may be defined as presenting an aversive or noxious consequence contingent
upon a response. It is a method for reducing the frequency of undesired behaviour.
Punishment becomes complex, in a sense that many times, a punishment may become
reward to the person concerned and his undesirable behaviour may be reinforced.
Understanding the nature of Punishment is very important. Kendler has observed the
following nature of punishment.
1. Punishment is effective in modifying behaviour if it forces the person to select a desirable alternative
behaviour that is then reinforced.
2. If the above does not occur, then the behaviour will be only temporarily suppressed and will
reappear when the punishment is removed.
3. Punishment must be administered with extreme care so that it does not become reward for
undesirable behaviour. The termination of punishment is reinforcing just as the termination of
reinforcement is punishing.
ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION
Organizational Behavior Modification is a sophisticated tool
used for improving the organizational effectiveness.
It is derived & developed from the concept of Skinner’s
This technique is used to modify or eliminate undesirable
behavior and replace it with behavior that is more
compatible with goal attainment.
STEPS IN OB MOD
CONTRIBUTIONS OF OB MOD
OB Mod has been applied successfully in many organizations starting
from service organizations to manufacturing organizations.
It deals with observed behaviors.
It presents a set of tools by which people can learn new behaviors and
The understanding of OB Mod techniques is comparatively easy.
CRITICISM OF OB MODIFICATION
Some people criticize it on the grounds that it is unethical and
manipulative in character.
It should not be used by the managers to regulate the behavior of
Such criticism can be divided into three categories :
1. Metaphysical & Ethical,
2. Theoretical & General,
The Main Objections Raised Against OB
Mod Are As Follows:
The basic criticism against OB Mod is that Skinner’s operant conditioning
principles were developed after a series of experiments with white rats.
The critics suggest that this technique is an applied rat morphism and tends to
equate human beings with rats, but organizations are more complex than
OB Mod techniques restrict freedom of choice of behavior.
OB Mod is based on the assumption that individual behavior is a function or is
controlled by his environment and that forces internal to the individual have little
effect on operant behavior
OB Mod is an exercise in over simplification. It cannot be considered as an
innovative and new technique of management.
A learning organization is the term given to a company that facilitates
the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself.
The Learning organization concept was coined through the work and
research of Peter Senge and his colleagues.
It encourages organizations to shift to a more interconnected way of
thinking. Organizations should become more like communities that
employees can feel a commitment to. They will work harder for an
organization they are committed to.
CHARACTERISTICS OF LEARNING ORGANISATION
A LEARNING ORGANIZATION HAS
FIVE MAIN FEATURES:
The idea of the learning organization developed from a body of work called systems
thinking. This is a conceptual framework that allows people to study businesses as
The commitment by an individual to the process of learning is known as personal
The assumptions held by individuals and organizations are called mental models.
The development of a shared vision is important in motivating the staff to learn, as it
creates a common identity that provides focus and energy for learning.
The accumulation of individual learning constitutes Team learning.
BENEFITS OF LEARNING ORGANISATION
• Maintaining levels of innovation and remaining competitive.
• Being better placed to respond to external pressures.
• Having the knowledge to better link resources to customer
• Improving quality of outputs at all levels.
• Improving Corporate image by becoming more people oriented.
• Increasing the pace of change within the organization.
CREATING LEARNING ORGANISATION
Build a Vision & awareness that learning is necessary at all levels; not just management level; and
communicate these, and get buy-in of all members for the new vision.
Build a facilitative Organizational Structure, which should be flexible and flatter structure; should
also remove organizational silos & boundaries.
Leadership should encourage learning to help the individuals and the organization, and secure
resources from mgt.: money, personnel, time, etc.
Encourage and participation at all levels; the new philosophy should be Openness, reflectivity,
accepting error, etc.
Actions for building learning culture necessitates freeing up employee time; training in
brainstorming, problem solving, etc.; encouraging members to question the decisions without fear;
and establishing recognition & rewards.
In recent years, knowledge management has emerged as one of the
prime concerns in the area of organisational behaviour because it has
been recognised that the fundamental sources of wealth creation are no
longer natural resources and physical labour but it is the knowledge
that has become the pre eminent resource and has come to play
dominant role in any type of organisation.
What is knowledge?
In defining knowledge, there is a basic problem in that there is no
common definition that captures the essence of knowledge. Dictionary
meaning of knowledge is “that which is known, information,
enlightenment, practical skill, acquaintance, etc.”
WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT?
It is creation, distribution, and utilisation of knowledge at the
individual, group, and community level through harnessing of people,
process, and technology for the benefits of those involved and affected
THREE BASIC ELEMENTS OF KM:-
1. Knowledge Creation
2. Knowledge Sharing
3. Knowledge Utilisation
Knowledge creation involves generating facts, information, and
techniques that are relevant to an organisation and those associated
Knowledge creation discovers new knowledge through several
avenues- R&D department, experimentation, creative thinking and
automated knowledge discovery, benchmarking best in class practices,
process improvement projects, feedback from customers, observing
customers and so on.
Knowledge sharing involves communication and distribution of
knowledge organisation wide. When a new knowledge is created
in the organisation, it is stored in organisation’s database for its
It means using knowledge to solve problem for which it has
Unlike other resources that deplete when used ,knowledge
can be shared and used and grows through this process.
BENEFITS OF KNOWLEDGE
New products are designed and commercialization more
quickly and successfully.
Retained market share
Expanding profit margins
BENEFITS OF KNOWLEDGE
Chevron reduced its operating cost structure by more
than 2 billion.
Texas instruments generated 1.5 billion in annual
increased fabrication capacity.
Scandia reduced start-up time for new ventures to seven
Arthur Anderson (Accenture) has improved their quality
of service, helped lower research costs, and shortened
Implementing Knowledge Management
Knowledge management is a continuous process; knowledge
creation, sharing and use are not one short action.
A knowledge management programme has the following
Defining KM Strategy
Organising KM Programme
Reinforcement For KM
DEFINING KM STRATEGY
It is better that such a strategy is defined with the active
involvement of top management so that its commitment and
support are ensured.
KM Strategy contains why, what, whom, and how of
knowledge sharing. The contents of each of these are as
Why To Share Knowledge
What To Share
With Whom To Share
How To Share
ORGANISING KM PROGRAMME
For this programme, a KM unit should be established. This unit may be
located either as independent or may function as a part of any other
department of the organisation, preferably with information systems
Besides constituting KM unit, the organisation should undertake the
following steps to implement the KM programme:-
Providing budget for knowledge sharing
Choosing technology for knowledge sharing
Communicating the value of knowledge sharing
Adopting methods of knowledge sharing
REINFORCEMENT FOR KM
Reinforcement is anything that increases the strength of
a new behaviour and tends to induce repetition of that
To provide reinforcement for KM, the organisation can
do the following things:-
Introducing new incentives
Providing support for knowledge sharing
MAKING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
The organisation should create a culture that stimulates knowledge
sharing and learning.
It ensures that the users need matches the type of knowledge.
It must ensures that the users believe that knowledge sharing is useful for
Users must be motivated to be willing to travel and share knowledge
Experts must be made available and helps team to solve tough and