Understanding Complexity in Organizations
Edited by Timothy Ludwig, Ramona Houmanfar
Routledge – 2010 – 256 pages
Organizations are complex entities that must adapt the practices of their employees and management to meet the demands of a dynamic environment. Organizations are behavioral systems that coordinate interactions among its members and environment. Changing practices in one area of an organization can generate a reaction throughout the entire system, thus affecting the behaviors of those working within other areas, the experience of customers, and important organizational results. Behavioral Systems Analysis (BSA) focuses on these complex contingencies from the macro system all the way down to individual behavior.
This book contains articles by internationally recognized experts in Behavioral Systems Analysis who discuss the role of organizational practices in their study of performance improvement and cultural change from both practical and conceptual perspectives. Business and non-profit managers will find tools and case studies to help understand and diagnose their organization’s dynamics. Scholars will appreciate articles’ theory and real-world descriptions when considering their own research direction. Finally, all students of management theory, behavior analysis, and human resources will find this collection a thought-provoking tool for their understanding of behavioral systems and their application in organizations.
This book was published as a special issue in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.
1. Preface Timothy Ludwig and Ramona Houmanfar PART 1 Understanding Complex System Contingencies in Organizations 2. An Integrated Approach for Conducting a Behavioral Systems Analysis Lori H. Diener, Heather M. McGee, and Caio F. Miguel 3. Iterative Processes and Reciprocal Controlling Relationships in a Systemic Intervention Jon E. Krapfl, John Cooke, Timothy Sullivan, and William Cogar 4. Behavioral System Feedback Measurement Failure: Sweeping Quality under the Rug Maria T. Mihalic and Timothy D. Ludwig 5. Strengthening The Focus On Business Results: The Need For Systems Approaches In OBM Cloyd Hyten 6. Walden Two Revisited: Optimizing Behavioral Systems William B. Abernathy 7. Use of a Cooperative to Interlock Contingencies and Balance the Commonwealth Mark Alavosius, Jim Getting, Joseph Dagen, William Newsome, and Bill Hopkins PART 2 Understanding Complex Cultural Contingencies 8. The Role of Advocacy Organizations in Reducing Negative Externalities Anthony Biglan 9. Identifying and Extinguishing Dysfunctional and Deadly Organizational Practices Thomas C. Mawhinney 10. Role of Communication Networks in Behavioral Systems Analysis Ramona Houmanfar, Nischal Joseph Rodrigues, and Gregory S. Smith 11. A Selectionist Perspective on Systemic and Behavioral Change in Organizations Ingunn Sandaker 12. Organizational Performance and Customer Value Donald Tosti and Scott A. Herbst 13. Behavioral Systems Analysis of Behavior Analysis as a Scientific System Linda J. Hayes, Erick M. Dubuque, Mitch J. Fryling, and Joshua K. Pritchard
Timothy Ludwig is a senior consultant for Transformation Systems Inc. and Safety Performance Solutions. Dr. Ludwig is a full professor at Appalachian State University where he was named a University Deans’ Distinguished Graduate Faculty for his contributions to the nationally recognized Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Resources Management Masters program. He is currently serving on the Board of the Organizational Behavior Management Network as a past president and is the current editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.
Ramona Houmanfar is an Assistant Professor in an internationally recognized doctoral program in Behavior Analysis at the University of Nevada, Reno. She has served as the Director of Organizational Behavior Management Network and is currently serving as the senior co-chair of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS), and editor of the Organizational Behavior Management Section of CCBS. Dr. Houmanfar offers courses in psychology and organizational change, and trains doctoral students in the areas of instructional design, communication, and productivity improvement. She has co-published a book, Organizational Change (Context Press, 2001).