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Public defence: Sigridur Sigurjonsdottir

Sigridur Sigurjonsdottir will defend her thesis “Performance Feedback in Organizational Behavior Management” for the PhD in Behavior Analysis.

The title of the thesis is “Performance Feedback in Organizational Behavior Management.”

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Ordinary opponents

Chair of the public defense

Professor, Per Holth, OsloMet 


  • Abstract

    Using performance feedback in organizations has a long history, yet the definitions and explanations used to understand feedback lack unity. This thesis builds on findings from Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), a field within Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

    The vocabulary and methods of ABA allow for a conceptually coherent account of feedback. Three journal articles are included in this thesis.

    The first article (Study 1) is a quantitative review of performance feedback in organizational settings, providing an overview of the literature and of what feedback characteristics are associated with performance improvement.

    A meta-analysis of 96 applied feedback applications from 1998-2018 revealed a consistent effectiveness of feedback, both alone and in combination with other intervention components.

    If feedback is associated with positive reinforcement, feedback interventions should increase job-satisfaction and discretionary effort, which is the subject of the second article (Study 2).

    OBM comprises little research on these variables. Drawing on the literature of organizational research, a review and meta-analysis on the relationship between feedback and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) was conducted.

    21 correlational measures were identified and compared in a meta-analysis. There is a moderate relationship between reports of more frequent feedback and reports of OCB.

    There is not enough research to draw conclusions about the differential effect of positive and negative feedback. The research efforts could benefit from guidance from OBM, and OCB is one of several measures that might serve as a basis for more social validity measures in OBM.

    The third article (Study 3) presents a field study targeting eco-driving in a group of professional truck drivers. The study sought to reduce engine idling (one of the contributions to greenhouse gas emissions) by providing drivers of heavy-duty trucks with both group and individual feedback, information, and instructions.

    Effect-sizes and visual analysis revealed a significant and important effect of the intervention. Feedback alone was effective for some drivers, but the overall effectiveness of the intervention was highest after all components had been implemented.

    These individual differences are intriguing and further demonstrate the importance of going beyond mere descriptions. Understanding the contingencies responsible for behavior change is important. This knowledge can in turn be shared with organizations and contribute to a better world through behavior analysis.