Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #428
Looking at the Big Picture Through Systemic Change
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Toronto
Area: OBM
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Peter-Cornelius Dams (Dams & Associates, Inc.)
The TPS on a Napkin: A Practical OBM Job Aid for ABA Practitioners
Domain: Service Delivery
PETER-CORNELIUS DAMS (Dams & Associates, Inc.)
Abstract: ABA practitioners face increasing demand for their services. To meet this demand, leaders of ABA service agencies must juggle the dual challenge of maintaining service quality while growing their organization with staff who have little experience. This might work for a while, but unless internal operations keep up with the pace, problems in service delivery will arise. Business owners and managers who are excellent clinicians may struggle when it comes to diagnosing and improving organizational performance. This presentation introduces a proven tool for improving organizational health. The Total Performance System (TPS; Brethower, 1982) can help leaders and managers to quickly and effectively troubleshoot organizational, process, and employee issues. Being able to draw the TPS (e.g., on a napkin, flipchart, or whiteboard) creates an immediate job aid which allows them to structure conversations about what is working and what is not – without blaming and finger-pointing. The completed analysis can be used to develop action plans for improving performance. After this presentation, attendees will be able to (1) describe the seven elements of the TPS; (2) sketch the TPS so they can apply it readily in any situation; and (3) identify which interventions to start with.
Intentional Systemic Change in Pursuit of Competing Objectives
Domain: Theory
DOUGLAS ROBERTSON (Florida International University), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)
Abstract: We discuss a case study in a line of behavioral analytic research on intentional, systemic change in Public Metropolitan Research Universities (Robertson & Pelaez, 2016, 2018; Robertson, under review). Concepts employed include selecting environments, interlocking behavioral contingencies, metacontingencies, macrobehaviors, macrocontingencies, and rule-governed behavior. In 2015, the case university’s leadership implemented a rule (Pelaez, 2013) that when an existing faculty line opens in an Academic Unit (Department), funds supporting that line come to central Academic Affairs. No more than 50% of the funds can return to the Academic Unit for purposes of faculty hiring after Academic Affairs reviews and approves the Academic Unit’s request. Academic Affairs invests these accumulated funds from these faculty lines primarily in Temporary Faculty (e.g., Instructors) to teach high enrollment, high failure, gateway courses and in cluster hires in narrowly defined research areas, both investments directed at targeted metrics in performance-based funding systems. This paper discusses the consequences of this rule and others that radically redistribute resources specifically regarding the ratio of Permanent (Tenured and Tenure-Earning) Faculty to Temporary (Contract) Faculty at this Carnegie Highest Research Activity University. The analysis suggests that the University’s research breadth, doctoral education, and faculty governance are adversely affected by this intervention.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh