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Enhancing Incentive Programs with Proximal Goals and Immediate Feedback: Engineered Labor Standards and Technology Enhancements in Stocker Replenishment

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Timothy D. Ludwig Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Under baseline conditions warehouse stockers (n = 23) could earn incentives if their team performed above the team quota of 18 cases stocked per hour. They were also subject to disciplinary action if they failed to regularly meet individual stocking quotas. In spite of these contingencies the stockers failed to receive bonus payments most of the months preceding the intervention. The intervention package included a task analysis in the form of engineered labor standards. Empirically derived time standards were combined to provide engineered standards for all stocking tasks. A specific time duration goal for each task was presented prior to execution of each task. Percent of standard time used to complete each task was then presented immediately upon completion of each task via a handheld Electronic Performance Monitoring (EPM) device. Thus, task goals and performance feedback immediately preceded and followed performance of each stocking task. Immediately upon onset of the intervention, employee performance increased and eventually averaged 4.46 cases stocked per hour per person, an increase of 24% over the baseline phase. Performance was maintained for the 10-week duration of the study. Team members received the maximum bonus of $300 per month for 9 consecutive months under the intervention system. Performance levels in a comparison team at another warehouse were unchanged during the entire study. Results were discussed in terms of expanding the role of Organizational Behavior Management professionals and operational and ethical issues associated with EPM technologies.

Additional Information

Publication
Goomas, D. T., & Ludwig, T. D. (2007). Enhancing Incentive Programs with Proximal Goals and Immediate Feedback: Engineered Labor Standards and Technology Enhancements in Stocker Replenishment. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 27(1), 33-68. doi:10.1300/J075v27n01_02 (ISSN: 0160-8061) Version of record published by Taylor & Francis and is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/
Language: English
Date: 2007
Keywords
Incentive programs, immediate performance feedback, proximal goals, electronic performance monitoring, engineered labor standard