Critically Evaluate Reinforcement Theory Analysis

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Section 1: Overview of topic
For the purpose of this assignment, I will be analysing and critically evaluating a theory of motivation. Reinforcement Theory. I will discuss the different methods of Reinforcement Theory and also discuss how Reinforcement Theory applies in a workplace or organisation and provide some example to illustrate the theory.
To begin with, Business Dictionary defines Motivation as the “internal and external factor that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job or to make an effort to attain a goal”. There are different theories of motivation e.g. Maslow’s Theory, Two factor Theory and so on, but my main focus is the Reinforcement Theory.
BF Skinner and his colleague established
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The Reinforcement Theory ignores inner motivation. The theory only acknowledges behaviour and consequences without taking inner motivation into consideration. (WikiBooks, 2011) Anthony Chelte (1998) argues that the Reinforcement Theory completely ignores an individual’s internal motivation. In his view, people seek to accomplish a set task, or reach a predetermined goal, simply because it feels good to know that a job has been done and done well (p.10). In other words, reaching the goal is the…show more content…
Using the Reinforcement Theory it is difficult to identify rewards or punishment. According to Booth-Butterfield every human being are dissimilar and unique. The Reinforcement theory does not take this into account. A reward or punishment that works for a certain individual may not work for someone else. For example, let’s say an employee lacks self-esteem, a word of encouragement from a manager may act as a reward to this employee. However, if a raise in pay were the reward in this situation, the lack of self-esteem may still be present.
When a form of behaviour is complex, it is hard to put the Reinforcement Theory into use. This in my opinion is another weakness of the Reinforcement Theory. According to B.F. Redmond, Reinforcement Theory “is not equally reliable in all situations. Using it to impact behaviours involved in complicated task work can be problematic. It is easier to reinforce behaviour that applies to a simple task because positive and negative behaviours are easier to keep track of and modify.” (Redmond,
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