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OBM & PM in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

What is organizational behavior management (OBM) and performance management (PM)? How do they relate to the applied behavior analysis (ABA) field?

Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) uses applied behavior analysis (ABA) in workplaces. It uses behavior interventions and strategies to change peoples’ behaviors in workplaces, such as businesses, governments, and etc. Wilder et. al. (2009) shares that OBM is focused on using practical strategies to improve performance of individuals, groups, and companies. For instance, an OBM within an ABA company can motivate BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs by setting their performance goals and then allow them access to rewards and incentives once goals are achieved, such as positive feedback. Many factors are considered to impact performance from individuals and companies, such as work environment, rules and regulations, behaviors of higher ups (ex: supervisor), hierarchy of management, and etc. OBM uses behavior principles, like antecedent and consequence interventions (ex: positive reinforcement), to motivate and improve employees and companies’ performances. This leads to another specialty area, known as performance management (PM).

Performance management (PM) is a specialty area within OBM that implements effective strategies proven through use of data to maximize performance in workplaces and organizations. It applies behavior principles in order to manage performance of employees, groups, and companies. Daniels (2016) explains that since PM is based on precise data approaches, solutions to issues can be repeated in the same or similar settings/environments while extended to new settings/environments with the same results. PM helps supervisors, managers, etc., know how to impact and influence behavior changes. For example, a behavior analyst provides supervision to their BCaBAs and RBTs by observing their performances as required and giving specific feedback on strengths and improvements in areas needed. PM helps higher ups in companies and organizations become effective leaders because they know strategies to manage behaviors of their employees. Performance management (PM) is a specialty area within OBM that can increase employee engagement, which leads to better financial and health outcomes for everyone from a productive work environment/setting.

Based on the ideas of OBM and PM, common business practices with behavior analytic approaches should be implemented in workplaces instead. It gives insight into employee's behaviors and performances in the workplace. Daniels (2016) describes that behavior analytic approaches can help companies and businesses understand aspects that can motivate employees, increase their performance, and help them establish a strong and trustworthy relationship with their employees. Workplaces, such as businesses and companies, that create culture cohesiveness, demonstrates inclusion and diversity of employees, has passionate leaders, etc. are developed from behavior analytic approaches. Antecedent interventions, like behavior analysts training new RBTs, and consequence interventions, such as specific positive feedback, impact a new RBT’s motivation to grow in the ABA field. Behavior analytic approaches used in workplaces help businesses and companies keep valuable employees for many years, increase work environment production, and create positive financial and health outcomes for everyone.

Stakeholders and organizations got to learn about OBM and PM. OBM is a kind of discipline within ABA for using behavior principles to achieve business goals. PM is for using effective behavior strategies from proven data to maximize employees’ performances. Behavior analytic approaches provide insight about employees and their performances in workplaces. Behavior analytic approaches should be used in workplaces to help motivate employees, impact productivity, and increase profitability for all. OBM and PM, with their behavior principles and approaches, provide positive outcomes for workplaces.

Based on this, do you think it’s important for workplaces to learn behavior principles, so it helps companies and organizations make themselves good and have valuable employees for years? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


Daniels, A. (2016). Bringing out the best in people: How to apply the astonishing power of positive reinforcement (3rd Edition). McGraw-Hill Education.

Wilder, D. A., Austin, J., & Casella, S. (2009). Applying behavior analysis in organizations: Organizational behavior management. Psychological Services, 6(3), 202–211.


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