Comm 535 Course

Driving & Restraining Forces

Once we've identified that there is a performance gap and its worth pursuing, we need to figure out the cause. It's very easy when a problem occurs, to jump to the assumption that an individual is to blame, that training is required, or altering "this" or "that" will solve the problem. But experts conclude that individual factors are not the most common reasons for performance barriers. So what is and how do we fix it?

Gilbert's 1978 Behavior Engineering Model

Thanks to Gilbert's 1978 Behavior Engineering Model, we now recognize that there are 2 main factors that influence performance- individual factors and environmental factors. Notice below that Gilbert's original BEM breaks down these factors into the column headings: Information, Instrumentation and Motivation.

At the end of the day, this model summarizes that environmental supports include data, resources and incentives while an individual's repertory consists of knowledge, capacity and motives.

Reflection

Have you experienced a situation at work where only one of these factors influenced a performance problem? Or have you found there to be more than cause? Which do you think is most influential in problems of performance in the workplace?

2003 Updated BEM
(Behavior Engineering Model)

Roger Chevalier updated the original Behavior Engineering Model after years of implementation and feedback from managers who were working on the front line to support performance problems. (Chevalier, 2014) The updated model maintains the impact of both the environment and the individual on performance, but simplifies the grid into 8 items- environmental factors which include Information, Resources and Incentives, and individual factors which consist of Knowledge/Skills, Capacity and Motives.

Reflection

How do these revisions influence the model as a whole? Have these revisions clarified the role that the environmental and individual factors play in driving performance? Have your answers changed from the reflection above?

Performance Analysis Job Aid

In his work with Managers, Roger Chevalier, CPT developed a performance analysis job aid in the 1990s to help identify the root causes of performance problems. This job aid was titled the Performance Discrepancy Force Field Analysis Worksheet and was the impetus for the updated BEM discussed above. In his description of force field analysis, Chevalier uses the terms driving forces and restraining forces.  

Driving Forces

Chevalier describes driving forces as those forces helping performance. "Driving forces are those factors that are already working to close the gap between the present level of performance and desired levels of performance. These are identified and evaluated as to their relative strength on a +1 to +4 scale." (Chevalier, 2008, p.2)

Restraining Forces

Restraining forces on the other hand are those factors that are impeding performance and are critical to solving the problem. "Restraining forces are those factors that are working against closing the gap between the present level of performance and desired levels of performance. These are identified and evaluated as to their relative strength on a -1 to -4 scale." (Chevalier, 2008, p.2)

Resources

Chevalier, Roger, C.P.T. "THE EVOLUTION OF A PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS JOB AID." Performance Improvement 47.10 (2008): 9-18. ProQuest. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

Chevalier, Roger, C.P.T. "UPDATING THE BEHAVIOR ENGINEERING MODEL." 2002. Accessed from http://www.aboutiwp.com/Updating%20BEM.pdf. 28 Oct. 2014.

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