A PCT Example (Maybe)

Two things have come together for me recently. One is the PCT-based model
I'll be using to illustrate issues related to human behavior and
performance; the other is an example. Both should be of interest to this list.

THE MODEL (Actually, it's just a diagram)

        INTENTIONS OTHER ACTORS
            > & FACTORS
            > >
            > >
            \/ |
        _________ \/
        > >
        > ? |--------> ACTIONS -----------> CONDITIONS
        >________|
                                                      >
            /\ |
            > >
            > >
            > >
        PERCEPTIONS <---------------------------------

THE EXAMPLE

Many years ago, while still doing custom training development, I was working
on a sales training project for the old AT&T Yellow Pages operations. The
target group consisted of the sales canvassing crews that moved from town to
town renewing Yellow Pages ads.

One of the managers asked me if, as a side issue, I would look into a
puzzling pattern in sick time. The situation he described was essentially this:

        Some of his top salespeople would be on a roll, really
        racking up sales and then, with no warning, call in sick.
        He wanted to know why. Not all of his top salespeople
        did this, and some who weren't top salespeople did it,
        too. But he wanted to understand the motives of his top
        salespeople.

Very little sleuth work was required. I simply asked one of the salespeople
with whom I had established a pretty good relationship and he explained it
to me.

Commissions from sales formed the bulk of their compensation. Base pay was,
in their eyes, quite modest. Commissions accumulated during a two-week
period, and were paid two weeks after the end of the accumulation period.
(See the diagram below)

          Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 Wk5 Wk6 Wk7
        >----|----|----|----|----|----|----|

        <---------> X
        Commissions |
        Accumulated |
                            >
                        commissions
                           Paid

Commissions earned during weeks 1 and 2 were paid at the end of week 4.
However, sick pay was paid for in a different way Any sick days during
weeks 2 and 3 were paid for in week 4 as well. Moreover, sick pay was paid
for on the basis of base pay plus average daily commissions, not base pay
alone. If a sales rep had a bad run for a couple of days in week 2 and
started off week 3 on a good run, he could take the end of week 3 as sick
days and offset the loss of income from the bad sales days in week 2. This
boosted the size of his pay check at the end of week 4. In short, the reps
had figured out how to use sick days to manage their income stream.

The manager thought all the salespeople were (or should be) controlling for
maximum income (although he would never have stated it that way). Some
were. But some were controlling for a stable or level income stream, and
some were controlling for a minimum-sized paycheck. All were controlling
for control of income, whatever their particular intentions might have been.

Comments?
Regards,

Fred Nickols
The Distance Consulting Company
nickols@worldnet.att.net

[From Bill Powers (971018.1017 MDT)]

Fred Nichold (971018) --

Two things have come together for me recently. One is the PCT-based model
I'll be using to illustrate issues related to human behavior and
performance; the other is an example. Both should be of interest to this

list.

Both are. The diagram is a nice simplification, and the example shows how
mysteries can be cleared up with PCT. By George, I think he's got it.

Bill P.

THE MODEL (Actually, it's just a diagram)

       INTENTIONS OTHER ACTORS
           > & FACTORS
           > >
           > >
           \/ |
       _________ \/
       > >
       > ? |--------> ACTIONS -----------> CONDITIONS
       >________|
                                                     >
           /\ |
           > >
           > >
           > >
       PERCEPTIONS <---------------------------------

THE EXAMPLE

Many years ago, while still doing custom training development, I was working
on a sales training project for the old AT&T Yellow Pages operations. The
target group consisted of the sales canvassing crews that moved from town to
town renewing Yellow Pages ads.

One of the managers asked me if, as a side issue, I would look into a
puzzling pattern in sick time. The situation he described was essentially

this:

···

       Some of his top salespeople would be on a roll, really
       racking up sales and then, with no warning, call in sick.
       He wanted to know why. Not all of his top salespeople
       did this, and some who weren't top salespeople did it,
       too. But he wanted to understand the motives of his top
       salespeople.

Very little sleuth work was required. I simply asked one of the salespeople
with whom I had established a pretty good relationship and he explained it
to me.

Commissions from sales formed the bulk of their compensation. Base pay was,
in their eyes, quite modest. Commissions accumulated during a two-week
period, and were paid two weeks after the end of the accumulation period.
(See the diagram below)

         Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 Wk5 Wk6 Wk7
       >----|----|----|----|----|----|----|

       <---------> X
       Commissions |
       Accumulated |
                           >
                       commissions
                          Paid

Commissions earned during weeks 1 and 2 were paid at the end of week 4.
However, sick pay was paid for in a different way Any sick days during
weeks 2 and 3 were paid for in week 4 as well. Moreover, sick pay was paid
for on the basis of base pay plus average daily commissions, not base pay
alone. If a sales rep had a bad run for a couple of days in week 2 and
started off week 3 on a good run, he could take the end of week 3 as sick
days and offset the loss of income from the bad sales days in week 2. This
boosted the size of his pay check at the end of week 4. In short, the reps
had figured out how to use sick days to manage their income stream.

The manager thought all the salespeople were (or should be) controlling for
maximum income (although he would never have stated it that way). Some
were. But some were controlling for a stable or level income stream, and
some were controlling for a minimum-sized paycheck. All were controlling
for control of income, whatever their particular intentions might have been.

Comments?
Regards,

Fred Nickols
The Distance Consulting Company
nickols@worldnet.att.net