The Theory of Planned Behavior
of Icek Ajzen
helps to understand how we can change the behavior of people. The TPB is a
theory which predicts deliberate behavior, because behavior can be
deliberative and planned.
TPB is the successor of the similar
Theory of Reasoned Action of Ajzen and Fishbein (1975, 1980). The
succession was the result of the discovery that behavior appeared not to be
100% voluntary and under control, which resulted in the addition of
perceived behavioral control. With this addition the theory was called the
Theory of Planned Behavior.
Briefly, according to TPB, human action is guided by three kinds of considerations:
Beliefs (beliefs about the likely consequences of the behavior)
2. Normative Beliefs
(beliefs about the normative expectations of others)
3. Control Beliefs
(beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate or impede
performance of the behavior).
Ajzen's three considerations are
crucial in circumstances / projects / programs when changing behavior of
In their respective aggregates,
behavioral beliefs produce a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the
behavior, normative beliefs result in perceived social pressure or
subjective norm, and control beliefs give rise to perceived behavioral
control. In combination, attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and
perception of behavioral control lead to the formation of a behavioral
intention. As a general rule, the more favorable the attitude and subjective
norm and the greater the perceived control, the stronger should be the
person’s intention to perform the behavior in question.
Recently (2002) Ajzen investigated Residual Effects of Past on Later Behavior. He came to the
conclusion that this factor indeed exists but cannot be described to
habituation as many people think. A review of existing evidence suggests
that the residual impact of past behavior is attenuated when measures of
intention and behavior are compatible and vanishes when intentions are
strong and well formed, expectations are realistic, and specific plans for
intention implementation have been developed.
A research project in the travel industry resulted in the conclusion that
past travel choice contributes to the prediction of later behavior only if
circumstances remain relatively stable.
Example: The Theory of Planned Behavior
can help to explain why advertising campaigns merely providing
information do not work. Increasing knowledge alone does not help to
change behavior very much. Campaigns that aim at attitudes, perceived
norms and control in making the change or buying certain goods have better results.
Similarly in Value Based Management,
programs that focus only on
explanation of the importance of Managing for Value (knowledge transfer)
will likely not succeed. Rather one should convince people to change their intention
to change by giving a lot of attention to attitudes, subjective norms and
perceived behavior control.
Book: Icek Ajzen, Martin Fishbein - Understanding Attitudes and Predicting
Social Behavior -
Change Phases |
Change Approaches |
Change Model Beckhard |
Force Field Analysis |
Bases of Social Power |
Core Groups |
Business Process Reengineering |
| Managing for Value |
Levels of Culture
Changing Organization Cultures
More management models