BEM - Behavior Engineering Model (1978)

Tom Gilbert

Geary Rummler

Dale Brethower

Gilbert’s Behavior Engineering Model (BEM) identified six key variables determining performance –three on the performer’s environment (Data, Instruments, Incentives), three belonging to the individual (Knowledge, Capacity, Motives) and included consequences as a feedback loop that reinforced or reduced individual performance.

Instead of focusing on optimizing subsystems –as Taylor’s focus on individual’s time and motion, Mayo’s focus on extrinsic incentives or Gilbreth’s over-emphasis on individual process optimization-, Gilbert’s BEM “Six Boxes” –as it became nicknamed-  offered a systemic view of individual performance that shed light on the interaction of multiple variables that influenced performance. By working on entire performance system instead of one of its subsystems, the BEM not only increased the chances of success of performance solutions, but also increased their durability.