The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) of Icek Ajzen (1988, 1991) helps to understand how we can influence the behaviour of others through a prediction of deliberate behaviour. This was because, according to the proponents of this theory, behaviour can be planned. The theory was the result of the discovery that behaviour appeared to be not 100% voluntary and under control.
The three considerations of the Theory of Planned Behaviour
ü Behavioural Beliefs. These are beliefs about the likely consequences of the behaviour.
ü Normative Beliefs. These are beliefs about the normative expectations of others.
ü Control Beliefs. These are beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate, or may impede, the performance of the behaviour.
The three considerations are found useful in circumstances / projects / programs when the behaviour of people needs to be changed.
In their respective aggregates, behavioural beliefs produce a favourable or unfavourable attitude toward the behaviour, normative beliefs result in perceived social pressure or subjective norm, and control beliefs give rise to perceived behavioural control. In combination, the attitude toward the behaviour, subjective norm, and perception of behavioural control lead to the formation of a behavioural intention. As a general rule, if the attitude and subjective norm are more favourable, the perceived control will be greater, and the person’s intention to perform the behaviour in question should be stronger.
One area where The Theory of Planned Behaviour has been widely use is in the field of marketing communication. It has been most commonly use to explain why advertising campaigns which focuses merely providing information and/product knowledge do not contribute much to success. Improved knowledge does not help to change behaviour very much, and may in fact become a liability when it is done to show the minimum threshold a product need to meet to even be considered. Campaigns that aim at attitudes, perceived norms, and control in making the change or buying certain goods, have consistently shown better results.
Similarly in management, programmes which focus only on explanation of the importance of something (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 behaviour control.