Hawthorne studies and the contribution of Hawthorne Experiments in the development of Managerial thinking
Posted on: Monday, September 18, 2017
Harvard University research team conducted a series of studies. George Elton Mayo, F. I. Roethlisberger, W. J. Dicton and others were the members of the team. The studies were conducted at Hawthorne plant of the western electric company, Chicago (USA) between 1924 and 1932.
Four studies were conducted at the Hawthorne Plant :-
(1) Illumination or Test Room Study : The illumination study was conducted to determine the relationship between light intensity and productivity of efficiency of workers. For this purpose, three different experiments were conducted in which researchers changed light intensity. They concluded that lighting was a minor factor affecting the productivity of workers.
(2) The Relay Assembly Test Room Study : The relay assembly test room study was conducted to ascertain the factors other than the light intensity affecting the productivity. During the test researcher change working condition and they concluded that most likely cause of higher productivity was the change in social situation in the work group.
(3) Mass Interviewing Study : The third study was the mass interviewing programme. Under this programme over 21,000 employees were interviewed. They have asked some direct question and ……… on some indirect questions. And finally the researchers reached in the conclusion that work performance and the individual status in the organisation are determined not by the person himself but by the group members, peers and their personal problems also effect the feeling about his job.
(4) Bank Wiring Observation Room Study : In order to observe informal group behaviour more accurately, band wiring observation room study was undertaken. The following conclusions were drawn :-
(i) The group was restricting output by enforcing the norms or standards set by the group.
(ii) There existed internal cliques or groups which are not formed on the basis of occupation.
Conclusions / Contribution of Hawthorne Studies :
(i) Work is a group activity.
(ii) Workers form internal informal group.
(iii) Social groups influence the productivity.
(iv) Social groups determines informal norms.
(v) Group cooperation is planned.
(vi) Worker is not only rational economic being.
(vii) Supervisor behaviour affect the behaviour of worker.
(viii) Free flows of communication affects the attitude of workers towards work.
(ix) Complaints may not be statement of facts.
(x) Birth of human relation movements.