The most important contribution to the human relations movement within organizational behavior came out of the Hawthorne studies undertaken at western electric company’s Hawthorne works in Chicago in between 1924 and 1932. Main researches were Elton Mayo, Dickson, Whitehead, and Rothlisberger. The researchers originally set out to study the relationship between productivity and physical working conditions. They conducted various researches in four phases with each phase attempting to answer the question raised at the previous phase. The four phases were;
1. Experiments to determine the effects of changes in illumination on productivity; Illumination experiments (1924-27)
2. Experiments to determine the effects of changes in hours and other working conditions on productivity; Relay assembly test room experiments (1927-28).
3. Conducting plant wide interviews to determine worker attitudes and sentiments, Mass interviewing program (1928-30).
4. Determination and analysis of social organization at work; Bank wiring observation room experiments (1931-32).
The experiments began in 1924 and extended over several years. The purpose was to examine the relation of quality and quantity of illumination to efficiency of industrial workers. Control and experimental groups were established. The experimental group was presented with varying illumination intensities, while the control group worked under a constant intensity. The researches were surprised to see that productivity increased to roughly the same rate in both the test and control groups. It was only in final experiment, where they decreased illumination levels to 0.00f foot candle (roughly moonlight intensity) that an appreciable decline in output occurred. The engineers concluded that illumination intensity was not directly related to group productivity, but they could not explain the behavior they had witnessed.
Relay assembly test room experiments:-
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