The Hawthorne Studies

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 289
  • Published : August 25, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
The Hawthorne studies
1.0 Introduction
1.1 Mayoists brought a fundamental new paradigm.
The scientific management movement led the industrial revolution to change our way of life, our perception of work and our understanding for what an organization is. This paradigm shifted to the Human relations movement (led by the so called "Mayoists") as a result of the Hawthorne studies, which took into consideration the physical, social and psychological needs of employees unlike the previous paradigm. Taylorists considered the employee as good as a productive machine can be. In return, the Mayoists brought change to the environment of employee and employer. Not just that, but a whole fundamental change into the development of management thought. Furthermore, this movement was a good mediator that strategic management used to utilize its employees productivity into achieving the firm's goals. 1.2 The essay content

This essay will consider the human relations movement in reference to the Hawthorne studies, since they are both two faces for one coin. It will discuss the birth of this movement from the Hawthorne studies and contrast between this movement and the previous paradigm (scientific management). Then, it will take a look at how this ideology is still made use of in strategic management. Scientific management was the dominant way of management, reformed in the late 1800s and early 1900s from the principles set by Fredrick Taylor (1856–1915), which considered the one best way to do a job, is constructed in a logical, calculated, statistical and scientific standard (Wren & Bediean 2009). How scientific management perceives the worker and organization, will be analyzed under a comparison between it and the human relations movement. 2.0 The Human relations movement

Human relation movement was basically the outcome of the Hawthorne studies research findings, which revolved around criticizing the concepts of efficiency regarding labors in scientific management. The Hawthorne studies were conducted in the Hawthorne plant outside of Chicago of the Western electric under sociologists and psychologists such as Elton Mayo (1880–1949) (Wren & Bediean 2009). 3.0 The phases of the studies & the outcomes

3.1 Illumination studies
The first set of these studies were the illumination studies (1924–1927) that broke the myth that the degree of illumination influenced the worker directly to be less or more productive, rather than being just a factor that influences the factory working environment (Anteby & Khurana 2010). 3.2 Relay-Assembly test room study

Other experiments were conducted after the unexpected results in the previous studies that were called the Relay-Assembly test room study (1927- 1932). Seven millions relays were produced at the western electric annually and thus, the effects of break periods were important to the company, due to the fact that individual production results in the overall production (Anteby & Khurana 2010). Chronologically, another study took place at the mica splitting department (1928 –1930) that included the outcome of financial incentives (Anteby & Khurana 2010). The fact that the Relay-Assembly test room study was conducted on a small group of female workers whom their salary had been increased, the supervisory style in their department was “opened”, the less formal way of work and the position of having all the lights of attention pointed to them, attributed to the assemblers increasing productivity according to Clair E. Turner, an MIT professor of biology and public health (Wren & Bediean 2009). 3.3 The Interviewing process

Another study that contributed much to our understanding of the human relations movement was the Interviewing process (1928–1930). These interviews were indirect inquiries that encouraged the worker to talk about anything they chose. This process of emotional release meant that the time needed for the interview was about three times...
tracking img