The Hawthorne Studies

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). . 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 more than normal (Anteby ; Khurana 2010). The results were, as the workers expressed themselves more freely, they talked about improved working conditions and better wages; the astonishing part was that none of these occurred.

It was deduced that the release of emotions had a good impact on the worker feelings about their working environment (Wren ; Bediean 2009). Another study _The Bank Wiring Observation Room Study_ was conducted after Clair Turner revealed that mica splitting study was not yielding useful information and suggested the substitution of men in a test room, and thus the study was conducted on 14 men (Wren ; Bediean 2009). The method followed was that no visitors allowed, earnings based on output of the group and a “friendly and supportive” supervision to be followed (Wren ; Bediean 2009).

The findings were that the men in this “informal group” were able to restrict their output as what they thought to be a fair day’s working as well as playing the role of a protective shield against employer exploitation and by so, these men were able to use this “informal group” formation as a tool to control each other’s actions and feelings (Wren & Bediean 2009). 3. 4 The Hawthorne effect According to Elton Mayo and F. J. Reothlisberger, the reason for the increased production, regardless of the alternating conditions in some of the studies (wages, illumination, breaks, etc… was due to the workers feelings; that they were the source of attention, which was defined by them as the Hawthorne effect (Khai 2010). 4. 0 Human relations & Scientific management To see how the Mayoists approach differed from those used in scientific management and to contrast between two giant doctrines of management in the early and midst 20th century, a fair indication must be noted, that human relations movement was the humane missing supplementary piece of scientific management.

The ignorance of employee’s needs in an organization, living in the scientific management golden age, stimulated researchers like Elton Mayo and F. Reothlisberger to incorporate the human factors as a body of professional management (Samanta 2010). Even though Fredrick Taylor noted that a ‘mental revolution’ needs to be the basis of an organization’s relation with its employees, it didn’t contain much of the individual’s psychology rather than a sincere understanding between the employee and the employer in relation to their roles, duties and rights concerned with their department (Wren ; Bediean 2009).

For example, the basic unit of an organization in scientific management was the worker, whom, according to the division of labour concept, lived working in one field, isolated from his colleagues and then was expected to understand that he must fulfil the organization objectives, because the organization provided him with his needs (Khan 2009)! On the other hand, the human relations movement thought of the informal groups as the basis for an organization (Khan 2009).

Which is rejected by scientific management because of what it called ‘working soldiering’ (Wren ; Bediean 2009). Informal groups granted the worker and the organization respect of their needs, regardless of the restriction of output, which can be solved by following other methods than isolating the worker. From this point, the idea of creating motivation factors for employees arose (Wren ; Bediean 2009).

The Hawthorne studies thus brought a fundamental change, making Researchers start to develop a better understanding on the functions of the firm and its employee such as, Fredrick Herzberg, that separated between what an organization should provide to its employees to satisfy them about their working environment and how to motivate them to rise efficiency instead of considering them as machines that get more work done as you put more fuel into it; which is money in this case (Wren ; Bediean 2009).

Though both considered division of labour as an inevitable procedure, they differed in dealing with this problem, ranging from monetary solutions to more humane methods that tried by rest periods and humanely skilled supervision _that makes the worker recognizes the authority rather than just following it_ to cure the “pessimistic reveries” caused by “anomie” in the minds of unprofessional employees. Now that was a huge impact on scientific management picture of a supervisor. Looking for example at the pig iron experiment conducted by Fredrick Taylor, productive labours like Schmidt were told to get higher wages ‘….

When this man tells you to walk, you walk; when he tells you to sit down, you sit down… ’ (Taylor, FW 1911, p. 5). This shows a complete authority given to the supervisor to exploit the worker like Schmidt using money. Thus, the function of the leader didn’t just have a financial engineering approach, but a social and psychological approach was to be considered as well. We can summarize the two ideology followed during these two paradigms as the Social Man versus the Economic Man.

These differences brought up more and more researches to satisfy the organizational goals in a changing environment of mentalities, since the informal groups ‘meant that shaping human behaviour was much more complicated than the then-dominant paradigm of scientific management had led managers to believe’ (Anteby ; Khurana 2010, p. 1). And thus more understanding to management and labour evolved, such that terms like efficiency (employee trying to reach their objectives) and effectiveness (organization trying to reach their objectives) differed (Wren ; Bediean 2009). 5. 0 Human relations in Strategic management

Amazing was the achievements of the Hawthorne studies as we have seen. From the 1950s till the 1970s and the rise of strategic management, human relations management was incarnated in the system of providing the employees with all the means of satisfaction and motivation to maximize their productivity and to make them as loyal as possible to their firm. After the paradigm shift to strategic management, human relations movement needed to evolve to keep up with the demand of a better management theory. Human relations management thus, emerged with strategic management concepts.

According to Inyang. B. J (2010, p. 3)’ It now supports the company’s competitive advantage by providing high quality people and by helping business managers strategically plan the functions of the human capital within the organizations’. It makes use of the human resources with no mere saturation of employment practices such as recruitment, the way of choosing the employee, training and administrative compensation and benefits, but instead directing all of that in a strategic way to achieve the organization objectives and to gain a competitive advantage (Inyang. B. J 2010).

For the sake of achieving the organization strategy and the firms’ goals, this movement considered how an organization functions its performance and resource as sine qua non (without which _there is_ nothing), indicating that the organization performance became the standard instead of individuals (Inyang. B. J 2010). 6. 0 Conclusion Human relations movement truly destroyed the exploitation perspective of some managers, to prove that the best capital for any company isn’t the money capital but its professional staff which will make sure this company continues as a leading figure in its firm.

In conclusion, we saw how human relations movement approaches differed from those used in scientific management and how it brought the un-denied change to the concepts of management thought. (1643 words) Resources:- * Anteby, M ; Khurana, R 2010, The Human Relations Movement, Harvard Business School, viewed 20 September 2010, ; http://www. library. hbs. edu/hc/hawthorne/anewvision. html#e ; * Inyang.

B, J 2010, Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM): A Paradigm Shift for Achieving Sustained Competitive Advantage in Organization, International Bulletin of Business Administration, viewed 20 September 2010, ; http://www. eurojournals. com/ibba_7_03. pdf ; * Khan, I 2009, Scientific Management and Human Relations Movement, Scribd, viewed 20 September 2010, ; http://www. scribd. com/doc/7482428/Scientific-Management-and-Human-Relations-Movement ; * Khai, E 2010, Hawthorne Effect (Mayo), viewed 20 September 2010, 12 Manage The executive fast track, ; http://www. 2manage. com/methods_mayo_hawthorne_effect. html; * Samanta 2010, Introduction to Human Resources Management and the Environment, Broadcast pdf Documents, viewed 20 September 2010, ; http://pdfcast. org/pdf/introduction-to-human-resource-management-and-the-environment; * Taylor, FW 1911, The Principles of Scientific Management, Harper ; Brothers, New York. * Wren, A and Bedeian, G 2009, ‘the evolution of management thought’, 6th edn, hoffman, USA