hawthorne studies

Length: 12 Pages 3095 Words

The Hawthorne studies, initially undertaken to investigate the relationship between work-place conditions and worker productivity, introduced a wide range of topics to the field of management study. Investigators found no strong relationship between workplace conditions and productivity but reached several conclusions: individual work behavior is driven by a complex set of factors; work groups develop norms which mediate between the needs of the individual and institution; employees should not be considered appendages of machinery; awareness of employee sentiments and participation can reduce resistance to change; the workplace is an interlocking social system, not simply a production system; social structure maintained through symbols of prestige and power. These findings opened the door to the study of client-centered therapy, small group behavior, and organization theory and research methodology. The Hawthorne studies represented groundbreaking work in the field of management when they were undertaken in 1924. While the original intention of the studies was to determine the effect of workplace conditions on employee productivity, in line with the Tay-lorist view of management of that day their findings addressed topics far a Continue...

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(Retrospective methodological study of the Hawthorne experiments. (1968) Group Dy- namics, 3rd edn, New York: Harper Row. The Hawthorne studies have been credited as the father of such far-ranging social science topics as client-centred therapy (Rogers 1942), small group behaviour (Homans 1941, 1950; Whyte 1943; Blau 1955; Cartwright and Zander 1968), organization theory (Bar- nard 1938; Simon 1945; Parsons 1960) and research methodology (Selltiz et al. In response to findings, management promptly instituted rest breaks more widely in the company, but did not see any significant signs of increased productivity. (Discusses the methodological implications of the Hawthorne Effect. Within this context, the Hawthorne stud- ies were undertaken to investigate the effect of work conditions on employee productiv- ity. (Useful text on the dynamics of small groups. These findings opened the doors to a wide range of topics in the study of management. Their goal was to gener- ate hypotheses to be tested by future investi- gators (and on that count they were very successful). Hawthorne investigators util- ized field-based research, talking to practitio- ners rather than relying on the library and laboratory. (First response to early sociological critics. The studies were ex- ploratory in nature. In the final experiment of this stage, when experimenters only pretended to in- crease and decrease light intensity, workers commented that the supposedly brighter light was much more pleasant. (Describes the Hawthorne experiments within the larger context of organizational theory.


Academic and Business Research
An example of how academic and business research overlap is witnessed in the work of Henri Fayol and what are known as the Hawthorne studies. (1137 5 )

Management Theories
Perhaps the most important outgrowth of the Hawthorne studies was the recognition that there is a social aspect to work. Adherents (1337 5 )

The History of Scientific Management
2008, p. 1). The Hawthorne studies also led to numerous theories in management that were related to job redesign, feedback, and continuous improvement. (1620 6 )

Worker Motivation
57-58). By 1932, the Hawthorne studies showed that interpersonal relationships were the primary factors in determining productivity rates. (3022 12 )

History of Work Relationships
The Hawthorne studies in turn led to numerous other behavioral studies, not only of the motivation of workers but also of the nature of organizational behavior (3096 12 )

Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
Works Cited Abel, Darrel. The Moral Picturesque: Studies in Hawthorne's Fiction. West Lafayette: Purdue UP, 1988. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. (2104 8 )