Sunday, 22 August 2021

Hawthorne Experiments and Human Relations


Hawthorne Experiments and Human Relations

Ø  Reasons for human behavior at work

Ø  Real cause of human behavior

Ø  Human relation approach of management

Ø  Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company, outside Chicago, manufacturing of telephone bell, 30000 employees (thirty thousand)

Ø  Problems related to pensions, workers benefits, sickness benefits

Ø  Productivity was low

Ø  1924 : National academy of science to investigate problems (low productivity)

Ø  Elton Mayo (psychologist), whitehead and Roethis Berger(sociologist) and William Dickson (company representative)

Ø  Study the relationship between productivity and physical working conditions

Ø  Four phases: each phase attempting to answer the question raised at the previous phase

Ø  Four phases of Hawthorne Experiment:

o   Illumination Experiment (1924-27): experiment to determine the effect of change in illumination on productivity.

o   Relay assembly test room experiment (1927-28): experiment to determine the effects of changes in hours and other working conditions on productivity.

o   Mass interviewing Program(1928-1930): Conducting plant-wide interviews to determine worker attitude and sentiments.

o   Bank wiring observation room experiment(1931-32): determination and analysis of social organization at work.

Ø  Illumination experiments:

o   Levels of illumination (light at work place, physical factors) affected the productivity

o   Hypothesis: higher illumination- higher productivity

o   Group of workers

§  Two separate groups

§  Experiment group: higher light illumination

§  Control group: continue constant illumination intensity

o   Increase illumination in experimental group, both group increased productivity.

o   Decreased intensity: No impact of deceased intensity on experimental group, decreased intensity at moon light level only

o   No impact of light intensity on productivity

Ø  Relay Assembly Test Room Experiment:

o   Effect of changes in various job condition on group productivity.

o   Relay assembly test room, two girls were chosen. They were asked to choose four more girls as coworkers (2+4=6).

o   Observer, girls were consulted before any changes

o   Changes and their result:

§  Incentive scheme: extra pay on the productivity of small group (other 5 girls output)

·         The productivity increased as compared to before

§  Two five minutes rests: morning and evening

·         Increased to 10 minutes

·         Productivity increased

§  Rest period was reduced to 5 Minutes but frequency was increased

·         Productivity decreased, affected the rhythm of work

§  Two rest of 10 minutes:

·         Morning: coffee or soup

·         Evening: Snacks

·         Productivity increased

·         Changes in working hours and work days

o   Girls were allowed to go home early

o   Productivity increased

§  Absenteeism decreased, morale increased, less supervision required

§  Revert back to original position, productivity increased

§  Development of attitude towards work, feeling of stability , sense of belongingness , freedom, responsibility and self-discipline

Ø  Mass Interview Program:

o   20,000 interviews were conducted

o   Employee attitude towards supervision, company, insurance plans, promotion and wages.

o   Complaints are symptoms of personal disturbance.

Ø  Bank wiring observation room experiment:

o   14 male workers, functioning of small group and its impact on individual behavior

o   9-wireman, 3-solderman, 2-inspector

o   Average wages on the basis of group output (Bonus)

o   Hypothesis : workers would produce more and in order to the advantage of group bonus (Earn more)

o   Workers decided target for them, less than company’s target

o   4 reasons:

§  Fear of unemployment: more production/ head, some workers would be put out of employment

§  Fear of raising standard

§  Protection of slow workers

§  Satisfaction on the part of management

·         Accepted lower production

·         No one was fired/retrenched

Ø  Implications of Hawthorne Experiments:

o   Group set certain norms, including personal conduct, employees create groups which may be different form of their official group

o   Social organization at work.

o   Organization is basically influenced by social factors

o   Elton Mayo “ A social system”

o   Conflict between organization and group created

o   Leadership: important for directing group behavior

o   Formally appointed leader: supervisor

o   Informal leaders plays important role in directing group behavior

o   Supervision:

§  friendly supervisionà increased productivity

§  Maintaining orders, controlled atmosphere :low productivity

o   Communication:

§  Important aspect of organization

§  Workers can be explained

§  Participation of workers in decision making and problem solving

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