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Hawthorne Studies

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Explain the Hawthorne Studies. The “Hawthorne Effect” is when people change their behaviour when they notice that they are being monitored. This was first thought of by Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949), who is also the inventor of the human relations school which, says that any business or an organization which wants to maximize their productivity must ensure that the workers of that organization are fully satisfied. It also says that the management should allow the workers to be a part of the decision making process of the organization, as this will make the workers feel that they have some part to play in the organization. The Hawthorne Studies are known today as the human relations school.
The Hawthorne Studies were a series of experiments which were conducted by Elton Mayo and his team over a five year period between 1927 and 1932 at the Hawthorne Plant of the Western Electric company in Chicago. Mayo believed that working environment and working conditions like lighting, heating, rest periods, incentive schemes, hours of work and so on had a significant effect on the workers productivity. During the five year period many experiments were undertaken in an attempt to create the perfect working environment and condition. Basically there were two groups in one group no changes were made. The working conditions remained the same. In the other group the working conditions were altered. Both the groups were observed. In one scenario as the heating and the other conditions were changed the productivity of the workers improved, when lightings were improved and even when the working conditions were worsened. Also the productivity increased in all groups, including the one which did not face changes in working conditions. These results surprised Mayo and his team. An example was with a group of six women assembling telephone relays. Mayo found out that whatever changes were...

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