Key Findings And Profile Of Hawthore Studies

1851 words - 8 pages


1.0 Introduction
In the early twentieth century, Elton Mayo, a famous professor of industrial management from Harvard, carried out studies at the Western Electric company’s Hawthorne works, As Jiao(2009) said “with the attempt to find the factors affecting workers’ productivity, the studies included a series of behavior experiments” which was then called as “Hawthorne Experiments”. Regardless of some controversies, conclusions from the studies not only help Mayo extended his own theory in management, but also give loads of enlightenment to other fields (such as educations、sociology 、organizational behavior, etc.)
This essay will show the key ...view middle of the document...

2.3 Experiment Three ------- Mass Interview Program
After getting the findings from the formers, Mayo and his group overtook interviews among 21,000 individuals in the company. By asking them questions like attitude to supervisors 、criticism on management style …, Mayo tried to gather more information that might affect their efficiency. However, deviating from their initial purpose, they find that “it became clear that if a channel for free expression were to be provided, the interview must be a listening rather than a questioning process” (Harvard Business School 1932). At last, it was obvious after getting the frustration and dissatisfaction off their chest, workers became more active in the workshop.

2.4 Experiment Four ------ Bank Wiring Test Room Experiment:
Beginning at November 1931, the study which included 14 males in the test room was hoped to prove that the incentive of high-pay can directly raise productivity. However, the constant middle output reveal an interesting phenomena ——the form of informal group, in which the workers slow down their rate of production to keep the profit of whole group.

3.0 Mayo’s research achievement in the studies.
After the long period experiments, Mayo did some analysis of the results and put forward a series of new ideas in his book 《Social Problems of an Industrial Civilization 》which was believed as the studies’ main achievement.

3.1 Social man
Before Mayo’s study, it was common to regard workers as ‘homooeconomicus’, which was put forward by Adam Smith in his book “The Wealth of Nations”(1776), meaning that people were solely motivated by money. However, Mayo (1945) argued that workplaces are social environments and within them, economic factor was put in the second place, and social status and interaction、sense of belonging, etc. play an important in productivity. In other words, workers are “social man “ instead of simply homooeconomicus. Moreover, he even concluded that all aspects of that industrial environment carried social value.

3.2 Informal group
From the last experiment, it was showed that apart from “official group” regulated by the company, there are always some “informal groups” among workers. This kind of group is formed because of the members’ identical social emotions which mean it has bigger influence than the official one. Just as Mayo(1945) said in his thesis “Man’s desire to be continuously associated in work with his fellows is a strong, if not the strongest, human characteristic. Any disregard of it by management or any ill-advised attempt to defeat this human impulse leads instantly to some form of defeat for management itself”

3.3 Neo-leader
Represented by Taylor’s scientific management theory, traditional concepts limited leaders or supervisors to makers and carriers of regulations. However, a neo-leader idea was put forward by Mayo, a leader who was good at interpersonal relationship. The neo-leader can understand workers’ logical and illogical...

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