The Implication of Hawthorne Study in 21st Century Essay

4399 Words Apr 21st, 2013 18 Pages

The Implication of Hawthorne Study in 21st Century

Ashab Anis Joy ID: 2012-1-10-255 Class: MGT Course Code: 101 Sec: 7 Semester: Fall East West University

Bachelor of Business Administration East West University 20th November 2012

The Hawthorne Experiments were conducted between 1927 and 1932 at the works of the Western Electric Company in Chicago. Basically the aim of these experiments was to ” attempt to reduce worker dissatisfaction and resist trade union influence by the putting in place of a paternalistic package of social and recreational benefits calculated to sustain workers “loyalty” (Sheldrake 105:1996). Many little assignments were conducted in hope of putting into practice the above theory.
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Individuals who failed to meet this level were dubbed "chiselers," and those who exceeded it by too much were branded "rate busters." A worker who wanted to be accepted by the group could not produce at too high or too low a level. Thus, as a worker approached the accepted level each day, he slowed down to avoid overproducing. After a follow-up interview program with several thousand workers, the Hawthorne researchers concluded that the human element in the workplace was considerably more important than previously believed. The lighting experiment, for example, suggested that productivity might increase simply because workers were singled out for special treatment and thus perhaps felt more valued or more

pressured to perform well. In the incentive system experiment, being accepted as a part of the group evidently meant more to the workers than earning extra money. Several other studies supported the general conclusion that individual and social processes are too important to ignore. Like the work of Taylor, the Hawthorne studies have recently been called into question. Critics cite deficiencies in research methods and offer alternative explanations of the findings. Again, however, these studies were a major factor in the advancement of organizational behaviour and are still among its most frequently cited works.

Specifically, Mayo wanted to find out what effect fatigue and

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