Implications of Hawthorne experiments

Implications of Hawthorne experiments

Hawthorne experiments have opened a new chapter in the management by suggesting management through good human relations. A human relation involves motivating people in the organization in order to develop team work which effectively fulfills their needs and achieves organizational goals. Hawthorne experiments have tried to unearth those factors which are important for motivating the people at the work place. The major findings of the experiments can be presented below.

Social factors in the output: an organization is basically influenced by the social factors. In fact, Elton Mayo, one of the researchers engaged in Hawthorne experiments, has described an organization in order as a social system, a system of cliques, information status system, rituals and a mixture of logical, non logical and illogical behavior. Thus an organization is not merely a formal structure of the functions in which production is determined by the official prescription but the production norm is set by the social norms.

Group influence: workers being social beings they create groups which may be different than their official group. In fact groups are formed to overcome the shortcomings of formal relationships. The group determines the norm of behavior of members. If a person resists a particular norm of group behavior he tries to change the group norm because any deviation from the group norm will make him unacceptable to the group. Thus management cannot deal with workers are individuals but as members of work group subject to the influence of the group.

Conflicts: the informal relations of workers create groups and there may be conflict between organization and groups so created. The conflict may be because of incompatible objectives of the two. However groups may helps to achieve organizational objectives by overcoming the restarting aspect of the formal relations which produce hindrance in productivity. Conflict may also arise because of maladjustment of workers and organization. As the individual moves through the time and space within the organization there constantly arises the need for adjustment of the individual to the total structure.

Leadership: leadership is important for directing group behavior and this is one of the most important aspects of managerial functions. However leadership cannot only from a formally appointed superior as held by earlier thinkers. There may be informal leader as shown by bank wiring experiments. In some cases informal leader is more important in directing group behavior because of his identity with group objective.

Supervision: supervisory climate is an important aspect in determining efficiency and output. Friendly to the workers attentive genuinely concerned supervision affects the productivity favorably.

Communication: the experiments show that communication is an important aspect of organization. Through communication workers can be explained the rationality of a particular action participation of workers can be sought in identified and attempts can be made to remove these. A better understanding between management and workers can be developed by identifying their attitudes opinions and methods of working and taking suitable actions on these.

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