Basic approaches that have evolved over time to improve productivity

Human Relations Contributors

Elton Mayo's Hawthorne Experiments


George Elton Mayo was in charge of certain experiments on human behavior carried out at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric company in Chicago between 1924 and 1927. His research findings have contributed to organizational development in terms of human relations and motivation theory.

Flowing from the findings of these investigations he came to certain conclusions as follows:

  • Work is a group activity.
  • The social world of the adult is primarily patterned about work activity.
  • The need for recognition, security and sense of belonging is more important in determining workers' morale and productivity than the physical conditions under which he works.
  • A complaint is not necessarily an objective recital of facts; it is commonly a symptom manifesting disturbance of an individual's status position.
  • The worker is a person whose attitudes and effectiveness are conditioned by social demands from both inside and outside the work plant.
  • Informal groups within the work plant exercise strong social controls over the work habits and attitudes of the individual worker.
  • The change from an established society in the home to an adaptive society in the work plant resulting from the use of new techniques tends continually to disrupt the social organization of a work plant and industry generally.
  • Group collaboration does not occur by accident; it must be planned and developed. If group collaboration is achieved the human relations within a work plant may reach a cohesion which resists the disrupting effects of adaptive society.
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