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Topic. Names Date. Hawthorne Studies (Elton Mayo). What? A series of experiments on factory workers When? 1924 – 1932 Where? Hawthorne Works(Illinois, US) of Western Electric Company, manufacturing arm of AT&T. Hawthorne Studies (Elton Mayo). Who? Industrial engineers

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Topic

Names

Date

Universität Kassel – Abteilung Kommunikation und Internationales


Hawthorne Studies (Elton Mayo)

What? A series of experiments on factory workers

When? 1924 – 1932

Where? Hawthorne Works(Illinois, US) of

Western Electric Company,

manufacturing arm of AT&T


Hawthorne Studies (Elton Mayo)

  • Who? Industrial engineers

  • 1927 Harvard Prof. Elton Mayo

  • Why? Initially: Examine Effect of various lighting levels on worker productivity

  • Changed to: Study the factors, which influence workers’ behavior


Important experiments
Important Experiments

  • Illumination Experiment:

  • Lighting intensity NOT directly related with productivity, something else does


Important Experiments

  • Relay assembly Experiment:

  • Choosing own coworkers, working as a group, being treated special.

  • Individuals became a team and the team gave itself wholeheartedly and spontaneously to cooperation in the experiment.


Important Experiments

  • Bank wiring room Experiment:

  • Existence of informal groups or “cliques”

  • Workers more responsive to their peer group than to the control and incentives of management.


Elton mayo
Elton Mayo

  • Summary of Mayo’s believes:

  • Individual workers must be seen as members of a group

  • Monetary incentives & good working conditions are less important to the individual than the need to belong to a group.

  • Informal or unofficial groups formed at work have a strong influence on the behavior of those workers in a group.

  • Managers must be aware of these 'social needs' and cater for them to ensure that employees collaborate with the official organization rather than work against it.

  • Mayo's simple instructions to industrial interviewers set a template and remain influential to this day:


Criticism

  • Relay assembly Experiment:

  • Choosing own coworkers, working as a group, being treated special.

  • Individuals became a team and the team gave itself wholeheartedly and spontaneously to cooperation in the experiment.


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