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Hawthorne Studies

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  1. Hawthorne Studies Elton Mayo’s Study on Employee Motivation and Work Productivity Developed by: Melissa Mackay Boise State University

  2. What Will Be Covered • Definition of the Hawthorne Studies • Experiment that Mayo conducted • Results • Conclusions • Brainstorming: How this can be used in organizations

  3. What Will Be Covered Cont. • Nuts and Bolts: Explanation of topic • How it works in the field • Real World Example • Summary • References

  4. Definition of Hawthorne Studies • “The Hawthorne Studies were conducted from 1927-1932 at the Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Chicago, where Harvard Business School Professor Elton Mayo examined productivity and work conditions.”

  5. Definition of Hawthorne Studies Cont. • “Mayo wanted to find out what effect fatigue and monotony had on job productivity and how to control them through such variables as rest breaks, work hours, temperatures and humidity.” http://www.accel-team.com/motivation/hawthrone_02.html

  6. Mayo’s Experiment • Five women assembled telephone relays, one supplied the parts. • Made frequent changes in working conditions with their consent. • Records were kept of relays made, temperature and humidity of rooms, medical and personal histories, eating and sleeping habits, and bits of conversation on the job. • No one supervised the girls. • They were told to work as they felt and at a comfortable pace.

  7. Mayo’s Experiment Cont. • Productive capacity was measured by recording the girls’ output for two weeks before the study began. • First five weeks, no changes were made. • Third stage, a pay system was ensured allowing the girls’ to earn in proportion to their efforts. • Eight weeks later, two five-minute rest pauses were added.

  8. Mayo’s Experiment Cont. • Eighth phase, workday ended a half-day early. • Ninth phase, the girls finished an hour earlier than usual. • Five-day week introduced. • Girls went back to no breaks, lunches and a full work week, output declined for those twelve weeks.

  9. Results • Researchers found that output rates weren’t directly related to the physical conditions of the work. • Output went up when: • They were put on piece-work for eight weeks. • Two five minute rest pauses were introduced for five weeks. • Rest pauses were lengthened to ten minutes. • A hot meal was supplied during first pause. • They were dismissed at 4:30 p.m. instead of 5:00 p.m.

  10. Results Cont. • Output slightly fell when six five minute pauses were added. • It remained the same when they were dismissed at 4:00 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m. • Mayo believes “what actually happened was that six individuals became a team and the team gave itself wholeheartedly and spontaneously to cooperation in the experiment. The consequence was that they felt themselves to be participating freely and without afterthought, and were happy in the knowledge that they were working without coercion from above or limitations from below.” http://courses.bus.ualberta.ca/orga417-reshef/mayo.htm

  11. Conclusions • Work is a group activity. • Social world for an adult is primarily patterned about work. • Need for recognition, security and sense of belonging. • Complaints, commonly a symptom manifesting disturbance of an individual’s status position.

  12. Conclusions Cont. • Attitudes and effectiveness are conditioned by social demands. • Informal groups at work are strong social controls over the work habits and attitudes of a worker. • Change from established society to adaptive society. • Group collaboration.

  13. Brainstorming: How this can be used in organizations • Cooperation and communication with coworkers. • Rearrange/reorganize job functions. • Create an atmosphere of working as a team.

  14. Nuts and Bolts: Explanation of Topic • Interviewing • Provide insight to workers moral, their likes and dislikes and how they felt about their bosses.

  15. Nuts and Bolts: Explanation of Topic Cont. • Role of Supervisor • Retained the responsibility of making sure that their workers reached production levels, should lead their workers.

  16. Nuts and Bolts: Explanation of Topic Cont. • Management • Need to gain active support and participation from workers, while maintaining managerial control. • Be patient with workers, listen to them, and avoid creating emotional upsets.

  17. Nuts and Bolts: Explanation of Topic Cont. • Teamwork • Cooperation, communication, sense of belonging. • “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.” http://couses.bus.ualberta.ca/orga417-reshef/mayo.htm

  18. How it Works in the Field • Aspects of Hawthorne Studies • Workers • Management • Motivation • Productivity

  19. How it Works in the Field Cont. • Workers • Insights, suggestions, likes and dislikes, moral, training. • Management • Transfer of power to workers, knowing their workers.

  20. How it Works in the Field Cont. • Motivation • Incentives to increase productivity and quality. • Productivity • By increasing the output rate and keeping costs down, the company will be able to increase profits.

  21. Real World Example • Swedish Case • Pay system didn’t fit the structure of jobs and organization. • Two years later an incentive system was added, productivity went up 45%.

  22. Real World Example Cont. • Swedish Case • New incentive system provided motivation through tying cooperation and teamwork.

  23. Exercise • Brainstorm ideas that can motivate employees to increase productivity and find ways to implement them. • Think of more efficient ways in which a process can be completed and who you might go to in order to find this out.

  24. Summary • Hawthorne Studies dealing with worker motivation and work productivity. • Increase communication and cooperation among coworkers.

  25. Summary Cont. • Motivation can cause an increase in productivity • Involve employees in decision making. • Create a sense of belonging by creating teams.

  26. References • “Man and Work in Society.” Edited by Eugene Louis Cass and Frederick G. Zimmer. 1975. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. • “Manufacturing Knowledge, A History of the Hawthorne Experiments.” Richard Gillespie. 1952. New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. • http://courses.bus.ualberta.ca/orga417-reshef/mayo.html • http://www.accel-team.com/motivation/hawthorne_02.html