HAWTHORNE’S EXPERIMENTS

BY: ELTON MAYO

INTRODUCTION
George Elton Mayo (26 December 1880 - 7 September 1949) was an Australian psychologist, sociologist and organization theorist. He lectured at the University of Queensland from 1911 to 1923 before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, but spent most of his career at Harvard Business School (1926 - 1947), where he was professor of industrial research. On 18 April 1913 he married Dorothea McConnel in Brisbane, Australia. They had two daughters, Patricia and Gael. Mayo is known as the founder of the Human Relations Movement, and is known for his research including the Hawthorne Studies and his book The Human Problems of an Industrialized Civilization (1933). The research he conducted under the Hawthorne Studies of the 1930s showed the importance of groups in affecting the behavior of individuals at work. Mayo's employees, Roethlisberger and Dickinson, conducted the practical experiments. The Hawthorne Studies (also knowns as the Hawthorne Experiments) were conducted from 1927 to 1932 at the Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). This is where professor Elton Mayo examined the impact of work conditions in employee productivity.

STUDIES
Elton Mayo's studies grew out of preliminary experiments at the Hawthorne plant from 1924 to 1927 on the effect of light on productivity. Those experiments showed no clear connection between productivity and the amount of illumination but researchers began to wonder what kind of changes would influence output. Specifically, Elton Mayo wanted to find out what effect fatigue and monotony had on job productivity and how to control them through variables such as rest breaks, work hours, temperature and humidity. In the process, he stumbled upon a principle of human motivation that would help to revolutionize the theory and practice of management. The power of the social setting and peer group dynamics became even more obvious to Mayo in a later part of the Hawthorne Studies, when he saw the flip side of his original experiments. A group of 14 men who participated in a similar study restricted production because they were distrustful of the goals of the project. The portion of the Hawthorne Studies that dwelt on the positive effects of benign supervision and concern for workers that made them feel like part of a team became known as the Hawthorne Effect; the studies themselves spawned the human relations school of management that is constantly being recycled in new forms today, witness quality circles, participatory management, team building, etc. Originally, the study was expected to last one year, but since the findings were inexplicable when the researchers tried to relate the worker's efficiency to manipulated physical conditions, the project was incrementally extended to five years.

So What Did Mayo Do?
Elton Mayo selected two women, and had those two select an additional four from the assembly line ,segregated them from the rest of the factory and put them under the eye of an observer who was more of a friendly observer than disciplinarian. Mayo made frequent changes in their working conditions, always discussing and explaining the changes in advance. He changed the hours in the working week, the hours in the workday the number of rest breaks. the time of the lunch hour. Occasionally, he would return the women to their original, harder working conditions.

Relay Assembly
The investigators selected two girls for their second series of experiments and asked them to choose another four girls, thus making a small group of six. The group was employed in assembling telephone relays - a relay being a small but intricate mechanism composed of about forty separate parts which had to be assembled by the girls seated at a lone bench and dropped into a chute when completed. The relays were mechanically counted as they slipped down the chute. It was intended that the basic rate of production should be noted at the start, and that subsequently changes would be introduced, the effectiveness of which would be measured by increased or decreased production of the relays.

Relay Assembly

INTENTION
The intent was to measure the basic rate of production before making any environmental changes. Then, as changes were introduced, the impact of effectiveness would be measured by increased or decreased production of the relays.

Feedback Mechanism
Throughout the series of experiments, an observer sat with the girls in the workshop noting all that went on, keeping the girls informed about the experiment, asking for advice or information and listening to their complaints

Work Conditions & Productivity Results
The experiments began by introducing various changes, each of which was continued for test period of 4-12 weeks.Under normal conditions with a 48 hr week, including saturdays and no rest pauses. The girls produced 2400 relays a week each.

Changes And The Results Observed
Change 1: They were then put on piece of work for 8 weeks. Observation : Output increased Change 2 : They were given two 5 mins breaks, One in the morning and Other in afternoon, for a period of 5 weeks. Observation : Output increased, yet again Change 3 : The breaks were each lengthened to 10 mins Observation : Output rose sharply Change 4 : six 5mins breaks were introduced Observation : The girls complained that their work rhythm was broken by the frequent pauses & the Output fell only slightly.

Changes And The Results Observed
Change 5: The original two breaks were reinstated, this time, with a complimentary HOT MEAL provided during the morning break. Observation: Output increased still further. Change 6: The workday was shortened to end at 4.30pm instead of 5.00pm. Observation: Output Increased. Change 7: The workday was shortened to end at 4.00pm. Observation: Output leveled off Change 8: Finally, All the improvements were taken away, the original conditions before the experiments were reinstated. They were monitored in this state for 12 more weeks. Observation: Output was the highest ever recorded averaging 3000 relays a week.

What happened during the Hawthorne Experiments?
What happened was that six individuals became a team and the team gave itself wholeheartedly and spontaneously to co-operation 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 limitation from below. They were themselves satisfied at the consequence for they felt that they were working under less pressure than ever before. In fact regular medical checks showed no signs of cumulative fatigue and absence from work declined by 80 per cent. It was noted too, that each girl had her own technique of putting the component parts of the relay together - sometimes she varied this technique in order to avoid monotony and it was found that the more intelligent the girl, the greater was the number of variations (similar to McClelland's research findings into achievement motivated people.) The experimental group had considerable freedom of movement. They were not pushed around or bossed by anyone. Under these conditions they developed an increased sense of responsibility and instead of discipline from higher authority being imposed, it came from within the group itself.

The Findings
To his amazement, Elton Mayo discovered a general upward trend in production, completely independent of any of the changes he made. Mayo began to look around and realized that the women, exercising a freedom they did not have in the factory, had formed a social atmosphere that also included the observer who tracked their productivity. They talked, they joked. they began to meet socially outside of work.

 He had secured their cooperation and loyalty which explains why productivity rose even when took away their rest breaks.  Mayo had discovered a fundamental concept that seems obvious even today. Workplaces are social environments and within them, people are motivated by much more than economic self-interest. He concluded that all aspects of that industrial environment carried social value. When the women were singled out from the rest of the factory workers, it raised their self-esteem. When they were allowed to have a friendly relationship with their supervisor, they felt happier at work. When he discussed changes in advance with them, they felt like part of the team.

Mayo’s Conclusions
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.

Mayo’s Conclusions
* The aptitudes of individuals are imperfect predictors of job performance. Although they give some indication of the physical and mental potential of the individual, the amount produced is strongly influenced by social factors. * Informal organization affects productivity. The researchers discovered a group life among the workers. The studies also showed that the relations that supervisors develop with workers tend to influence the manner in which the workers carry out directives. * Work-group norms affect productivity. The Hawthorne researchers were not the first to recognize that work groups tend to arrive at norms of what is "a fair day's work." However, they provided the best systematic description and interpretation of this phenomenon. * The workplace is a social system. The researchers came to view the workplace as a social system made up of interdependent parts. The worker is a person whose attitudes and effectiveness are conditioned by social demands from both inside and outside the work plant. Informal group within the work plant exercise strong social controls over the work habits and attitudes of the individual worker. * 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. The major finding of the study was that almost regardless of the experimental manipulation, worker production seemed to continually improve. One reasonable conclusion is that the workers were happy to receive attention from the researchers who expressed an interest in them.

HAWTHORNE EFFECT
In essence, the Hawthorne Effect, as it applies to the workplace, can be summarized as "Employees are more productive because the employees know they are being studied." Elton Mayo's experiments showed an increase in worker productivity was produced by the psychological stimulus of being singled out, involved, and made to feel important. When people spend a large portion of their time at work, they require a sense of belonging, of being part of something bigger than themselves. When they do, they are more effective. This effect has been described as the reward you reap when you pay attention to people. The mere act of showing people that you're concerned about them usually spurs them to better job performance. That's the true Hawthorne Effect. In fact, the Hawthorne Effect has also been called the 'Somebody Upstairs Cares' syndrome.

The Hawthorne Effect at work:
Suppose you've taken a management trainee and given her specialized training in management skills she doesn't now possess. Without saving a word, you've given the trainee the feeling that she is so valuable to the organization that you'll spend time and money to develop her skills. She feels she's on a track to the top, and that motivates her to work harder and better. The motivation is independent of any particular skills or knowledge she may have gained from the training session. That's the Hawthorne Effect at work. In a way, the Hawthorne Effect can be construed as an enemy of the modern trainer. Carrying the theory to the edges of cynicism, some would say it doesn't make any difference what you teach because the Hawthorne Effect will produce the positive outcome you want.

Looking Back on the Experiments:

For decades, the Hawthorne studies provided the rationale for human relations within the organization. Then, in 1978, R. H. Franke and J.D. Kaul used a new procedure called "time-series analyses" with the original data and variables, including the Great Depression and the instance of a managerial discipline in which two insubordinate and mediocre workers were replaced by two different, productive workers. They discovered that production was most affected by the replacement of the two workers due to their greater productivity and the effect of the disciplinary action on the other workers. The occurrence of the Depression also encouraged job productivity, perhaps through the increased importance of jobs and the fear of losing them. Rest periods and a group incentive plan also had a somewhat positive smaller effect on productivity. These variables accounted for almost all the variation in productivity during the experimental period. Social science may have been too ready to embrace the original Hawthorne interpretations since it was looking for theories of employee motivation that were more humane and democratic.

Looking Back on the Experiments:

What seemed to be most impactful during the experiments was that six individuals became a team and the team gave itself wholeheartedly and spontaneously to cooperation in the experiment. Consequently, they felt as if they were participating freely and were happy in the knowledge that they were working without coercion from above or limitation from below. The experimental group had considerable freedom of movement. With the observer overseeing them, rather than their previous Theory X managers, they weren't pushed around or micromanaged. They were satisfied with the result of working under less pressure than ever before. In fact, regular medical checks showed no signs of cumulative fatigue and absence from work declined by 80 percent. Under these conditions, they developed an increased sense of responsibility. Instead of receiving discipline from higher authority, it emerged from within the group.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
INFORMATION TAKEN FROM :
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PRESENTED BY :
FYBMS (A) DIV.
GROUP VII
MURTAZA KAPADIA BURHAN BADRI AMMAR ELECTRICWALA ALIASGAR NAKARA ALIASGAR PIDULLA ABDEALI VAKIL BURHAN CHURANWALA

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