School of management theory stressing the importance of understanding human motivation in the workplace.

The human relations school believes that employee motivation is a result of recognition, encouragement, and rewarding of individual contributions. Owners and managers of profit and nonprofit organizations define human relations as fitting people into work situations so as to motivate them to work together harmoniously. The process of fitting together should achieve higher levels of productivity for the organization, while also bringing employees economic, psychological, and social satisfaction. Human relations covers all types of interactions among people—their conflicts, cooperative efforts, and group relationships. It is the study of why our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors sometimes cause interpersonal conflict in our personal lives and in work-related situations. One of the most significant developments in recent years has been the increased importance of interpersonal skills in almost every type of work setting. For many employers, interpersonal skills represent an important category of transferable skills a worker is expected to bring to the job. Technical ability only is usually not enough to achieve career success. Studies indicate that many people who have difficulty in obtaining or holding a job possess the needed technical competence but lack interpersonal competence. Human Relations Movement Problems in human relations are not new— cooperative efforts carry the potential for conflicts among people. It is only within the past few decades that management has recognized that human relations can have considerable impact on organizational productivity. During this period, the human relations movement has matured into a distinct and important field of study. Although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the human relations movement began, most researchers agree that the earliest developments emerged in the mid-1800s. In the beginning, the focus was mainly on improving efficiency, motivation, and productivity. But over time, this research became more involved with redefining the nature of work and perceiving workers as complex human beings. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most work was performed by individual craftworkers. Generally, each worker saw a project through from start to finish. Skills such as tailoring, carpentry, or shoemaking took a long time to perfect and were often a source of pride to an individual. Under this system, however, output was limited. The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on the nature of work and the role of the worker. Previously, an individual tailor could make only a few items of clothing in a certain time period; factories could make hundreds. Employers began to think of labor as another item in the manufacturing equation, along with raw materials and capital.

Even those industries noted for job security have recently engaged in layoffs. The researchers attributed the phenomenon to what has since become known as the Hawthorne effect—employees who participate in scientific studies may become more productive because of the attention they receive from the researchers. Employees were treated as a commodity. Hours were long and pay was low. Frederick Taylor and other researchers interested in industrial problems introduced the concept of scientific management. but instead of productivity decreasing. it actually increased. Management would earn higher bonuses. Several trends have given new importance to human relations due to the changing workplace. a labor shortage. the company would end up with a larger financial pie for everyone to share. closings. Later. Taylor thought that by increasing production. Elton Mayo and other researchers from Harvard University initiated what have become known as the Hawthorne Studies at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company near Chicago. as interchangeable as the parts they produced. and sociology. safety precautions. workers would take home more pay. As a result. In the late 1920s. buyouts. the amount of light was significantly reduced. Specifically. This discovery became important in the human relations movement because it has been interpreted to mean that when employees feel important and recognized. He did not foresee that his theories would be applied in ways that dehumanized the workplace. Mayo was interested in the effect of different intensities of light on employee output. Around the turn of the century. These changes have been accompanied by layoffs and the elimination of product lines. ample light was provided to a group of six female workers. The development of scientific management coincided with the revolutionary concept of mass production. The purpose of the investigation was to explore the relationship between changes in physical working conditions and employee productivity. psychology. In one experiment. Eventually it paved the way for the assembly line. They believed that productivity could be improved by breaking down a job into isolated. they exhibit greater motivation to excel in their work activities. Taylor's work was sharply criticized by those who believed it exploited workers. The labor market has become a place of constant change due to the heavy volume of mergers. as was expected. or worker motivation. few owners or managers gave much thought to working conditions. Human Relations As a Field of Study Human relations is an interdisciplinary field because the study of human behavior in organizational settings draws on the fields of communications. As the United States attempts to . and changing markets. specialized tasks and assigning each of those tasks to specific workers. management.Employers at that time did not realize how workers' needs affected productivity. It is an important field of study because all workers engage in human relations activities.

but today it is receiving much more attention. public utilities. there are thousands of critical incidents in which customers come into contact with the organization and form their impressions of its quality and service. workers are cross-trained so they can do the work of others. a large majority of those entering the work force will be women and minorities. airlines. Supervisors will need to become skilled at managing diversity. values. Restaurants. In a period of fierce competition.cope with rapid technological change and new competition from international companies. Today's managers must therefore shift from manager as order-giver to manager as facilitator. a consumer may not tolerate poor quality. Few lines of work will be immune from these trends. and retail stores all must now gain and retain patronage. they must also project a favorable image of the organization they represent. we will find a variety of values and work habits. Employees must not only be able to get along with customers. there is every reason to believe that we will see more volatility in the labor force. They want jobs that provide meaningful work. They seek jobs that give not only a sense of accomplishment but also a sense of purpose. In some cases. Within this heterogeneous work force. They must also learn how to assume the roles of teacher. Interpersonal skills will be even more critical in the future. hospitals. if necessary. The notion of quality as a competitive tool has been around for many years. In the years ahead. It is important for everyone to develop those interpersonal skills that are valued by all employers. The current generation of workers is better educated and better informed. The leaders in today's work force need different skills to be successful. Most organizations recognize improved quality is the key to survival. If team members cannot work together. That includes all of a person's experiences. Passage of the American with Disabilities Act in 1990 opened the employment door to more people with physical or mental impairments. Today's employee must be flexible and adaptable in order to achieve success within a climate of change. emotions. and it also has higher expectations. The demographics of the workplace are also changing. Diversity is more and more typical. and resource person. Understanding Human Behavior Mental perceptions are influenced by everything that has passed through an individual's mind. Relationships are becoming more important than physical products. mentor. knowledge. In any service firm. biases. colleges. Companies are organizing their workers into teams in which each employee plays an important role. banks. . Organizations are developing an increasing orientation toward service to clients. Human beings are at the heart of the quality movement because workers are given the power and responsibility to improve quality. we will see increased employment of the population over age sixty-five. And in the future. the goals of the organization will suffer.

build cooperation. the establishment of communication channels becomes even more difficult. including behavior and emotional tendencies. An individual's personality is the totality of complex characteristics. problem solving. A person's personality has a major impact on human relations skills. personal and social traits. Employees must be able to convey their concerns or suggestions and feel that management has heard them. Mental perceptions may sometimes lead to conflict.and attitudes. an individual's adherence to values related to what is morally right determines the respect that others hold for that person. issue. Despite the recognition of the importance of communication. Lack of respect for one individual by another is likely to lead to poor human relations between the two. and social skills. Each person has formed mental perceptions relating to a number of controversial issues. The objective of many training sessions for employees and supervisors is to improve a person's ability to get along with others. An attitude is a mental position one possesses with regard to a fact. Generally. Ethics also play a role in interpersonal conflict. People reveal their attitudes through their personality. For example. No two people have identical perceptions because no two people have precisely the same experiences. among other issues. sound communication is difficult to establish. The social dimension of behavior is determined by a person's personality. self-concept. Good communication may be cited as the most important component of sound human relations. Even in small organizations. Communication Perhaps the single most important aspect of designing any work environment is the plan that links all workers and supervisors with multiple channels of communication. employees who possess positive attitudes and who are open-minded are judged to have more desirable personalities than those with negative attitudes who hold biased viewpoints. and wants. and unify groups. When an organization expands in numbers. When proponents and opponents clash in voicing mental perceptions of controversial issues. and . Clear communication among coworkers is vital to good teamwork. where only a few people are involved. If the issue is one pertinent to the workplace. Good communication is essential for the smooth functioning of any organization. conflict occurs. needs. most workers have an opinion on abortion and capital punishment. Attitudes that often present problems in the workplace are those that concern biased and prejudiced viewpoints. as well as in diversity among its members. Perhaps more than anything else. human values have the potential to lead to problems. such as affirmative action. attitudes. or belief. Ethics refer to moral rules or values governing the conduct of a person or group. Managers need clear lines of communication to transmit orders and policies. it presents one of the most difficult and perplexing problems faced in modern organizations.

many can be avoided. Dress and language are two examples. either positively or negatively affecting organizational outcomes. All types of groups exist in an organization. it is a wonder people have time to read all the incoming information. Poor communication also takes a toll in employee injuries and deaths. The organization provides an opportunity for individual satisfaction. other formal groups. let alone interpret and respond to it. are empowered to think for themselves. Employees who are treated with respect. Although some communication breakdowns are inevitable. or communicate person to person. procedures. the individual must comply with organizational policies. subordinates. No matter what the setting. promotions. The acceptance or rejection of such standards illustrates the interaction between the organization and the group. while informal groups are formed unofficially by the members them-selves. Costly communication breakdowns are a prime factor in organizational problems ranging from high employee turnover to low productivity. it is relating to the individual. fax machines. the influence is unlimited.conflict management. and feel a sense of loyalty are more apt to communicate openly with other workers and leaders throughout the organization. Individuals interact in a variety of settings—as peers. To achieve such satisfaction. and supervisors. Today's complex organizations depend on dividing the work among many formalized groups. Considering the number of groups in today's complex organizations. e-mail. important human relationships are taking place. conduct meetings. they have many options. and to continue as a successful member in the organization. and informal groups. and continued employment. Formal groups are officially designated. When people in organizations want to send messages. Informal groups will also emerge. relationships are built. When the organization promotes an employee. The rewards for such behaviors are demonstrated in the form of raises. effective human relations is founded on good communication. In short. and videoconferencing. Employees relate to their work group. and rules. In either situation. The norms set by a group can greatly influence a person's behavior. The relationship between organizations and groups must also be considered when quotas or standards are established. . particularly in industries where workers operate heavy equipment or handle hazardous materials. Types of Relationships Human relations occurs on several levels. Some would argue the informal groups have more power. With increased use of voice mail. The organization requires certain behaviors from its employees.

Although it is often misunderstood. Fortunately. Although this is not an easy task. Statistics indicate that successful people competently practice interpersonal skills. Good relationships must be built among individuals and within groups of an organization. . Managers and supervisors achieve results through people. Human relations is not limited to supervisors—it applies to every employee in an organization. effective human relations will lead to success. The successful leader creates an effective balance between people and productivity. and recognizes human relations as the key ingredient transforming organizational plans into organizational results. while the incompetent are left behind.One also has a relationship to one's self. perhaps you should analyze your relationship with yourself. these skills can be developed. Therefore. success without good human relations in not possible. Every individual must be prepared to meet the challenge. Are you happy with yourself? Are you happy with your relationships with others? With the organization? With your future? If not. today's complex organizations require managers and supervisors to display a concern for people.

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