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Paper Topic:

Hawthorne Studies

Hawthorne Studies : Impact on Modern Management

The Hawthorne Studies is one of the most frequently debated phenomenons in modern work management . Evolved in the 1930 's this represents a progression from pure scientific management determined by Taylor to introduction and influence of behavioral sciences in the management of work , workers and work places . Given the long time that the theory has been in vogue and the intense research in management sciences , Hawthorne effect has provided varying interpretations briefly summarized in three main streams of thought . One group of researchers considers that the

br Hawthorne effect has an impact on productivity due to the effect on people 's behavior when they know they are a part of an experiment (Champoux , 2003 (Nelson Quick , 2003 . Some others deem this to be the changes brought about due to special attention to behavior at the work place (Jewell , 1998 (Newstrom Davis , 2002 . While yet another interpretation is that it is an effect caused by a novel change in the work environment (Jex , 2002 (Schultz Schultz , 2000

These however appear to be limited explanations of the Hawthorne effect . The most significant impact of the experiments is in establishing correlation between human psychology , behavioral sciences and scientific management (Franke Kaul , 1978 . This integration has resulted in overcoming the overly simplistic principles of scientific management by Taylor (1911 . In as much as modern management is concerned the Hawthorne experiments established principles for organizing small group processes which remain relevant to this day (Franke Kaul , 1978 . Thus the impact of these experiments have to be examined in relation to linkages established between worker productivity and social groups at work , attention to individuals and groups and finally creation of a conducive work environment within the group . These three key parameters can be applied effectively in modern management practices in concurrent spheres which results in improvement in work output once workers feel that management is interested in their welfare and devotes attention to them , increased productivity through a sense of responsibility and discipline which comes from within a group rather than from higher authority , and finally production enhancements resulting from an ideal social environment for the work group (Mayo 1933

Welfare of the worker through greater involvement of management is an important derivative of the Hawthorne Experiments which has applicability in modern management . The focus of the Hawthorne studies in worker welfare was determined by factors such as providing adequate breaks for rest , manipulating work hours and creating ideal environment for productivity through control of humidity and temperature (Roethlisberger Dickson , 1939 . The implied meaning of such measures was that the management was concerned about and interested in the welfare of the worker (Freedman , 1981 . The workers were not as much concerned of the issue of genuineness of interest or productivity related needs of the management in their welfare . In the modern management context however large scale mobility of the work force is related to two spheres , availability of greater opportunities and a perceived sense of selfish rather than proportionately altruistic interest...

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