Present Day Implication of the Hawthorne Studies
Table of Contents I. Introduction to the Topic A. Definition of the Hawthorne Electric Studies B. Origin of the Hawthorne Electric Studies C. The three phases of the Scientific Management Experiments D. Implications of Modern Day Hawthorne Electric Studies 1. Selection Process 2. Testing of Research on Studies 3. Results of Reported Studies 4. Conclusion of Studies II. Implications A. Selection Process B. Testing of Research on Studies 1. Testing groups 2. Methods Used to Conduct Studies C. Results of Reported Studies 1. What worked 2. What did not work
D. Conclusion of Studies 1. Outcome of Studies III. Conclusion IV. Works Cited Hawthorne Electric Studies What are the Present Day Implications of the Hawthorne Electric Studies? The Hawthorne Studies were experiments that were inspired by Elton Mayo and several others that developed the Human Relations Management. In 1924 the Western Electric Company in Chicago, IL was the base of influence by the scientific management theories. These theories measured how different working conditions measured the impact on personnel. Fritz Roethisberger and William J.
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Dickson conducted the research and concluded that variations of work output were not caused by the changing of physical conditions, but merely by the experiments themselves. With these experiments the treatment the personnel received convinced them that management had an interest in their well being, in turn raised morale and led to the personnel increasing productivity. Thus the term “Hawthorne effect” in today’s society is widely used to refer to behavior modifying effects. This being the subject of a social investigation, regardless of what type of context is being investigated. The stimulation to output or accomplishment that results from the mere fact of being under observation; also: such an increase in output or accomplishment (Merriam Webster Dictionary) “From the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Co. , Cicero, Illinois, where its existence was established by experiment” (Merriam Webster Dictionary) The first phase of the Hawthorne studies was the Illumination Experiments, which was conducted between 1924 and 1927. An electrical engineer Vannevar Bush directed these experiments.
Female coil workers, small parts inspectors, and relay assembler workers were divided into test and control groups with the intent to find a level of illumination to make work more efficient by increasing the lighting of the room from 24 to 46 to 70 foot candles. With both test groups, the increase in production was approximately the same. The second phase was the Relay Assembly Room Experiments, which was conducted between 1927 and 1932. The research was focused on the assembly of telephone relays. Elton Mayo and his team selected six women who were removed from the main floor of the warehouse and put into a special test room.
The benches, equipment, and tools were kept standard. This test was based on the changes of hours worked and how many rest periods were given. They also controlled the lighting conditions, temperature, and humidity in the room. They sat an observer in the room with the women who recorded all events that happened during the test period. There was no supervisor overlooking these women , but they assumed responsibility and shared their decisions in changes to work. The experiments for the working environment changed 23 times, which included rest breaks at various times and lengths, shorter workdays, and Saturday’s off .
The output increased, and only dropped slightly even after the conditions returned to what they were before the test began . The third phase was the Bank Wiring Observation Room Experiment, which was conducted between 1931 and 1932. This test involved 11 men whose job was to assemble terminal banks used in telephone exchanges. The men established their own standard of how they wanted a fair day’s work. They did not trust the goals of the project and restricted production. Despite the pay scale they were given, they mocked and ill-treated anyone who tried to work faster or slower than what they considered the norm.
After all experiments were conducted the study discovered that the workers didn’t respond to the normal motivational approaches that were suggested in Frederick W. Taylor’s Scientific Management theory . The single most important discovery was that workers had a strong need to communicate and cooperate with fellow workers. Frederick W. Taylor’s theory says that workers are solely motivated by self-interest. Theorists have assumed that workers only desire to perform their work duties with the lowest effort to receive more money. In addition, the Hawthorne studies fostered a more open and trusting environment that put greater emphasis on groups rather than just individuals. Today, it’s estimated that 50 percent of any successful training session can be attributed to the Hawthorne Effect. ” (The Hawthorne Works: a series of landmark human behavior studies examined assembly line productivity (Assembly Then & Now)) The significance of the Hawthorne effects in previous investigation outcomes have been designed to improve participants performance, and they were aware of the outcomes being measured.
Thus, suggesting that the Hawthorne effect may only have a significant impact when a perceived demand for improvement on performance. However, some studies found that the outcome can change the participant’s behavior if the investigators are interested in what the outcome will be. No study of the Hawthorne effect has examined whether the participants were in a non-interventional observation study, which were not directly informed about the outcome changed their behavior during the observation period