Hawthorne Experiments – Illumination Experiments, Mass Interviewing …

Implications of Hawthorne Experiments

Hawthorne experiments suggested management that human relations are as important as any other factor in the organization. The major findings of the experiments can be presented below:

1. Social factors in Output

Elton Mayo, one of the researchers engaged in Hawthorne experiments, described organization as a “social organization” which is not merely a formal structure of functions. Since people are social beings, their social characteristics determine the output and efficiency in the organization. While motivating workers non-economic rewards are as important as economic rewards.

2. Group Influence

Workers are social beings and they form informal groups within the organization to overcome the shortcomings of the formal relationships. Each group has its own norms and any deviation from these norms can make the person unacceptable to the group. Thus the workers cannot be dealt as individuals but as work group.

3. Conflict

The informal groups may have conflict with the formal groups within the organization due to the incompatible objectives of the two. However groups may help to achieve organizational objectives by overcoming the restraining aspect of the formal relations which produce hindrance in productivity.

4. Communication

The experiments show that communication is an important aspect of organization. Communication is a source of information for decision making process, communication promotes motivation and it plays an important role in altering individual’s attitude.

5. Leadership

Leadership is important for directing group behaviour and it does not only comes from formally appointed superiors but there may informal leaders as shown in bank wiring system. An informal leader has no formal organizational authority to influence others but possesses special kills and talent to influence and lead other members of organization. In some areas informal leader is more important in directing group behaviour however a superior is more acceptable as a leader if his style is in accordance with human relations approach.

6. Supervision

Supervision is an essential part of management which helps to put plans into action towards the accomplishment of goals. A supervisor who is empathetic and friendly to works is likely to affect the productivity favourably. In bank wiring experiments supervisory climate was more friendly and less authoritative which helped in increased productivity.

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