Wednesday, December 1, 2010

George Elton Mayo (Australia, 1880 - 1949):

George Elton Mayo (Australia, 1880 - 1949)
Reviewed by adminon Apr 01 2013
Rating: 5
Elton Mayo was born in Australia. He was educated in Logic and Philosophy at St.
Peter's College, Adelaide. He led a team of researchers from
Harvard University, which carried out investigation in human
Elton Mayo’s contributions came as part of the Hawthorne studies, a
series of experiments that rigorously applied classical management
theory only to reveal its shortcomings. The Hawthorne experiments consisted of two
studies conducted at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in
Chicago from 1924 to 1932. The first study was conducted by a group of engineers
seeking to determine the relationship of lighting levels to worker productivity.
Surprisingly enough, they discovered that worker productivity increased as the
lighting levels decreased — that is, until the employees were unable to see what they
were doing, after which performance naturally declined.
A few years later, a second group of experiments began. Harvard researchers Mayo
and F. J. Roethlisberger supervised a group of five women in a bank wiring room.
They gave the women special privileges, such as the right to leave their workstations
without permission, take rest periods, enjoy free lunches, and have variations in pay
levels and workdays. This experiment also resulted in significantly increased rates of
In this case, Mayo and Roethlisberger concluded that the increase in productivity
resulted from the supervisory arrangement rather than the changes in lighting or other
associated worker benefits. Because the experimenters became the primary
supervisors of the employees, the intense interest they displayed for the workers was
the basis for the increased motivation and resulting productivity. Essentially, the
experimenters became a part of the study and influenced its outcome. This is the
origin of the term Hawthorne effect, which describes the special attention researchers
give to a study’s subjects and the impact that attention has on the study’s findings.
The general conclusion from the Hawthorne studies was that human relations and the
social needs of workers are crucial aspects of business management. This principle of
human motivation helped revolutionize theories and practices of management.


Infolinks In Text Ads

Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.