Page 1: Now it comes to my part - the Hawthorne Studies. It's a

Page 1:
Now it comes to my part - the Hawthorne Studies.
It’s a series of experiments on factory workers between 1924-1932. The experiments
were carried out in Hawthorne Works of Western Electric Company, which is a
manufactoring arm of AT&T, which locates in the State Illinois, USA. The
experiments were carried out by the industrial engineers of the company, and later in
1927 Harvard Prof. Elton Mayo joined the study along with his assistants.
At the beginning there was one experiment which was designed to examine the Effect
of various lighting levels on the productivity of the workers. And i’ll come back to
this experiment later to provide you more details of the process.
After some unexpected result which come out of the experiment, Harvard professor
Elton Mayo was invited into the study and they designed a whole new series of
experiments, which aimed to research the influence of different factors on workers
behavior. Such as: social situation and social treatment which the workers received at
work and etc.
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And now i would like to name three most important experiments of the Hawthorne
studies as well as the main conclusion people made out of the results from the
First one is the Illumination Experiment which i mentioned earlier. As every scientific
experiment, they have experiment groups and control groups. They expose the
experiment group to different lighting intensity and documented how the productivity
changed then compare the data with the control group. Surprisingly they found out
that there is actually no direct relations between the lighting intensity and the work
force productivity. So they come to the conclusion, that something else must have
contributed to the change of the workers‘ behavior and further more, the productivity.
Other experiments conducted by Prof. Elton Mayo such as: the Relay Assembly
Experiment and the Bank wiring room Experiment. They tried out variables of
different working environment, such as, different workday-length, whether there was
food provided during the breaks, how often the workers got a break etc. They also
tried providing different payment incentives. They measured the outcome and see
what are the impacts of these factors on the Workers‘ hahavior.
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To give you a more direct view of the conclusions of the Hawthorne Studies, i’ve
summarised the researchers‘ findings as followed. These are actually also the
interpretation from Prof. Elton Mayo of the experiments‘ results.
-Individual workers must be seen as members of a group. The feeling that they belong
to a group affect their behavior.
-Monetary incentives and good working conditions are less important to the
individual than the need to belong to a group. This means physical conditions or
financial incentives have little motivational value.
-Informal or unofficial groups formed at work have a strong influence on the behavior
of those workers in a group.
-Managers must be aware of these 'social needs' and cater for them to ensure that
employees collaborate with the official organization rather than work against it.