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Hawthorne Studies Essay

Employees can be considered as an organization most valuable asset. Their development by the organizational administrative possibly is a definition for personnel management. The needs for concern about individuals in an organization had been long time overdue. The Hawthorne studies were a step forward. Such studies was about relations approach through a series of research methods, for instance illuminations and relay assembly test room experiments, interviewing problem and bank wiring observation. This essay will discuss to which extent Personnel management is a legacy of the Hawthorne Studies. An economic motivation such as incentives was irrelevant in the process of increasing productivity. From the study one can derived that workers’ achievement was solely based on the group decisions. They decided what the right amount of the day was. There are other influential factors that account for the increase of productivity.

One can speculate that the workers had their own agenda, given that the impose conditions on them was inefficient. The continuity in the increase of productions could still be observed regardless of the situations. Group interactions through both formal and informal group existed throughout every organizations. The study implies that informal groups existed alongside formal groups. Such groupings develop their own rules and behavior as well as mechanizations to implement it. The employees were more receptive to their group firmness than to the control and inducements of the executives. The will of individuals to belong to an informal cluster with folks of identical attitude and background is much desirable. One can speculate that workers often sympathize with one another consequently they might have a change in their attitude due to group demands.

The Hawthorne effect is significant when discussing the legacy of Hawthorne studies. This resulted in the workers to modify investigational aspects of their behavior. A simple reason is that they knew they were being observed. One can imply that the workers bound to display exemplary behavior that is anticipated from them. In view of the fact that they will never know if there will be serious penalty to follow due to result obtained. As one will adapt to the environmental norms and also follow it. Biasness in the interpretations of data is to be questioned.

The investigator’s own principles might have influences the constructions of justifications. No more than the management perspective was deliberated. How individuals maximize output were the focal point of the studies, nevertheless the lines of reasoning were in support of the management (servants of power) as describe by Baritz(1965). This in turn gave room for the sensitive employees to be manipulated by judicious managers. Managers often governed by logistics of cost and efficiency as a result they created conditions for workers to produce more. Other believable explanations was omitted, thus errors from the results was imminent.

Rose remarked” the Hawthorne studies, upon which so much human relations theory depended, were too incompetently executed to demonstrated very much at all” (Rose 1978 P.171). One can give credit to Rose as the sampling of workers was selective instead of a random sampling method. Furthermore troublesome personnel were replaced; this was because the researchers wanted to maintain the friendly atmosphere within the chosen group. The isolation of the group was an additional mistake. All of these features did not simulate the actual working environment. The experiment employment surrounding was a façade.

This resulted in the naivety on the researcher’s behalf, whereby unexpectedly they guided workers to produce an expected conclusion. To conclude one will argue that the Hawthorne Studies was a legacy of personnel management. It is due to the studies that individuals in organizations were taken seriously. Group regulation is one of the aspects that influence individuals’ decisions to maximize or minimize output. Economic motivation is not that indispensible.

On the other hand one cannot perceive the studies as a legacy in personnel management for the reason that the Hawthorne effect was mostly influential. Inevitable biasness from researchers’ judgment as they were from a affluent background and traditionally they support the management as George Homans (1962, p.4) a Hawthorne studies researcher remarked As a Republican Bostonian who had not rejected his comparative wealthy family, I felt during the thirties that I was under attack, above all from the Marxists. Lastly the condition under which the studies were undertaken was not up to standards, but according to the naivety of the researchers.


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