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During the industrial revolution, a paradigm shift took place around the world. It was marked by ditching subsistence farming communities for the extensive usage of machinery and technology due to the proliferation of technological innovation, thus a need for management. (Gulzar, 2015, p. 9). As the world shifted to a more factory-based economy, management began to focus on ways of maximizing production. Consequently, numerous studies were conducted by researchers and scientists around the world. One of such was by Elton Mayo; he studied work output at the western electric company’s plant in Chicago, Illinois.
This research became known later as the Hawthorne studies (Robertson & Carothers, n.d). While previous studies had already focused on individuals and how their performance could be improved, the Hawthorne experiments placed the individual in a social context for the first time (Vrabie, 2014, para. 1). According to Robertson & Carothers (n.d), the study originally sought out to examine how different work conditions affected employee productivity. Mayo began by experimenting with the workers’ physical environment, later moving on to tweaking their working conditions, and finally changing the management’s style of leadership (para.
5). The results showed that no matter the kind of changes made, the workers’ productivity continued to go up; conclusively, Mayo realized that this was as a result of the clear and direct interest the researchers had on the workers (Vrabie, 2014). Through the Hawthorne experiments, Mayo discovered the fundamental concept which seems obvious in today’s behavioral management theories. Workplaces are social environments and within them, people are motivated by much more than economic self-interest (Essays, UK.
2018). Today, putting the Hawthorne effect to good use has made employees feel more important. By encouraging employee input into the workplace and operational decisions, they feel more like part of a cohesive team striving for the general good of the business. (QuickBooks Canada Team, n.d)The Hawthorne Effect studies have documented that people perform better when someone is watching them. As a result, organizational observation is believed to be critical for working effectively; however, the context of observation has its ups and downs. On the one hand, it is said to improve productivity and incite generally good behavior; while on the other hand, people feel threatened and it narrows their focus. This brings us to the term micromanagement.Micromanagement is a style where a manager is hands-on in the controlling of everything his/her subordinates does. According to Mulholland (2018), micromanagement has pros which are evident in smaller teams where there is a greater influence on operations, thereby making complex operations executable. However, as the business starts to grow bigger, Mulholland (2018) states that micromanagement infuriates employees, makes everyone concerned prone to error, makes managers lose focus, damages employee trust, leads to burnout in managers and teams alike, can cause employees to become dependent on micromanagement, and increases employee turnover rate.Managers should attempt seeing their business operation from the perspective of their employees. From this point, they should attempt to determine what they can do to enhance a feeling of teamwork and greater participation for the overall success of their business. (QuickBooks Canada Team, n.d, para. 3). An efficient manager puts the Hawthorne effect into practice by ensuring that employees receive the attention they need to successfully produce high outputs, while a micromanaging boss kills efficiency with out-dated, self-centered and underdeveloped management methods. (Haynes, 2017, para. 1). People today spend a lot of time at work – they require a sense of belonging, of being someone bigger than just themselves. When they are part of something bigger, they are more effective. However, it doesn’t give one permission to micromanage them. Just acknowledge and observe them. (Anonymous, 2008). How can an employee deal with an overbearing manager, who relies a lot on micromanaging?ReferencesAnonymous. (2008). The Hawthorne effect. Retrieved on June 21, 2019 from UK. (2018). Hawthorne contribution to organisational management business essay. Retrieved from Gulzar, A. (2015). Impact of industrial revolution on management thought. Sukkur IBA Journal of Management and Business, 2(1), 1-16. doi: A. (2017). 7 warning signs you’re the dreaded micromanager. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from B. (2018). Don’t micromanage: how it destroys your team and how to manage it. Retrieved from QuickBooks Canada Team. (n.d). Using the Hawthorne effects to better manage your employees. Retrieved from and Carothers, (n.d). Elton and Mayo and the Hawthorne experiments. Retrieved from Vrabie A. (2014). The Hawthorne effect and its impact on productivity. Retrieved from
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