The experiments with Hawthorne
The Hawthorne Experiments was conducted under the direction of Professor Elton Mayo from 1927 to 1932 in the Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Chicago. The experiments were initially initiated to study the relationship between work productivity and working conditions. Professor Mayo began the experiments by looking at the environmental and physical aspects of work (e.g., light intensity, humidity) before shifting to the psychological effects (e.g., breaks, pressure from groups, and working hours, as well as managerial leadership).
The Hawthorne Effect
The results of the Hawthorne Experiments have been generally called”the “Hawthorne Effect” that can be described as “Individual behaviors may be altered due to the fact that they know they are being investigated.” But this is just one of the numerous valuable conclusions Professor Mayo reached. For instance, Mayo also found that worker productivity increased when there was a psychological stimulation of receiving personal attention, feeling involved, and being believed to be necessary.
About the Experiment
Mayo chose two women from the factory. They selected four women to take part in the study. The group was working in an isolated environment under the direction of an experienced supervisor who developed an effective rapport with the team. He was patient in explaining the changes to be implemented, requested their feedback, and heard their complaints.
Mayo changed the working conditions such as the working hours and the length and frequency of rest breaks during stages. Production levels are mechanically recorded, and the supervisor records the team’s behavior.
Elton Mayo’s Final Words on Team Performance
Alongside other conclusions, these findings drawn by Mayo have profoundly influenced the management’s approach to running their production facility from then on. This, we believe, led to the development of the idea of team building.
The relationships between supervisors and workers impacted productivity. Mayo observed that the interactions between supervisors and workers had an impact on productivity. The relationship the supervisor formed with the employees was not what was expected at the time. Women didn’t have an enviable social standing in the workplace. When the supervisor requested feedback from women and heard their complaints, they gained confidence in themselves. Mayo thought that the feedback encouraged the women to work harder regardless of the fact that all rights were stripped away.
Workgroup norms had a significant impact on productivity. If the majority of workers produced at a specific level following a change and everyone produced at the same level, since it was a fair and honest day’s working’ (this confirmed similar conclusions that were previously made by other researchers)
The workplace is the culture of the workplace. Worker performance is influenced by social and internal requirements. informal groups in the work plant affect the routines and behaviors of the employees.
A sense of being taken care of. Recognition for their work, having a sense of security, and feeling a sense of belonging are more critical than physical working conditions.
The emergence of team building
A single of the actual results of the experiment is that at the conclusion of the test, when all privileges were eliminated, productivity continued to increase to a record highest level. It was logically believed that the workers were more motivated to perform their work because of the factors mentioned above rather than the physical working environment. Researchers also suggested that it was possible that the team working on the production was pleased that the studies were extended beyond the original arrangement of one year to five years.
In the years following, employers began to realize how important it was to maintain a healthy workplace culture and working relationship with their employees, which could have resulted in the development of team training and retreats.