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Elton Mayo's Hawthorne Experiments

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Elton Mayo's Hawthorne Experiments (1880-1947) Biography of Elton Mayo George Elton Mayo was born on 26th December 1880 in Adelaide, South Australia. He was brought up by his respected colonial family. His father was a civil engineer who was married to Henrietta Mary nee Donaldson. They wanted their son, Elton Mayo to do well in his education and to succeed something in life. Mayo was looking forward to follow his grandfather's path in medicine but, he failed his studies at university in Edinburgh, Scotland. In Great Britain, he wrote a book on Australian politics for the Pall Mall Gazette and taught at the Working Men's College in London. Mayo returned to South Australia to work in an Adelaide Publishing organisation, where his management practices were not accepted. He went to university and he became the most intelligent student in philosophy. In 1912, he became a foundation lecturer and taught many subjects such as, philosophy, economics and new psychology of Pierre Janet (the French psychologist, who had researched the problems of repetitive and monotonous tasks in industry), at a newly established university in Queensland. ...read more.


At Between 1926 and 1947, he chose to work as a Professor of Industrial Research at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and taught there for many years. In 1927, Mayo worked on an industrial research project at the Hawthorne Works of the West Electric Company, a manufacturing plant of telephones, Western side of Chicago. His associates, F. J. Roethlisberger and William J. Dickson helped Mayo with his research on employees' behaviour at work. The investigation lasted for five years and all of their results that they have recorded were written in a book called, Management and the Worker (1939). This book was authored by F. J. Roethlisberger and William J. Dickson. Elton Mayo wrote two books, one of the books was called, The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilisation (1933). This book contains information about his experiments and the conclusions of the Hawthorne Studies (his motivation theory) and school of the human relations. In December 1947, he had a serious stroke and wasn't capable to go to work. ...read more.


Mayo finally realised that it was the following factors that made the productivity to increase:- * greater satisfaction from freedom and control over their working environment * the individuals became a team and co-operated well with the experiment * group standards are important and influenced by unofficial leadership * better communication between employees and managers * employees are influenced by the amount of interest shown in them (this is known as 'the Hawthorne Effect') The work of Mayo shows, that group working relations and employees' involvement are important in motivating staff. He believed that an employee's attitude is the key of motivation. Also, Mayo believed that increased personal satisfaction is the suitable way of motivation. He felt that tension between employees and managers could guide to conflict within the organisations. Mayo felt that recognition, security and sense of belonging are important in determining employees' confidence and productivity than, the physical conditions in which an employee works. He thinks that informal groups within the workplace, effects strong social controls over the work habits and attitudes of the individual worker. Theory of Motivation - 9 - ...read more.

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