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Hawthorne study.

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1. Introduction Hawthorne study is one of the most important theories in management training that was started since 1927. And it is also an effect at work. This report will attempt to define the concept of Hawthorne Effect and how was it discovered. 2. What is the Hawthorne Effect The name "Hawthorne Effect" comes from some early work (1927-1932) on organizational measurement done at the Western Electric plant in Hawthorne, Illinois, where management tried to determine optimum levels of factory-floor lighting. Because the employees knew about the study, they responded to each adjustment in light level by increasing productivity. It showed that regardless of the changes made in working conditions -- more breaks, longer breaks or fewer and shorter ones -- productivity increased. These changes apparently had nothing to do with the workers' responses. The workers, or so the story goes, produced more because they saw themselves as special, participants in an experiment, and their inter-relationships improved. One definition of the Hawthorne Effect is: An experimental effect in the direction expected but not for the reason expected; i.e. a significant positive effect that turns out to have no causal basis in the theoretical motivation for the intervention, but is apparently due to the effect on the participants of knowing themselves to be studied in connection with the outcomes measured. ...read more.


1a) No control group, experimental groups in 3 different departments. All showed an increase of productivity (from an initial base period), didn't decrease with illumination. 1b) 2 groups. The control group got stable illumination; the other got a sequence of increasing levels. Got a substantial rise in production in both, but no difference between the groups. 1c) Experimental and control groups. Experimental group got a sequence of decreasing light levels. Both groups steadily increased production, until finally light in experimental group so low they protested and production fell off. 1d) 2 girls only. Their production stayed constant under widely varying light levels, but they said they preferred the light (1) if experimenter said bright was good, then the brighter they believed it to be they more they liked it; (2) then ditto when he said dimmer was good. And if they were deceived about a change, they said the preferred it i.e. it was their belief about the light level not the actual light level, and what they thought the experimenter expected to be good, not what was materially good. Study 2: the relay assembly experiments (2a,b) ...read more.


Also, four general conclusions were drawn from the Hawthorne studies: * The aptitudes of individuals are imperfect predictors of job performance. Although they give some indication of the physical and mental potential of the individual, the amount produced is strongly influenced by social factors. * Informal organization affects productivity. The Hawthorne researchers discovered a group life among the workers. The studies also showed that the relations that supervisors develop with workers tend to influence the manner in which the workers carry out directives. * Work-group norms affect productivity. The Hawthorne researchers were not the first to recognize that work groups tend to arrive at norms of what is "a fair day's work," however, they provided the best systematic description and interpretation of this phenomenon. * The workplace is a social system. The Hawthorne researchers came to view the workplace as a social system made up of interdependent parts. 4. Conclusion In conclusion, Hawthorne Effect that comes from an early project in Illinois, brings some effects at work that could increase productivities by changing working conditions and let worker see themselves as special especially. This report has covered definition of Hawthorne Effect and where it is from in details. 5. ...read more.

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