Text of The History of Management Thought MGT 336 Week 7 Notes Mike Bejtlich
The History of Management Thought MGT 336 Week 7 Notes Mike Bejtlich
Part Three Social Person Era
Chapter Thirteen The Hawthorne Studies
Hawthorne Studies Hawthorne Plant of Western Electric Subsidiary of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company The Social Person was not invented by these studies, but was brought to a wider recognition by those who interpreted the results. The studies have been widely publicized, misinterpreted, praised, and criticized over the many years since the event.
Hawthorne Plant History & Time Line 1905: Western Electric moved to Cicero, Illinois V Founder: Enos Barton V The Biggest Little Railway in the World 1914: Absorbed operations from New York & Chicago V Main manufacturer for Bell Telephone Laboratories V Hawthorne Works included over 100 buildings V Hawthorne Works was Western Electrics only manufacturing facility.
Hawthorne Plant History & Time Line 1924-1933: Hawthorne Studies 1932-1938: Harvard researchers continued research V Human Element is critical 1940: Peak production with 42,000 workers employed 1958: Western Electric Statistical Quality Control Handbook Hawthorne Plant History & Time Line
Illumination Studies: 1924-1927 The original research issue was the effect of workplace illumination on worker productivity. Those who came initially to Hawthorne were electrical engineers from MIT.
Illumination Studies: 1924-1927 After establishing performance baselines in three departments, the researchers varied the level of illumination. Their conclusion: Illumination appeared to have no influence on input.
Illumination Studies: 1924-1927 Another attempt was made with a control group and a variable group, placed in separate buildings. Again: In this case output went up in both groups.
Illumination Studies: 1924-1927 The illumination research was abandoned in 1927. One of the researchers, Charles E. Snow of MIT, concluded there were too many variables and the psychology of the human individual could have been the most important one. Charles E. Snow
The Relay Assembly Test Room: 1927-1933 The studies could have been trashed at this point, but Homer Hibarger one of he researchers from Hawthorne, and George Pennock, assistant works manager of Hawthorne, pushed for further study. Homer Hibarger
The Relay Assembly Test Room: 1927-1933 Pennock had an excellent insight: Supervision was a better explanation. George Pennock
The Relay Assembly Test Room: 1927-1933 The participants were volunteers, knew the objectives of the study, and were observed for a short period in their regular department prior to going to a separate room with their observer. After eight months into the experiment, two of the original participants were replaced.The Relay Assembly Test Room: 1927-1933
The Relay Assembly Test Room: 1927-1933 A number of changes were introduced The incentive payment plan was changed such that the relay assembly group was rewarded on their output rather than on the output of the larger relay assembly department. Participants were told they could make more money under this arrangement. Participants were allowed to talk to each other during the work day.The Relay one variation
The Relay Assembly Test Room: 1927-1933 Rest periods were introduced. After eight months, two operators quit and two new ones were selected. Work-day and work-week changed. Lunch and refreshments were provided by the company.
The Relay Assembly Test Room: 1927-1933 Over a year after the studies began, all of these privileges, except the small group payment plan, were removed. While output varied, the overall trend was increased output.
Dr. Clair Turner, MIT: Early Interpretation Dr. Clair Turner of MIT had an interpretation of the test results: The small group resulted in more esprit de corps. Difference in the style of supervision relaxed and friendly in the test room vs. he was meanhe died; I didnt even go to see him. (Theresa Layman speaking of regular room supervisor Frank Platenka)
Dr. Clair Turner, MIT: Early Interpretation Increased earnings: average wage went from $16 to $28-50 per week while in the Test Room. The novelty of the experiment. The attention given to the operators by others at the plant.
Second Relay Group A second relay group was formed by Turner in an effort to test the pay for performance effects. Average earnings per week had increased significantly. The second relay group was formed and taken from the large group payment plan to the small group one. Initially, output went up and then leveled off. The study only lasted nine weeks. The group was then returned to the original payment plan, output dropped. That was the end of the second group. Mica Splitting Tests: 1928-1930
Mica Splitting Tests: 1928-1930 Mica splitters had always been on individual pay incentives and this group was studies for 14 months. In this group, average hourly output went up during this period. Turner concluded that pay incentives were one factor, but not the only one, although it was of appreciable importance.Mica Splitting Tests: 1928-1930
The Interviewing Program: 1929-1930 Snow and Hibarger started asking the workers directed questions about their feelings. Elton Mayo (1880-1949) made a contribution by changing the interviewing program to a nondirective approach. He believed that supervisors need to listen more.
The Interviewing Program: 1929-1930 With the nondirective approach the length of the interviews and the information gathered increased. There appeared to be a cathartic effect. After a worker complained, follow-up interviews revealed that the complaint was gone. The workers felt better even though no change in conditions had occurred. Fact and sentiment had to be separated. Two levels of complaints: Manifest what the employee said Latent the psychological content of the complaint
The Interviewing Program: 1929-1930 Complaints were symptoms to be explored. Pessimistic reveries (negative attitudes held by employees that could interfere with their performance according to Mayo) could be reduced if supervisors were concerned and listened to their employees. Group Behavior: Bank Wiring Test Room (1931-1932) Elton Mayo
Group Behavior: Bank Wiring Test Room (1931-1932) Concerned observation, but not intervention, with male workers assembling switches for central office switchboards. Restriction with output was a surprising finding to Turner and W. Lloyd Warner even though restriction of output had been described by others.
Group Behavior: Bank Wiring Test Room (1931-1932) Workers had established an output norm that was lower than managements standard or the bogey. In the informal organization, there were two cliques, each having norms about appropriate in-group behavior, such as the practice of binging.
Group Behavior: Bank Wiring Test Room (1931-1932) Researchers found that work groups: Deliberately restricted output Smoothed out production Developed intragroup disciplinary methods Some workers were isolates, not in a clique, because of various factors
Group Behavior: Bank Wiring Test Room (1931-1932) Rules for clique membership: Do not work too fast. (Rate buster) Do not work too slowly. (Rate chiseler) Do not squeal on a member of your group. Do not act officious or be socially distant.
Group Behavior: Bank Wiring Test Room (1931-1932) Factory as a social organization; work groups served to protect the workers within their group, and to protect the group from outsiders. The workers: Viewed technologists and managers as following a logic of efficiency which interfered with group activities. Were apprehensive of authority and followed a logic of sentiments which reflected their feelings and attitudes toward outsiders.
The Hawthorne Effect The Hawthorne Effect has been a part of human relations folklore for years. Allegedly, the findings were biased because the experimenters became personally involved in the social-work situation. Theresa Layman, one of the participants, rebutted this; so did Don Chipman, one of the observer experimenters. The Hawthorne Effect is widely referenced, but is a dubious explanation of the Hawthorne results.
Human Relations Pessimistic reveries were one type of blockage which arose out of personal, social, and industrial problems and became manifest in apprehension of authority, restriction of output, etc. Anomie, borrowed by Mayo from Emile Durkheim to describe the break-up of traditional society, leaving people without norms.
What Happened to AT&Ts Bell System and Western Electric? November 20, 1974: Antitrust suit charging monopolization and conspiracy to monopolize. 1984: AT&T was ordered to divest its Bell System and Weste