PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology
Chapter 4: Human Relation Model and Hawthorne Experiments
Introduction of Human Relation Model
Good human relations can only be established if the needs of an individual are satisfied and his / her will to work is stimulated. This presents the difficulty that management is dealing with a group of individuals, all of whom may respond differently in a given situation.
In the earlier approaches, the workers were treated in purely rational and mechanistic terms ignoring their social and psychological aspects. These approaches led to the better productivity and more efficient forms of organization.
The human relationists (also known as neo – classicists) focused on the human aspect of industry. They modified the classical theory (scientific management model) by emphasizing that organisation is a social system and the human factor is the most important element in it. They conducted some experiments (known as Hawthorne experiments) and investigated informal relationships, patterns of communication, patterns of informal leadership etc.
In 1924 to 1927, the national research council made a study in collaboration with the Western Electric Company, Chicago, to determine the effect of illumination and other conditions upon the workers and their productivity. Later, in 1927, a group of researchers led by George Elton Mayo and Fritz J. Roethlisberger at the Harvard Business School were invited to join in the studies at the Hawthorne works of Western Electric Company.
The Hawthorne studies show the complete interrelatedness of the various problems and demonstrate that changes in work environment, rest pauses, hours of work, hours in working week, fatigue, monotony, incentives, employees’ attitude, employee organisation both formal and informal, and employee – employer relations are all ultimately related. To treat them as if they were separate is to introduce such artificially as to make the step unreal.