What is Hawthorne Experiment? Theory by Elton Mayo, 4 Phases


Hawthorne experiments were designed to study how different aspects of the work environment, such as lighting, the timing of breaks, and the length of the workday, had an on worker productivity. Here in this article, we have explained what is Hawthorne Experiment.

► What is Hawthorne Experiment?

The Hawthorne experiments were first developed in November 1924 at Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne plant in Chicago in Manufactured equipment for the bell telephone system and employed nearly 30,000 workers at the time of experiments.

Although, in all material aspects, this was the most progressive company with pension and sickness benefit schemes along with various recreational and other facilities discontent and dissatisfaction prevailed among the employees.

The initial tests were sponsored by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1927, a research team from Harvard Business School was invited to join the studies after the illumination test drew unanticipated results.

A team of researchers led by George Elton Mayo from the Harvard Business School carried out the studies (General Electric originally contributed funding, but they withdrew after the first trial was completed).

Experiments of Hawthorne effects work were conducted from 1924 to 1932. These studies mark the starting point of the field of Organizational Behaviour.

Initiated as an attempt to investigate how characteristics of the work setting affect employee fatigue and performance. (i.e., lighting) Found that productivity increased regardless of whether illumination was raised or lowered.

◉ Hawthorne Experiments were given by Elton Mayo

In 1927, a gathering of scientists driven by Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger of the Harvard Business School were welcome to participate in the investigations at the Hawthorne Works of Western Electric Company, Chicago. The usefulness of representatives relies vigorously on the fulfillment of the representatives in their work circumstances.

Mayo’s thought was that legitimate elements were less significant than passionate variables in deciding usefulness effectiveness. Besides, of the relative multitude of human variables impacting representative conduct, the most remarkable were those exuding from the specialist’s investment in gatherings. Accordingly, Mayo inferred that work courses of action as well as meeting the true necessities of creation must simultaneously fulfill the worker’s emotional prerequisite of social fulfillment at his workplace.

The Hawthorne experiment can be divided into 4 significant parts:

  1. Experiments on Illumination.
  2. Relay Assembly Experiment.
  3. Mass Interviewing Program
  4. Bank Wiring Observation Room.

1. Illumination Experiment

The examinations in Illumination were an immediate augmentation of Elton Mayo’s previous light analyses done in the material business in 1923 and 1924. This trial started in 1924.

It comprised of a progression of investigations of test bunches in which the degrees of brightening shifted yet the circumstances were held steady. The reason behind it was to look at the connection of the quality and amount of light to the proficiency of laborers.

It was observed that the efficiency expanded to practically a similar rate in both test and control bunches chosen for the examinations. In the last investigation, it was found that result diminished with the diminished brightening level, i.e., moonlight power.

As the analysts didn’t observe a positive and straight connection between brightening and effectiveness of laborers, they inferred that the outcomes were ‘suspicious’ without even a trace of straightforward and direct circumstances and logical results relationship.

One of the critical realities revealed by the review was that individuals act diversely when they are being considered than they could somehow or another act. It is from this the term Hawthorne Effect was authored.

2. Relay Assembly Test Room Experiment

This stage pointed toward knowing the effect of brightening on creation as well as different variables like the length of the functioning day, rest hours, and other states of being.

In this trial, a little homogeneous work-gathering of six young ladies was established. These young ladies were amicable to one another and were approached to work in an extremely casual environment under the management of a scientist.

Efficiency and resolve expanded significantly during the time of the examination. Usefulness continued expanding and settled at an undeniable level in any event, when every one of the upgrades was removed and the pre-test conditions were once again introduced.

The analysts reasoned that socio-mental factors, for example, the sensation of being significant, acknowledgment, consideration, investment, durable work-bunch, and non-order oversight held the key to higher efficiency.

3. Mass Interview Program in Hawthorne Experiment

The goal of this program was to make an orderly investigation of the representative’s mentalities which would uncover the significance that their “working circumstance” has for them.

The specialists talked with countless laborers as to their viewpoints on work, working circumstances, and management.

At first, an immediate methodology was utilized by which meetings posed inquiries considered significant by supervisors and scientists.

The analysts say that the answers of the workers were monitored. Consequently, this approach was supplanted by a roundabout method, where the questioner essentially paid attention to what the workers needed to say.

The discoveries affirmed the significance of social elements at work in the absolute workplace.

4. Bank Wiring Room Study

The last Hawthorne analysis, called the bank wiring room study, was directed to notice and
dissect the elements of a working bunch when impetus was presented. With the end goal of
tests, a gathering of 14 laborers was utilized on bank wiring.

The work was conveyed between nine wiremen, three weld men, and two reviewers. In the bank wiring room study, the work bunch framed a standard that the gathering would play out a specific pre-chosen amount of work in a day.

The whole work bunch complied with this standard paying little mind to pay, which suggests that gathering rules were more significant for the individuals.

Subsequently, it was recommended to bring the administration and laborer’s goals in line to pursue the shared objectives to improve the association.

Must Read :14 Principles of Management

► Features of Hawthorne Experiment

The highlight Features of the Hawthorne Experiment are:

1.  A business association is fundamentally a social framework. It isn’t simply a techno-financial framework.

2. The business can be inspired by mental and social needs since its conduct is additionally affected by sentiments, feelings, and perspectives. Consequently, monetary impetuses are by all accounts not the only strategy to propel individuals.

3. The executives should figure out how to foster co-employable mentalities and not depend just on order.

Support turns into a significant instrument in human relations development. To accomplish interest, a successful two-way correspondence network is fundamental.

4. Usefulness is connected with representative fulfillment in any business association. In this way, the board should check out worker fulfillment. Bunch brain research assumes a significant part in any business association.

5. The neo-old style hypothesis stresses that man is a living machine and he is undeniably more significant than the lifeless machine. Subsequently, the way to higher efficiency lies in worker spirit. High confidence brings about higher results.

Must Read :14 Principles of Management