IntroductionThe Hawthorne experiment was agroundbreaking study in human relations that was conducted between 1924 and1932 at Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne Works in Chicago.
Professor GeorgeElton Mayo (1880-1949) led the experiment in 1928 and his team alteredworkers’ working conditions and monitored how the change inworking conditions affected the workers morale and productivity. The study was basicallybased on four parts:1- IlluminationStudies – 1924-1927The basic idea of this study was tovary and record levels of illumination in a test room with the expectation thatas lighting was increased, productivity would too. In another test room,illumination was decreased, with the correlating expectation that efficiencywould decrease. Results: Each change (including decreases) resulted in higher outputand reported greater employee satisfaction2- Relay-AssemblyTests 1927-1929The relay-assembly tests weredesigned to evaluate the effect rest periods and hours of work would have onefficiency.
Two small groups of six female telephonerelay assemblers were selected. Each group was kept in separate rooms. Fromtime to time, changes were made in working hours, rest periods, lunch breaks,incentives etc. They were allowed to choose their own rest periods and to givesuggestions.Results: Most changes resulted in higher output and reported greateremployee satisfaction3- MassInterviewing Programme 1928 – 1931More than 21,000 individuals wereinterviewed to survey worker morale in an attempt to determine specificfeatures of their jobs workers either liked or disliked. The objective was toidentify areas where reasonable improvements might lead to greater jobsatisfaction and thus increased efficiency and productivity.
Result – Remarkable positive employee perceptions4- Bank-WiringTests 1932A group of 14 male workers in the bank wiring room wereplaced under observation for six months. A worker’s pay depended on theperformance of the group as a whole. The researchers thought that the efficientworkers would put pressure on the less efficient workers to complete the work.• Result – Noappreciable changes in outputDerivations of the Experimentü Productivity increased because workerswere paid attention to by observers rather than changing the work environment.ü jobsatisfaction increased as workers were given more freedom to determine theconditions of their working environment and to set their own standards of outputü Workersin group do not maximize individual economic reward