Hawthorne Effect 22a

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Hawthorne Effect


The Hawthorne effect:

The productivity increases when someone is concerned about the worker, his/her work, and the workplace.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6061″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Behavior based on a change in the work environment

People improve their work behavior based on a change in their work environment, not in response to the nature of the change itself. In the case of the Hawthorne experiments, workers increased their productivity because the presence of the researchers had a motivational effect on them. The researchers observed the workers.

Increase the productivity

It’s important to note that the increase in productivity was not only the result of the researchers’ presence but also of the interest they took in the workers. The researcher at Hawthorne described this change in productivity as a “positive emotional effect due to the perception of a sympathetic or interested observer”. When the manager is noticing the worker and the work done, the productivity will increase.


Watch the video about the Hawthorne effect:

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Motivate your team

This information is vital for team managers. If your team is hitting a plateau, the elements of the Hawthorne effect can help your team to go on.

  • Physical changes.
  • Observe how your team works and give them feedback – understanding can boost productivity.
  • Productivity is affected by the informal organization of the group.


Other conclusions of the Hawthorne studies

The desire to stand well with one’s fellows, the so-called human instinct of association, easily outweighs the merely individual interest and the logic of reasoning upon which so many spurious principles of management are based.” (Mayo)

In other words, any team has the potential to be greater than the sum of its parts.

The company culture can make or break a company

The Hawthorne researchers became more and more interested in the informal groups that workers formed. They found out that there is a group life among the workers – independent of the organizational relationships. They also noticed that the relations supervisors develop with workers affect how workers carry out their tasks. That’s why company culture can make or break a company.

Even though the Hawthorne experiments have been highly criticized since their completion, their results have almost become axioms by now – both in the social sciences and in management practices.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1518290474027{background-color: #b6c6ed !important;}”][vc_column_text]The Hawthorne effect gets its name from one of the most famous industrial history experiments that took place at Western Electric’s factory in the Hawthorne suburb of Chicago in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The studies were conducted for the most part under the supervision of Elton Mayo.

George Elton Mayo

George Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949) was an Australian born psychologist, industrial researcher, and organizational theorist.

Mayo has been credited with making significant contributions to a number of disciplines, including business management, industrial sociology, philosophy, and social psychology. Mayo’s work helped to lay the foundation for the human relations movement.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Back to the Curriculum” style=”3d” color=”primary” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-angle-double-left” add_icon=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Flucu.nkb.no%2Fcourses%2Fcc-motivate-the-employees%2F|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row]