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Elton Mayos Study on

Employee Motivation and


Work Productivity
The Hawthorn Studies
The Hawthorne Studies were conducted The Hawthorne Studies were conducted
from 1927 from 1927- -1932 at the Western Electric 1932 at the Western Electric
Hawthorne Works in Chicago, where Hawthorne Works in Chicago, where
Harvard Business School Professor Elton Harvard Business School Professor Elton
Mayo examined productivity and work Mayo examined productivity and work
conditions. conditions.
Mayo wanted to find out what effect fatigue Mayo wanted to find out what effect fatigue
and monotony had on job productivity and and monotony had on job productivity and
how to control them through such variables how to control them through such variables
as rest breaks, work hours, temperatures as rest breaks, work hours, temperatures
and humidity. and humidity.
Five women assembled telephone relays, Five women assembled telephone relays,
one supplied the parts. one supplied the parts.
Made frequent changes in working Made frequent changes in working
conditions with their consent. conditions with their consent.
Records were kept of relays made, Records were kept of relays made,
temperature and humidity of rooms, temperature and humidity of rooms,
medical and personal histories medical and personal histories. .
No one supervised the girls. No one supervised the girls.
They were told to work as they felt and at They were told to work as they felt and at
a comfortable pace. a comfortable pace.
Mayo Mayo s Experiment s Experiment
Productive capacity was measured by recording Productive capacity was measured by recording
the girls the girls output for two weeks before the study output for two weeks before the study
began. began.
First five weeks, no changes were made. First five weeks, no changes were made.
Third stage, a pay system was ensured allowing Third stage, a pay system was ensured allowing
the girls the girls to earn in proportion to their efforts. to earn in proportion to their efforts.
Eight weeks later, two five Eight weeks later, two five- -minute rest pauses minute rest pauses
were added were added. .
Eighth phase, workday ended a half Eighth phase, workday ended a half- -day early. day early.
Ninth phase, the girls finished an hour earlier than Ninth phase, the girls finished an hour earlier than
usual. usual.
Five Five- -day week introduced. day week introduced.
Girls went back to no breaks, lunches and a full Girls went back to no breaks, lunches and a full
work week, output declined for those twelve weeks. work week, output declined for those twelve weeks.
Results Results
Researchers found that output rates weren Researchers found that output rates weren t t
directly related to the physical conditions of the directly related to the physical conditions of the
work. work.
Output went up when: Output went up when:
They were put on piece They were put on piece- -work for eight weeks. work for eight weeks.
Two five minute rest pauses were introduced Two five minute rest pauses were introduced
for five weeks. for five weeks.
Rest pauses were lengthened to ten minutes. Rest pauses were lengthened to ten minutes.
Results Results
Output went up when Output went up when
A hot meal was supplied during first A hot meal was supplied during first paus pause e
They were dismissed at 4:30 p.m. instead They were dismissed at 4:30 p.m. instead
of 5:00 of 5:00 p.m p.m
Output slightly Output slightly fell when six five minute when six five minute
pauses were added. pauses were added.
It remained the same when they were It remained the same when they were
dismissed at 4:00 p.m. instead of 4:30 dismissed at 4:00 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m p.m
The experiment was then reproduced using The experiment was then reproduced using
male workers. male workers.
The responses were quite different from, The responses were quite different from,
and often the reverse of those found when and often the reverse of those found when
investigating female workers. investigating female workers.
The factors that increased output with the The factors that increased output with the
female workers, often saw no change or female workers, often saw no change or
even a decrease in output, under male even a decrease in output, under male
workers. workers.
The conclusions from Mayo The conclusions from Mayo s experiments may seem s experiments may seem
obvious now, but remember, the factory had been obvious now, but remember, the factory had been
operating under operating under Taylorian Taylorian conditions. conditions.
Conclusions. Conclusions.
Work is a group activity. Work is a group activity.
The social world for an adult is primarily patterned The social world for an adult is primarily patterned
about work. about work.
Need for recognition, security and sense of belonging Need for recognition, security and sense of belonging
Attitudes and effectiveness are conditioned by social Attitudes and effectiveness are conditioned by social
demands demands workers are influenced by other workers workers are influenced by other workers. .
Informal groups at work are strong social controls over Informal groups at work are strong social controls over
the work habits and attitudes of a worker the work habits and attitudes of a worker
Management Management need to : need to : - -
Gain active support and participation from Gain active support and participation from
workers, while maintaining managerial workers, while maintaining managerial
control. control.
Be patient with workers, listen to them, and Be patient with workers, listen to them, and
avoid creating emotional upsets. avoid creating emotional upsets.
Transfer of power to workers, knowing their Transfer of power to workers, knowing their
workers. workers.
Encouragement of positive groups, Encouragement of positive groups,
discouragement of negative groups discouragement of negative groups
Management Management need to : need to : - -
Encourage Encourage insights, insights, and and suggestions suggestions from from
workers workers
Encourage c Encourage co o- -operation, communication, operation, communication,
sense of belonging. sense of belonging.
Provide Provide incentives to increase productivity incentives to increase productivity
and quality and quality

Mayo Mayo
Man Man s desire to be continuously associated in work s desire to be continuously associated in work
with his fellows is a strong, if not the strongest, with his fellows is a strong, if not the strongest,
human characteristic. Any disregard of it by human characteristic. Any disregard of it by
management or any ill management or any ill- -advised attempt to defeat advised attempt to defeat
this human impulse leads instantly to some form of this human impulse leads instantly to some form of
defeat for management itself. defeat for management itself.