Competitive Exams: MBA Organizational Behaviour

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in human relations movement, according to Fred Luthans three major events took place, describe these with suitable examples.

According to Fred Luthans three events are

  • The great depression
  • The Hawthorne experiments
  • Rise of trade unionism

The Great Depression

The economy was operating in the high gear just before the thundering financial crash occurred in 1929. The production and the organization specialists had achieved great result s prior to the crash. After the crash the management began to realize the production could no longer be the only major responsibility of management. Marketing, finance and more importantly personnel were also required in order for a business to survive and grow. The depression՚s due to unemployment, discontent and insecurity brought and cope with. Personnel department were either created or given more importance and most managers now began to develop a new awakened view of the human aspects of their jobs. Thus human relations took an added significance, as an indirect, and in some cases direct.

The Rise of Trade Unionism

Another important factor contributing factor to the rise of human relations role of management was the organized labour movement. Although labour unions were in existence in America as early as 1792, it was not until the passage of Wagner act in 1935 that the organized labor movement made an impact on management. In India, though workers unions existed since the later half of the 19th centaury, they operated under terrible legal constraints. It was only in 1926 with passage of trade union act 1926 that the manager began realizing that the trade union had come to stay in spite of the wishes of the managers or for that matter management. The only go to avoid any portable friction with the trade union was to understand the human relations role of the management

Howthorne Experiements

Western electric co. Conducted Hawthorn works a research program in the work situations which affects the morale and productive efficiency of workers. During research the company was aided by suggestion of Prof. Elton mayo and his associates from Harvard University. Because large part that Harvard played in the project it is often referred to as the Hawthrone-Harward experiments or studies The Hawthorne studies represents the pioneer attempts to make a systematic and intensive study of the human factor and to demonstrate the utmost complexity in work setting where people interact in small groups under varied organizational conditions. Like any experiments design the researchers manipulated the independence variable (illumination) to observe its effects on the dependent variable and attempted to hold other factors under control. The following are the broad segments of the study

  1. Illumination experiments (1924 − 1927) To study the effects of changed illuminations on work, some groups of employee were formed in one group the illumination remained unchanged throughout the experiments whereas in other group (experimental group) the illumination was enhanced in intensity. Meanwhile the productivity in experimental group showed an improvement. But strangely the output of the control also went up. The researchers then preceded to decreases the illumination for the experimental group. The output went up. Everybody recognized there wads something much more important other than wages, hours, working condition, which influences the productivity.
  2. Relay room experiments. The relay room experiments were initiated in 1927 represents the actual beginning of the Hawthorne studies. Taking a clue from illumination experiments the research continued taking 2 girls for the experiments. These girls were asked to choose other 4 girls and, made a small group of 6. The group was employed in assembling telephone relays. The experiments started by introducing numerous changes each of which continued for a test period ranging from four to twelve weeks. Under normal working conditions with a forty eight hour week and no rest pauses, each girl produced 2400 relays week. These girls were then placed on piece of work basis for 8 weeks and productivity increased. Next, two five minutes rest pauses introduced and afterwards increased to n10 minutes. Productivity increased sharply. Company provided hot meal free of charge, the productivity increased. After all these amenities withdraw and girls returned to their normal working condition with 48hours/week, and no free meals. But still the productivity was highest. The productivity increased because of girls attitudes towards their works. The group developed a sense of responsibility and self discipline In the mica splitting study, although the isolated test room conditions of the original relay study were reproduced, the workers were engaged under their normal individual piece rate plan rather than small group incentive schemes employed with the lay room experimental subjects. As result the productivity increased 15 % during the period of 14 months.
  3. Mass interviewing program Another major aspect of the Hawthorne studies consisted of 21000 interviews carried out during1928 to 1930. The original objective was to explore information, wich could be used to improve supervisory training. Initially these interviews were conducted by means of direct questioning. But this method had disadvantage of simply yes or no response. Thus the method has changed to non directive interviewing where the interviewer was to listen instead of talk, argue or advice, and take on the role of confidant.
  4. Bank wiring room study:

The chief objective was to conduct an observational analysis of the work group.

In this experiment 14 men were chosen for bank wiring. This was the process where two lose wire ends were soldered. In that 9 were wiremen, 3 solder man, 2 inspectors. The job involved attaching wires to switches for certain parts of telephone equipment. The study involved no experimental changes once it had started it were carried out by 2 persons-an observer and an interviewer. The interviewer remained as an outsider and his task was to explore as much possible by interviewing the individual worker. He carried his work in strict confidence, privately and in different part of the company. He never entered wiring room. The result of the bank wiring room which are marked apposite to those obtained relay room, revealed that this small group of workers emerged as a team with informal leaders who had come up spontaneously. The group was indifferent towards the financial incentives of the factory. The output was neither more nor less. This implies that it would be irrational to break up these groups.

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