Hawthorne effect is a term referring to tendency of various people to execute
better and work harder when they are being observed or participants in an
experiment (GILLESPIE, 1994).
was first encountered in 1950’s by researcher Henry A. Landsberger, when performing a study and analysis of data
from experiment performed by Elton Mayo
in 1930’s. The occurrence of this experiment took place at , Western Electric’s
Hawthorne Works electric company of Hawthorne, Illinois (CHERRY, 2017). The company manufactures telephone
system bell which has 30,000 employees at the time of experiment.
purpose of Hawthorne studies was to
examine workers and their productivity (performance) based on work environment
factors such as lighting, breaks and working hours. Researchers began with
increasing the lighting of working conditions compared to one without changing,
predictably the workers with more light improved productivity. After many
changes researchers have noticed that what all the changes made productivity of the workers continued to grow
came back to the initial stage now without any changes in work environment, and
further reduced the light still productivity was at its highest level with full
workers attending. So they concluded that it wasn’t the functioning changes that
improved productivity it was attention researchers took in the workers, and the
workers feel like someone is much concerned about their place of work.
Hawthorne result evidently showed that people work in a different way when they
are being observed in contrast to not observing (VRABIE, 2014).
effect to company’s benefit
improve their capability of functioning depending up on employment surroundings
change, not in reply to the change in individuality itself. In fact Elton Mayo, lead researcher at Hawthorne described
change in productivity as a
“positive emotional effect due to the perception of a interested observer”.
information is key for Mangers in today’s work environment if the team is facing little variation in their performance.
The elements of Hawthorne can help the team to push up using elements such as:
Social factors effect performance
Attitudes effect performance
Supervision effects performance
Informal work group effects performance.
Effect and its influence on HRM
The Hawthorne effect changed the human relations approach to
management in a way such that employees requirements and motivation became the principal
focus of managers. Technology and working process has extremely changed but
management focused supervision has psychological motivation impact to enhance performance,
decrease level of defects or errors and create a mixed culture for continuous
Unlike the approach of scientific management, where the main
focus was on productivity by dehumanized
employees. Hawthorne effect proved that workers are greatly motivated by more than money.
Employees remain loyal to the firm when they are not treated separately depending
on the performance levels, having fun at work place, and low levels of stress (BAACK, 2012).
In today’s work force, Human Resource Management has the
responsibility of protecting their experienced workers (assets) of the company by providing them with work / life balance. HR
Managers must respond to both the employees professional and personal needs in
order to keep hold of their employees and work for their organization.
Human resource management was once responsible for only
recruitment, training and basic disciplinary
issues but now has some premeditated functions in looking after various employees
companies main goal is to hire the best talents from all over the world with
different education backgrounds.
Legislation: The HR
department of a global company should have a clear idea of employment laws in
each and every country it operates. This can be achieved by having local HR
departments in each country and reporting it to the main office.
Cultural Differences: Due to cultural variations HR responsibility
in employee satisfaction and management development became more difficult. The
HR department must able to understand every culture correctly and respond.
Pay and Benefits: In a
Global organization it is the most difficult task HR faces. The packages may be more expensive
and more difficult to set in some countries due to different taxation approach
including the benefits such as Accommodation,
pensions, life assurance, company cars.