Human Relations Perspective In Management
The human relations perspective is a way to manage a corporation where the employees are viewed as social beings with complex needs and desires as opposed to just units of production. It is based on the works of Abraham Maslow and Douglas McGregor in the mid twentieth century. This perspective places an emphasis on the social networks found in a corporation and uses gratification, not depravation, to provide motivation in the workplace.
The human relations perspective developed in the mid twentieth century and was an extension of the behavioral viewpoint. Prior to the behavioral, almost all management was looked upon through the classical viewpoint. This viewpoint specifically focused on how to create higher efficiency though technical processes with little regard to the social aspect of work. It wasn’t until after the Hawthorne experiments that people began to realize that the happiness of the worker has a major effect on overall productivity. The experiment began as a test on the effects of different working environments on productivity. However as they proceeded researchers found that no matter what they altered productivity increased. Therefore they concluded that productivity rises when employees are given attention and a say in the decisions that affect their work. ( Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2008). Chapter 2. In Management: A practical Introduction (pp. 46-49) NYC: McGraw Hill.) Previous perspectives overlooked the relationship between the employee and the work group he/she was associated with. The Hawthorne experiments led to the establishment of the behavioral viewpoint. This viewpoint has a more psychological approach to management with an emphasis on understanding human behavior and motivating employees towards achievement. (Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2008). Chapter 2. In Management: A practical Introduction (pp. 46-49). NYC: McGraw Hill.) Maslow and McGregor further developed this idea into the human relations perspective, the idea that better human relations could increase productivity.
The human relations perspective views the workplace as an intricate social network which a manager must control though increased participation from employees and open communication. Within this perspective employees are viewed as responsible, social, and self-motivated. These views support Douglas McGregor’s theory Y. Managers who follow theory Y believe employees generally enjoy work, are often self-motivated to complete tasks efficiently and to the best of their ability, and will actively seek responsibility. They also believe that people in general are smarter than previously realized and can exercise high levels of creativity and ingenuity. (Heyel, C. (Ed.). (1982). The Encycolpedia of Management . NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.) McGregor compares this to managers who follow the X theory, who believe employees avoid responsibility, have little ambition, and are inherently lazy. They...