The Hawthorne Experiments Essay

1259 words - 6 pages

In Roethlisberger’s article, he mainly discussed three Hawthorne Experiments, which includes the “illumination” experiments, the “Relay Assembly Test Room” experiment, the interviews about employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and the “Bank Wiring Observation Room” experiment. The purpose of the experiments was to study the effect of environment conditions, which include physical environment conditions and psychological factors, on workers’ productivity. Such as the level of illumination, rest breaks, work hours, temperature, and humidity.
In the first test, the “illumination” experiments, the original purpose was determining the relationship between illumination and worker efficiency. Investigator supposed that increasing the illumination level could help to reduce workers’ fatigue and grow up the output. Two groups of workers, the “test group,” and the “control group,” were selected in the study. The brightness of the light was increased and decreased to find out the effect on the productivity of the test group. The researchers were surprised that the productivity increased even when the level of illumination was decreased. In the conclusion of the first experiment, employee output was not necessarily related to lighting conditions, and some other variables had not been controlled in the test. Increasing productivity was due to workers’ receiving attention.
In the second test, the “Relay Assembly Test Room” experiment, the researchers wanted to identify how other variables could affect productivity. A group of five girls were placed in a separate room where their conditions of work could be carefully controlled, where their output could be measured. In the result, it showed that the output went up whatever investigators changed the working conditions, such as changing the payment rules, changing break time, providing food, shorting the work time, and so on. Researchers finally found that choosing one's own coworkers, working as a group, being treated as special, like working in a separate room, and having a sympathetic supervisor were the real reasons for the productivity increase.
In the third experiment, “Employee Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction” interviews, the original purpose was listening to workers’ dissatisfactions about current management mode, and looking for the improvements. During the interviews, investigators realized that several factors affect the employees’ work performance. For example, the matters such as external life problems affected workers’ emotion, which could affect productivity indirectly. There was a phenomenon called “chronic kickers” exists in workers, they always dissatisfied problems, even some problems were not related with their work. It was important to show that social context with workers can help to increase productivity. Like after worker vented dissatisfactions, they felt better and raised morale.
In the fourth experiment, the “Bank Wiring Observation Room” test, fourteen men were selected to put...

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