In the 1920’s, the central theme was Scientific Management. The ideas of Behavioralism in management were introduced by social psychologists and sociologists. The scientific management era functioned as a logical link to the developing approach to management era.
The Hawthorne studies brought the human relations effort to the forefront and led to the theme of the social person. Over many years the behavioral approach to management grew a little bit at a time. Theorists, who advocate the behavioral approach to management, stressed that an individual in organize activity deserved to be the main attention of focus. These sociologists and psychologists felt that management’s success largely depended on the manager’s skills and abilities to work with individuals and also understand those which have a diversity of aspirations, needs, backgrounds, and perceptions. The advancement of this approach from the human relations movement to modern organizational behavior has had a great effect and influence on the theory and practice of management. The human relations movement was a concentrated effort among theorists to make sure that managers were more sensitive to their worker’s needs. This practice came into existence as a result of special circumstances that took place during the first part of the 20th century. Scientific management during the social person era was supported by three very different influences; the Hawthorne studies, the threat of unionization, and the philosophy of industrial humanism.
The Hawthorne Studies
Behavioral scientists in the 20th century started to conduct studies concerning behavior related to the job. Instead of studying methods, tools and worker techniques that the theorists used in the scientific management era, behavioral scientist focused their attention on people. Practical behavioral research such as the famous Hawthorne studies stimulated management’s focus towards the psychological and sociological changing aspects of the workplace (Johnsey, 2011).
Elton Mayo, Industrial Management Professor at Harvard Business School and Fritz J. Roethlisberger in the 1920’s began a study of worker behavior at Western Electric, located outside of Chicago. The study took a total of nine years to complete (Johnsey, 2011). The experiments were done to study the effects that increase lighting had on employee production. The aim of the study was to see how well the workers’ productivity improved based upon additional illumination of light within the work areas inside the factory (Johnsey, 2011.). Initially the studies showed that with more illumination of the work areas production of the workers improved as the levels of the lightning within the plant increased. When the study was repeated the results showed that when the lights within the factory were decreased the workers production still continued to increase. When other variables were used as part of the study there was also found that worker productivity increased even when...