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The Behavioral Perspective

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THE BEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVE

The Hawthornestudies

The Hawthome studies were held at Westem Electric and sponsored by General Electric. Elton Mayo and his colleagues controlled the lighting in one room of workers but not in another.

When the illumination was increased in the experimental group, productivity increased in both groups. The increase in productivity was attributed to the fact that the workers were having extra attention paid to them, maybe for the first time.

Other studies found that employees will not work as fast as they can when beingy paid piece-rate wages. Instead, they will perform to the level informally set by the group in order to be accepted by the group.

These two studies, and others, led Mayo to the conclusion that individual and social processes played a major role in shaping workers attitudes and behavior at work.

The human relations movement

The human relations movement, which stemmed from the Hawthome studies, is based on the idea that a manager's concem for workers will lead to their increased satisfaction and improved perforrnance.

The movement includes the need theories of motivation, such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y.

The emergence of organizational behavior

The emergence of organizational behavior occurred because of the too simplistic descriptions of work behavior by the human relationists. Organizational behavior takes aholistic view of behavior by addressing individual, group, and organization processes.

Contributions

  • Gave insights into interpersonal processes in organizations such as motivation and group dynamics.
  • Focused managerial attention on these processes.
  • Challenged the view of employees as tools and not resources.

Limitations

  • The complexity of human behavior makes prediction difficult.
  • Managers may be reluctant to adopt some of the behavioral concepts.
  • Contributions are often not communicated to the practicing managers in an understandable form.

REFERENCE:
          www.ee.uwa.edu.au/~ccroft/em333/leca02.html - 12k