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The Hawthorne Effect

 
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dverma
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Joined: 19 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: The Hawthorne Effect Reply with quote

The Hawthorne effect explains that a subject will improve or modify an aspect of their behavior in response to the fact they are being studied or watched and not in response to any part of the actual study.

Essentially individuals respond differently when they are being observed.


We can use this effect in management to invoke a positive response in the workplace. Individuals who have a positive response to the Hawthorne Effect will work harder than before if they know they are being watched or evaluated.
They will keep up the increased work as long as they know they are being observed. However this same group may return to a less productive state when they are no longer being observed. As a manager who should determine those individuals that respond to the Hawthorne Effect and manage accordingly.

The phenomenon that subject behavior changes [consciously/subconsciously] by the mere fact that they are being observed.

However it is said that this is the natural process of the human being to adapt to the environment without knowing the objective of the experiment occurring.
Hawthorne Effect is a theory that according to which:
"the organization to motivate their employees as much or more by expressing concern for problems as by actually improving their work conditions."
This personal interest results in increased performance, according to the observation of productivity researcher George Elton Mayo.
The Hawthorne effect refers to the possibility that individuals singled out for a study may improve their performance simply because of the added attention they receive from the researchers, rather than because of any specific factors being tested in the study.
“The Hawthorne effect is a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve or modify an aspect of their behaviour being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they know they are being studied, not in response to any particular experimental manipulation.”
Hawthorne effect

Observation that employee motivation is affected as much or more by recognition and show of concern, as it is by improvements in their work conditions. Observed by the US productivity researcher George Elton Mayo (1810-1949), during 1927 to 1933 at the Hawthorne (Illinois) plant of Western Electric company (where he was assessing the effects of lighting conditions). He reported that the worker performance went up and up whether the lighting was good or bad, because (presumably) workers were responding to the management's show of concern for their problems. This study was later severely criticized as too skimpy and unscientific to be of any practical value.

Proponents of the Hawthorne effect say that people who are singled out for a study of any kind may improve their performance or behavior not because of any specific condition being tested, but simply because of all the attention they receive.
“Almost no matter what experimental conditions were imposed, increases in output occurred. The investigators had obviously influenced the subject’s behaviour merely by studying that behaviour and this phenomenon has become known as the Hawthorne effect.” (Kelly Shaver, Principles of Social Psychology, 2nd ed., Winthrop, 1981

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