Week 1 Disc 2 Description and Analysis of the Hawthorne Study

Describe how the components of the Hawthorne study are incorporated in current human resource functions. What was the main idea behind this study? How have you been impacted by the components of this study in your current or past work setting?

SAMPLE RESPONSE FROM A FORMER STUDENT Organizations cannot truly exist without people.  When people are uncomfortable, for whatever reason, you will not get their best performance.  When they feel they are important, wanted and cared for, you will begin to see their best in every aspect.  “The writers suggested company managers should account for human emotions and interactions to achieve higher levels of success (Urwick, 1960; Bedeian, 1986).”  (Baack, 2012). 

Mayo and Roethlisberger definitely had the right idea in putting the care for people in the forefront of business.  They started with something as simple as lighting, something we all find either uncomfortable or comfortable in our environment.  Obviously if you cannot see well you will not be as productive – you cannot see what you are doing. 

I loved the fact that they were interacting with the employees.  On a personal level, I enjoy having my boss and other employees take the time to stop and talk, whether it is on a personal level or discussing work.  I also take the time to seek out my staff, individually and as a group to check in and see how things are going or if they have any ideas.  I believe it is important to their morale, which definitely affects productivity in the end.

I also noted the employees began taking on additional responsibilities.  When employees are shown appreciation, they will in turn make the boss look very good because they enjoy doing the job and the people around them.  I try so very hard to make sure that each person who works for me knows I have a true interest in them personally and professionally, as well as being interested in their ideas and concerns.  I love being able to give someone credit for a new idea which has turned out wonderfully.

The positive peer pressure was also a great in that they did not need the “boss” to come down on them if someone was slacking – the group took care of corrective action.  I see this on a daily basis at the detention center, not only with employees but also, with inmates.  When I have a few strong personalities, I can influence to be positive role models with their behavior in the dorms, I utilize these inmates as they often can keep other inmates in line just by setting the example.

As for how I have been impacted in my job by this study – Well, everything I do seems to be based off this very basic idea.  My Sheriff implements these very thoughts in how his office runs.  He says it is God, family then; work and he back this up and expects his supervisors to as well.  I really do not know why anyone would attempt to manage an organization without considering the emotions, personalities, and comfort zones of their employees. (Baack, 2012)


Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.