Human relations movement
The human relations movement, also known as the behavioral management theory, was a movement in management thought that emerged in the 1930s and 1940s. It was led by researchers such as Elton Mayo and focused on the importance of considering the social and psychological aspects of work.
The human relations movement was a reaction to the classical theories of management, which focused solely on efficiency and ignored the needs and desires of workers. The human relations movement argued that worker motivation and satisfaction were key to improving productivity.
Mayo and his colleagues conducted a series of studies at the Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne Works in Illinois, which became known as the Hawthorne studies. These studies found that changes in working conditions, such as lighting and breaks, had a significant impact on worker productivity. However, the studies also suggested that social and psychological factors, such as the sense of belonging to a group and the opportunity for employees to contribute their ideas, were even more important in determining productivity.
The human relations movement influenced the development of management theory and practice, and many of its ideas are still relevant today. It emphasized the importance of considering the human side of work and the value of communication and collaboration in the workplace.
Pros of the human relations movement include:
- Improved worker motivation and satisfaction: By considering the social and psychological needs of workers, the human relations movement can help to improve motivation and satisfaction, which can lead to increased productivity.
- Improved communication and collaboration: The emphasis on communication and collaboration can help to create a more positive and productive work environment.
Cons of the human relations movement include:
- Potential for a lack of focus on efficiency: By prioritizing the social and psychological needs of workers, the human relations movement may not always prioritize efficiency.
- Potential for a lack of clear roles and responsibilities: The emphasis on communication and collaboration can make it difficult to define clear roles and responsibilities within the organization.