Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo

Research carried out by Mayo at the General Electric Company in Chicago concluded that group relationships and management-worker communication were far more important in determining employee behaviour than physical conditions (e.g. lighting and noise) and the working practices imposed by management. Also, wage levels were not the dominant motivating factor for most workers.

In many respects this work paved the way for the volume of research that followed, looking at employee behaviour, motivation and so on.

Human relations school of management

Key propositions

Further research established the following propositions of the human relations school.

  • Employee behaviour depends primarily on the social and organisational circumstances of work.
  • Leadership style, group cohesion and job satisfaction are major determinants of the outputs of the working group.
  • Employees work better if they are given a wide range of tasks to complete.
  • Standards set internally by a working group influence employee attitudes and perspectives more than standards set by management.

The usefulness of the human relations approach

The school explicitly recognised the role of interpersonal relations in determining workplace behaviour, and it demonstrated that factors other than pay can motivate workers.

However, the approach possibly overestimates the commitment, motivation and desire to participate in decision making of many employees.

Created at 8/9/2012 4:33 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
Last modified at 9/26/2013 4:52 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

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Mayo;human relations;management;hawthorn works;general electric

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