Human Relations Theory Presentation
Human Relations Theory is a management theory, included in the Behavioral School founded by Elton Mayo following the conclusions obtained in several studies performed in several North American companies.
From these studies stands out one, accomplished between 1924 and 1932, in a factory of the Western Electric Company in Hawthorne (near Chicago), place which came to give the name to the study: Hawthorne Experiments. The initial goal of these experiments was to determine how the changes in the payment and work conditions (illumination, temperature, rest times, work accidents, fatigue, personnel rotation, etc.) influence people and their work productivity. For that is performed the subdivision of a rewinding workshop in two parts: in one are made changes in the schedules, brightness level, rest times, etc., while the other is kept as control group.
Such as expected, the suppositions that productivity increased with the improvement of the work conditions were confirmed in these experiments, The great surprise occurred when the investigators observed that productivity also increased when the work conditions were deteriorated.
It was, so, concluded that the human relations and the work environment that results from there and the creation of bonds among the workers who felt observed by an administration worried with their well being are much more important for the increase of productivity then simple physical conditions and work materials. It was, so, given an end to the assumption of “economic men” in which based the Classic School, giving place to the assumption of “social men”.
Human Relations Theory base principle that men have social needs desires rewarding relationships in the work place and answers more to the peer pressure then to the superiors’ authority and administrative control forms its main contribution for management. It’s from here that emerges a new type of management more concerned in knowing the workers individual and group needs and seek for efficiency and productivity through leadership, motivation and communication. On the other hand, it’s also from the Human Relations Theory that emerges the informal organization concept.