The Human Relations Movement
The Hawthorne Experiment was a landmark study concerning worker behavior from 1924-1933 studying worker’s efficiency under different levels of lighting. The primary leads on the project Elton Mayo, professor of Industrial Management at Harvard Business School and Fritz J. Roethlisberger whose tests challenged the assumptions about worker behavior (Kinicki, 2009). It was discovered that workers were motivated by other factors other than pay which drove to the importance of understanding worker attitudes on behavior. The Hawthorne studies, described as the most important social science experiment conducted indicated there was a lot more learning to be done regarding human interactions in the workplace. This, in part, led to the enormous growth of academic programs in organizational behavior at American colleges and universities, especially at the graduate level (Clark, 2000).
McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y
Douglas McGregor wrote a book in 1961 regarding individuals’ behaviors at work. He called the studies Theory X and Theory Y. Theories X and Y are two sets of assumptions which describe two very different attitudes towards workforce motivation by managers. Theory X management makes the assumptions about employees that they are lazy and will avoid work as much as possible, show very little or no ambition, have no desire for responsibility; no creativity in solving problems in the business, their motivator is money and job security. If Theory X is the assumption of the organization, the management style will reflect it creating a work environment that has micromanagers, close supervision, and uses threats as acts of punishment to meet business objectives. Theory Y management makes the assumptions that most people have a desire to work and do a good job; their motivation is driven by doing a job well; that the employees look for promotions and are self-motivated. Theory Y presents a more positive belief for the...