The Hawthorne Studies were conducted by Elton Mayo in the Hawthorne Plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago between 1927 and 1932. These studies can be divided into three main phases
a) Test Room Studies
b) Interviewing Studies
c) Observation Studies
From the Hawthorne Studies, observers gained valuable insights into how individual behavior is influenced by group norms. The group of workers determined the level of fair output and established norms for individual work rates that conformed to the output. To enforce the group norms, workers used sarcasm, ridicule, and even physical force to influence individual behaviors that were not acceptable to the group. And that the worker was a “Social Man” and not an “Economic Man”.
The term “Paradigm” comes from the Greek word “Paradeigma” which means “a model, pattern or example”. This term was first introduced many years ago by Thomas Kuhn and is now used to mean a broad model, a framework, a way thinking, or a scheme of understanding reality. The present environmental changes like the advanced information technology, globalization and recognition or the management of diversity and ethics represent a paradigm shift. This shift is characterized by a new set of rules, new boundaries and more importantly, new behaviors that are a must for organizations and managers to be successful or even to survive.
Qno.1: How would you react to your father’s comments if you were Imran?
Ans: If I were Imran, I’ll tell my father that the world had changed. We are living in a world where more emphasis is laid on “Human Relations”. I’ll try to explain to him that there were certain points which the modern world managers should consider to increase the production and make the work environment better. And that:
>The worker is a “Social Man” who wanted more than good wages i.e., recognition, security, morale and a sense of belongingness.
>When people work in informal groups, they care more for the opinion of the group rather than the financial incentives of the management.
>The worker also gets influenced by total work situation and social relations.
Qno.2: Do you think Imran’s father understood and interpreted the Hawthorne studies correctly?
Ans: Imran’s father has studied Hawthorne studies but I guess he has not interpreted it properly. He laid more emphasis on the increase in production and the escalation of profits but cared little for the human side. He underestimated the importance of recognition, security and morale of the worker. Imran’s Dad’s approach might have worked during his days but in modern hi-tech and I.T era it is very important to undergo a Paradigm shift.
Qno.3: How would you explain to your father the new perspective that’s needed and how the study of management and organizational behavior will help the business be successful I the new paradigm?
Ans: I’ll tell him that he needed to change with this ever changing world. The only thing that is constant in this business era is change. If he didn’t switch over from his old rigid stance to the more diverse new one, then for sure his business was not going to survive in this competitive world. Form this case it is very clear that Imran’s father is very much unaware of the modern approach to management. He doesn’t know that not only has the workplace and the basic nature of the human resource changed dramatically but also the environment that is driving these changes. In today’s management, the greater portion of the success revolves more around the human aspect rather than conceptual or technical aspect.
When Sam Walton, the founder of Wall Mart, was once asked, “What is the answer for the successful management and organization?” His quick reply was, “People are the key.” The new paradigm of management would help him in improving human relationship and thus would lessen the differences between employees and administration. Qno.4: What phases of management do you think Imran’s father has gone through in his family business? Do you think he understands the significance of the recent trends in the new environment and how the new paradigm will affect his business?
Ans: Imran’s father has gone through the traditional management approaches where machinery was preferred over the human beings the primary preference was given to production rather than anything else. Imran’s father is unaware of the recent trends in management. Had he understood the significance of the recent trends in the new environment, he would have not reacted to his son in such a manner which clearly shows his ignorance. He doesn’t even understand the importance of human factor in the success of any organization. Thus paradigm shift will help his business increase profit and productivity by boosting the employee morale and by providing them security and favorable work conditions.