In the 1930s, industrial psychologist Elton Mayo was commissioned to perform a series of experiments at Western Electric Hawthorne plant. These are known as the “Hawthorne Studies,” designed to observe worker performance and output levels in varying illumination conditions. The so-called Hawthorne or Observer Effect has led to many organizational theories, which were advanced to understand, explain, and predict worker behaviors.
Research and discuss the Hawthorne experiments and their relevance to organizations today. Afterward, compare the Hawthorne Effect with the modern-day practice of Micromanagement. What are their benefits and criticisms? How can managers apply these concepts to improve worker performance?