Quality-Management Viewpoint

Write a 350- to 700-word paper summarizing the basics of that viewpoint including highlighting at least one of the key figures related to that viewpoint

View Point Paper
Behavioral Viewpoint: Behaviorism, Human Relations, & Behavioral Science To understand how people are motivated to achieve, what can I learn from the behavioral viewpoint? THE BIG PICTURE The second of the three historical management perspectives was the behavioral viewpoint, which emphasized the importance of understanding human behavior and of motivating employees toward achievement. The behavioral viewpoint developed over three phases: (1) Early behaviorism was pioneered by Hugo Munsterberg, Mary Parker Follett, and Elton Mayo. (2) The human relations movement was pioneered by Abraham Maslow (who proposed a hierarchy of needs) and Douglas McGregor (who proposed a Theory X and Theory Y view to explain managers� attitudes toward workers). (3) The behavioral science approach relied on scientific research for developing theories about behavior useful to managers.

The behavioral viewpoint emphasized the importance of understanding human behavior and of motivating employees toward achievement. The behavioral viewpoint developed over three phases: (1) early behaviorism, (2) the human relations movement, and (3) behavioral science.

Early Behaviorism: Pioneered by Munsterberg, Follett, & Mayo

The three people who pioneered behavioral theory were Hugo Munsterberg, Mary Parker Follett, and Elton Mayo.

Hugo Munsterberg & the First Application of Psychology to Industry Called �the father of industrial psychology,� German-born Hugo Munsterberg had a PhD in psychology and a medical degree and joined the faculty at Harvard University in 1892. Munsterberg suggested that psychologists could contribute to industry in three ways. They could:

1. Study jobs and determine which people are best suited to specific jobs.

2. Identify the psychological conditions under which employees do their best work.

3. Devise management strategies to influence employees to follow management�s interests.

Why Munsterberg Is Important: His ideas led to the field of industrial psychology, the study of human behavior in workplaces, which is still taught in colleges today.

Mary Parker Follett & Power Sharing among Employees & Managers A Massachusetts social worker and social philosopher, Mary Parker Follett was lauded on her death in 1933 as �one of the most important women America has yet produced in the fields of civics and sociology.� Instead of following the usual hierarchical arrangement of managers as order givers and employees as order takers, Follett thought organizations should become more democratic, with managers and employees working cooperatively.

Page 50The following ideas were among her most important:

1. Organizations should be operated as �communities,� with managers and subordinates working together in harmony.

2. Conflicts should be resolved by having managers and workers talk over differences and find solutions that would satisfy both parties�a process she called integration.

3. The work process should be under the control of workers with the relevant knowledge, rather than of managers, who should act as facilitators.

Why Follett Is Important: With these and other ideas, Follett anticipated some of today�s concepts of �self-managed teams,� �worker empowerment,� and �interdepartmental teams��that is, members of different departments working together on joint projects.
Elton Mayo & the Supposed �Hawthorne Effect� Do you think workers would be more productive if they thought they were receiving special attention? This was the conclusion drawn by a Harvard research group in the late 1920s. Conducted by Elton Mayo and his associates at Western Electric�s Hawthorne (Chicago) plant, what came to be called the Hawthorne studies began with an investigation into whether workplace lighting level affected worker productivity. (This was the type of study that Taylor or the Gilbreths might have done.) In later experiments, other variables were altered, such as wage levels, rest periods, and length of workday. Worker performance varied but tended to increase over time, leading Mayo and his colleagues to hypothesize what came to be known as the Hawthorne effect�namely, that employees worked harder if they received added attention, if they thought that managers cared about their welfare and that supervisors paid special attention to them. However, later investigators found flaws in the studies, such as variations in ventilation and lighting or inadequate follow-through, that were overlooked by the original researchers. Critics also point out that it�s doubtful that workers improved their productivity merely on the basis of receiving more attention rather than because of a particular instructional method or social innovation.15 Why the Hawthorne Studies Are Important: Ultimately, the Hawthorne studies were faulted for being poorly designed and not having enough empirical data to support the conclusions. Nevertheless, they succeeded in drawing attention to the importance of �social man� (social beings) and how managers using good human relations could improve worker productivity. This in turn led to the so-called human relations movement in the 1950s and 1960s.