What ideas does the reading of Mayo's Hawthorne study contain for securing worker cooperation with management in achieving organizational goals in the case of "American Ground"? Or is it mostly irrelevant to coping with problems presented by this case? If so, why? If not why not?
According to Mayo, a flexible working environment is friendlier to workers, and it enhances productivity. A living system described by Stillman (2010) requires to be motivated to work freely putting the interest of the organization first. However, the current management systems in organizations prefer to work with their operational models. Therefore, organizations tend to disregard the scientific management models such as the one proposed by Mayo. By the time Mayo carried out an experiment that embraced flexibility in management, many organizations were not ready for such change since they believed that their operational models were the best. Most firms preferred to apply the Fredrick Taylor's management model that was strict to employees and in most occasions it was accompanied by punishments. According Fredrick Tailor's management model, employees can only be productive if they are forced to work, monitored and restricted to freedom of expression. It implies that management had the final say and employees had to follow everything without questing. However, Mayo experiment demonstrated that employees need to work in a flexible environment for them to be more productive. The willingness to work in a conducive environment provides employees with an opportunity to exploit their potential.
Mayo expressed that a participative decision making is a key to a productive working relationship. The process of motivating employees involves allowing them to share ideas that eliminate the issue of monotony. Unlike Taylor's style, Mayo's approach allows employees to make a positive contribution to the company that in the long-run improves productivity. The two examples of the companies that have embraced Mayo's approach are AT&T and Microsoft. The mentioned companies have recorded a good performance that is attributable to a good working relationship.
Mayo’s experiment demonstrated that an organization should be a responsive living system and it should recognize human sufferings. Therefore, an organization is supposed to understand the feelings of its employees. For instance, a working environment should be conducive to enable employees work comfortably. It is vital to remember that a bad working environment may expose employees to physical injuries that will make them unproductive. The long-term effect of the injuries will be the reduced productivity. Therefore, taking good care of workers signifies that the company will stand a chance to achieve increased productivity. Based on Mayo's finding, an organization being a living system, those in management required approaches that could help them identify the needs of the employees. The administration also required procedures that would help them identify solutions that faced their employees. Further, management was supposed to introduce a method of rewarding the loyal and hardworking employees. However, the management that was in place during Mayo’s era failed to appreciate the fact that an organization was living system that was supposed to address employees’ needs. It is could have been a better idea if management could have embraced employee motivation because it leads to increased productivity, cooperation, innovation and improved decision making.
Stillman (2010) argued that a living system in an organization could have opened doors for a culture that opens doors for the acquisition of new skills, career development and sharing of Ideas. Stillman's presentation was in line with Mayo's experiment that required organizations to be responsive to human feelings. Workers are not machines because the get tired and have grievances that they would to be addressed to improve their living and organizational productivity. Further, Mayo indicated that group participation was essential as it could help management to forget their strict management in the past decades. Informal group participation is necessary for improved productivity.
The underlying cultures of organizations were essential in determining the success of the implementation of the policies and principles that could embrace employee motivation. Employee motivation will go in line with organizational theories such as that of Maslow that puts more focus on addressing employees’ needs. Maslow and Edgar encourage management to be attentive to employees' needs. Taking good care of workers creates a good relationship between management and the employees. An enhanced relationship between the employees and management is vital to increasing productivity.
According to Mayo's Hawthorn experimental study, management should be in the frontline to define its relationship with employees and integrate their needs into the decision-making process. Stillman (2010) points out that teamwork is significant in increasing productivity. Mayo's idea of employee recognition was not well welcomed by those who criticized his work especially a section of the unions. However, Mayo insisted that improving the relationship between management and employees was essential in improving productivity and employee welfare. However, the ideas of Mayo faced conflicts and obstacles. The US companies took a long time to implement such changes. Those companies that that embraced the concept of organization as a living system recorded a good performance.
Stillman, Richard J. II (2010). Public Administration: Concepts and Cases, Ninth Edition.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company,