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Chapter Twenty - Hawthorne Experiments

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"Fair treatment through the consequences mechanism begins by the leader having a complete understanding of the workplace rules, norms and goals. First, in order to make sound judgments about the actions of your followers as they relate to the rules, you must have an understanding of the expectations. Secondly, a good leader models the workplace expectations. Followers will immediately perceive that it is unfair if you enforce workplace arrival times while being late yourself. Understanding expectations and modeling them creates a positive environment for your followers. It demonstrates that you are fair."
Andrew J. Harvey and Raymond E. Foster (Leadership: Texas Hold 'em Style).

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Articles on Hawthorne and Articles on Motivation

The Hawthorne defect: Persistence of a flawed theory
Most students of social psych are familiar with, or had better be if they want to pass. For decades, countless textbooks, Ph.D. theses, journal articles, and learned panels have cited it as a possible explanation for everything from why juvenile criminals in experimental program decide to go straight to why insomniacs sleep better in the laboratory. Whenever psychologists gather, one I apt to hear mention of the Hawthorne effect-even though, as it happens, the effect was never actually demonstrated by the original study.

The Hawthorne Experiments: Management Takes A New Direction
General Electric, the major manufacturer of light bulbs, had preliminary evidence that better lighting of the work place improved worker productivity, but wanted to validate these findings to sell more light bulbs, especially to businesses. GE funded the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct an impartial study. AT&T's Western Electric Hawthorne plant located in Cicero, Illinois, was chosen as the laboratory. Beginning with this early test, the Hawthorne Experiments were a series of studies into worker productivity performed at the Cicero plant beginning in 1924 and ceasing in 1932.

The Multiple Lessons of the Hawthorne Experiments
In 1924, MIT professor Vannevar Bush began a series of experiments at the Western Electric Hawthorne Works, in Cicero, IL. He wanted to test the impact of specific changes in the work environment on the output of the workers.  The first study was the Illumination Study. Researchers turned up the lights. Productivity went up. "Aha!" thought the researchers. They turned down the lights. Productivity went up.

Combat Motivation
For centuries, commanders and military thinkers have reflected on the factors that contribute to motivation and morale during combat. in 401 BC, Xenophon alluded to the force of the soul to convince the Greeks to withstand the enemy during a campaign in Asia. At about the same time in china, sun Tzu noted the importance of moral law in his teachings on the art of war. the Romans remarked on the importance of moral and motivational aspects in war and focused on them when they organized their legions. More recently, in the 19th century, Carl Von Clausewitz categorically affirmed that the effects of a victory cannot in any way be explained without taking moral impressions into consideration.

Employee Motivation: Theory and Practice
The Job of a manager in the workplace is to get things done through employees.  To do this the manager should be able to motivate employees.  But that's easier said than done!  Motivation practice and theory are difficult subjects, touch on several disciplines.  In spite of enourmous research, basic as well as applied, the subject of motivation is not cleaerly understood and more often than not poorly practiced.

The Magic of Learner Motivation: The ARCS Model
Motivation is the most overlooked aspect of instructional strategy, and perhaps the most critical element needed for employee-learners. Even the most elegantly designed training program will fail if the students are not motivated to learn. Without a desire to learn on the part of the student, retention is unlikely. Many students in a corporate setting who are forced to complete training programs are motivated only to "pass the test." Designers must strive to create a deeper motivation in learners for them to learn new skills and transfer those skills back into the work environment.

Motivation Through Competition?
Americans historically have enjoyed taking part in all kinds of competition. Occupations and recreational activities routinely are based on trying to exceed a standard or beat out competitors. The free market system depends on competition to improve products and lower prices.  Competition is prevalent in basic childhood activities such as tossing a ball (hand-eye coordination) or learning to spell. As children mature, they must compete with siblings, fellow students, and others for opportunities to play on the school team, enter college, or even date desirable people. Long ago, military leaders found they could motivate their soldiers to achieve higher levels of performance or endurance if a competitive environment was established and the winner rewarded.

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The Hawthorne Effect

Motivation and Incentives

Motivation and Leadership

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