Research conducted in the 1920s and 1930s at the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne plant in Chicago. The programme set out to explore the effects of physical working conditions on employee productivity but became known more for its major finding of the importance of the social dimension of workplace relations. Although output increased significantly after changes were made in working conditions, it was subsequently concluded that this owed more to the workers' sense that they were receiving special treatment than to the changes themselves. The Hawthorne studies laid the basis for the human relations theory of management.
Subjects: Business and Management.