Organizational Communication

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last updated 9/14/2013


Questions on the Hawthorne Studies and Human Relations Assumptions

  1. Evidence shows most increase in productivity came from a group reward system, specific working conditions, and group norms -- not friendly supervision.  Friendly supportive supervision only produces a 2% gain
  2. When information exchange is important to the organization's mission, then supportive open supervision is a benefit.
  3. Research suggests:

    1. Open supportive management systems do increase satisfaction.
    2. Evidence does NOT show satisfaction produces higher productivity consistently.
    3. Belief in hard work and a good reward system is more important.
    4. Overall, satisfaction is very weakly linked to better productivity.

Resistance to participatory decision-making

    1. Workers often do not like it - too much responsibility and stress. They may become alienated because they are under-skilled at communication which is required for effective and satisfying participation
    2. Supervisors don't like it - they like unfettered power
    3. Supervisors can sabotage or use their superior communication skills and information to dominate.
    4. It's costly in time, $ and skill
    5. participation works best in increasing satisfaction by meeting affiliation and ego/autonomy needs