The criticism of scientific and administrative management approach as advocated by Taylor and Fayol, respectively gave birth to the behavioral approach to management. One of the main criticisms leveled against them are their indifference to and neglect of the human side of the enterprise in management dealings.
A good number of sociologists and psychologists like Abraham Maslow, Hugo Munsterberg, Rensis Likert, Douglas McGregor, Frederick Herzberg, Mary Parker Follet, and Chester Barnard are the major contributors to this school of thought, which is further subdivided by some writers into the Human Relations approach and the Human Behavioral approach.
Elton Mayo and Hawthorne Studies
Elton Mayo and Hugo Munsterberg are considered pioneers of this school. The most important contribution to this school of thought was made by Elton Mayo and his associates through Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company between 1927 and 1932.
Following are the findings of Mayo and his colleagues from Hawthorne studies:
Human/social element operated in the workplace and productivity increases were as much an outgrowth of group dynamics as of managerial demands and physical factors.
Social factors might be as powerful a determinant of worker-productivity as were financial motives.
Management with an understanding of human behavior, particularly group behavior serves an enterprise through interpersonal skills such as motivating, counseling, leading and communicating – known as Hawthorne effect.
Employees or workers are social beings, so it is very important to fit them into a social system, resulting in a complete socio-technical system in an organization.
Following are the criticisms of Hawthorne studies:
Unreasonably high emphasis on the social or human side as against organizational needs.
The approach facilitates exploitation of employees by keeping them satisfied and happy, manipulating their emotions which in fact, serves the management goal of increasing productivity.