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Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-946-6

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Article

CLYDE E. BLOCKER

The change from the “mechanistic” to the “behavioural” view of the administration process is discussed and the point emphasized that the work of the administrator is…

Abstract

The change from the “mechanistic” to the “behavioural” view of the administration process is discussed and the point emphasized that the work of the administrator is essentially concerned with the relationship between organizational and personal needs. It is argued that the implications of this for the training of administrators are the necessity for (1) a broadly based liberal education, (2) training in the technologies of the organization he is to administer, (3) some intensive work in the area of the social sciences, and (4) at least a year spent in the study of administration as an applied science.

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Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Jeff Muldoon, Joshua Bendickson, Antonina Bauman and Eric W. Liguori

Elton Mayo was a professor at a prestigious university, but not a researcher; a scholar, but more concerned with executives; a capitalist, but someone who downplayed…

Abstract

Purpose

Elton Mayo was a professor at a prestigious university, but not a researcher; a scholar, but more concerned with executives; a capitalist, but someone who downplayed monetary incentives; an insider, but someone whose own background was more of an outsider. These contradictions have resulted in scholars questioning Mayo’s impact on the field of management. Thus, this paper aims to critically review Mayo and his contributions to management through a lens calibrated to the context of his time, providing a more contextually accurate view of Mayo and his work and offering a clearer view of his meaningful impact on the field.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, the authors connect otherwise disparate information to critically review Mayo’s work within the context of its era.

Findings

The authors’ critical review of Mayo identified nine topical areas where Mayo and/or his work have been misunderstood or misinterpreted. For each area, the authors offer a more contextualized and appropriate interpretation of Mayo and his viewpoints, and thus more accurately informing the management literature.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to thoroughly revisit Mayo and his work through a contextualized lens, offering a more informed view of why Mayo’s seemingly controversial behaviors were actually quite standard behaviors given his context.

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Journal of Management History, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Abstract

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Information Services for Innovative Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12465-030-5

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Article

Jeffrey Muldoon

The purpose of this paper was to analyse the academic context of the Hawthorne studies from 1936. More specifically, great attention was paid towards those articles that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to analyse the academic context of the Hawthorne studies from 1936. More specifically, great attention was paid towards those articles that were critical of the Hawthorne studies. This study aimed to analyse why the Hawthorne studies were so criticized during the time period.

Design/methodology/approach

The author analysed various critical articles/books from the time period. The author developed the sample through the use of Landsberger’s Hawthorne Revisited. The author used one of the first critical articles, Daniel Bell’s, as a means to analyse the critics. In addition, secondary literature was used to place the articles in context.

Findings

The author found that the majority of the critics were sociologists; these criticisms reflected larger debates in sociology in terms of theory, method and ethics of research. They reflected the great changes that occurred in sociology during the time period, as opposed to industrial/organizational psychology, for example, where there was little criticism at the time.

Originality/value

The purpose of this study was to continue the work of Muldoon (2012) and Hassard (2012) and place the work of the Hawthorne studies in a larger academic context.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Content available
Article

Yaron J. Zoller and Jeff Muldoon

The purpose of this paper is to suggest Homans’ social exchange theory (SET), a management theory, as an explanation for some of the findings of some of the Hawthorne…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest Homans’ social exchange theory (SET), a management theory, as an explanation for some of the findings of some of the Hawthorne experiments (1924-1933), which demonstrated how social situations play an important role in task performance and productivity and how social exchanges can facilitate it. The authors also use SET to investigate Elton Mayo’s inquiry as to what caused spontaneous cooperation in Hawthorne.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a combination of published work by Homans, Roethlisberger and Dickson, Mayo and others, as well as oral histories conducted by Greenwood and Bolton in 1982-1984, to argue that some of the Hawthorne studies illustrate the principles of SET. Homans’ SET brought together concepts from multiple disciplines and offered a framework to explain social behaviors.

Findings

The relay assembly room and the bank wiring tests of Hawthorne studies can illustrate SET as developed by Homans. With the development of SET, Homans not only provided explanations for the creation of strong feelings of affiliation and trust through interactions and mutual dependence between group members but also provided evidence to Mayo’s concept of spontaneous collaboration.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the paper are that the studies themselves can lend themselves to multiple perspectives due to design flaws. Therefore, our argument is only one interpretation – even if it is something that the researchers would have supported.

Originality/value

The paper augments the ongoing discussion about the Hawthorne studies in the literature and in the development of management theories such as SET. The authors provide support that it is through the attempts to explain the Hawthorne studies and the post-Second World War controversies over the studies that Homans developed social exchange. Building on previous work, the methods show perspectives beyond the motivations and sentiments of Homans by demonstrating observable behaviors from the Hawthorne studies.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article

Chimezie A.B. Osigweh and Yg

The use of cases to develop management skills is generally known asthe “case approach”. This approach is reviewed from anhistorical perspective and its utility in…

Abstract

The use of cases to develop management skills is generally known as the “case approach”. This approach is reviewed from an historical perspective and its utility in management development is examined. It is concluded that it is not a management training panacea regardless of its numerous appeals; that its effective use places a major set of requirements on the instructor; that there is still a general paucity of well‐designed studies on the merits or demerits of the approach, and finally, that a wide range of instructor roles and pedagogic techniques or practices exist for implementing it.

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Journal of Management Development, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article

MR. R. A. Butler's remark about doubling our living standards within the next twenty‐five years has a secure place in contemporary political obiter dicta. It suffers from…

Abstract

MR. R. A. Butler's remark about doubling our living standards within the next twenty‐five years has a secure place in contemporary political obiter dicta. It suffers from being the kind of comment that is remembered long after any qualifying context has been forgotten.

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Work Study, vol. 9 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article

R. McGreggor Cawley

Twenty years ago, Hindy Schachter (1989) posed a question about the foundation we use to structure the Public Administration theory narrative. Would an approach based on…

Abstract

Twenty years ago, Hindy Schachter (1989) posed a question about the foundation we use to structure the Public Administration theory narrative. Would an approach based on an art model, rather than the more common science model, produce a narrative with less distortion? This essay employs a definition of modernism developed by Thomas Vargish and Delo Mook outside the purview of public administration and a famous M. C. Escher lithograph as a basis for proposing an alternate way to construct the narrative. It then applies the alternative approach to Frederick Taylor and Elton Mayo.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article

Ronald Busse, Malcolm Warner and Shuming Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to trace back the roots of US-driven “Human Resource Management” (HRM) school of thought which now become widely institutionalized in China…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace back the roots of US-driven “Human Resource Management” (HRM) school of thought which now become widely institutionalized in China, up to the present day.

Design/methodology/approach

It looks at the diffusion of management knowledge over the period to Chinese business, which involved in turn scientific management (SM), human relations (HR) and HRM, respectively, from the interwar years onwards, by using a bibliometric analysis of Chinese language sources, searching a number of databases now available.

Findings

The authors scanned the international, as well as Chinese, literature to support a conjecture of a HR route towards China and how it morphed into HRM and went on to conclude that there was by the end of the year 2015 still a significant output of academic publications with references to both HR and HRM, respectively, but that we must be cautious in asserting a firm conclusion.

Originality/value

This paper traces back the roots of Chinese HRM back to the US-driven HR school of thought.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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