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Article

Yaron J. Zoller and Jeff Muldoon

This paper aims to conduct a historical study using both primary (archival data) and secondary sources to evaluate the social conditions of the community of employees at…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conduct a historical study using both primary (archival data) and secondary sources to evaluate the social conditions of the community of employees at Hawthorne Works between 1907 and 1933.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper evaluates the historical and social context of the 1915 Eastland disaster, specifically, the effects of the Eastland disaster on the community and the company to improve understanding of the contextual background and conditions which influenced the Hawthorne studies. This will also serve as a case study of crisis management.

Findings

The findings of the paper argue that the Eastland disaster likely contributed to the expansion of welfare capitalism practices by Western Electric in the 1920s–1930s and established the social and communal conditions which made the Hawthorne studies (1924–1933) possible.

Originality/value

Rather than evaluating the Hawthorne studies themselves, this paper focuses on social factors which made the Hawthorne Works plant site and the community serving it an ideal locale to host the famous studies as part of Western Electric’s practice of welfare capitalism and a distraction from the traumatic event which scarred the community and urged the Western Electric company to react. This study also provides an early example of crisis management.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
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

Keywords

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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

Abstract

Details

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

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Article

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

This paper aims to correct some misconceptions about George Homans. Specifically, it clarifies the relationship between Homans and Malinowski, explains why Homans is…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to correct some misconceptions about George Homans. Specifically, it clarifies the relationship between Homans and Malinowski, explains why Homans is rightfully considered the father of social exchange, shows Homans’ perspective on altruism and self-interest and analyses Homans’ place in management’s complex history.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper which synthesizes both primary and secondary sources on Homans, social exchange theory (SET), Malinowski and other Homans’ contemporaries and theories, which, in aggregate, help dispel some common misconceptions in the literature today.

Findings

This paper disperses several common misconceptions about Homans and his work. First, the findings show that beliefs that Homans was unaware of Malinowski are not justified, as Homans was not only aware of Malinowski but also significantly influenced by Malinowski’s work. Second, this manuscript clarifies that while Homans, for specific reasons, focussed on self-interest, his work accounted for altruism. Lastly, this paper also further cements Homans’ place in history as the father of social exchange.

Originality/value

Recent misconceptions have emerged in the literature calling to question not only Homans’ legitimacy as the father of social exchange but also some of his views on the theory itself. By clarifying these misconceptions, this paper enables scholars from a variety of management fields to better understand historical foundations of SET and its impact on current research.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Contemporary HRM Issues in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-457-7

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Abstract

Details

The Emerald Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-786-9

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Article

Charles M. Carson

The purpose of this paper is to trace Douglas McGregor's Theory Y thinking back from pre‐industrial revolution philosophers up through McGregor and his contemporaries and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace Douglas McGregor's Theory Y thinking back from pre‐industrial revolution philosophers up through McGregor and his contemporaries and to explore how Theory Y evolved after its introduction.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review article relying on literature reviews and synthesizing concepts and ideas from related sources.

Findings

This article examines the emergence of Theory Y as one of the hallmark relationship management principles of the last half of the 20th century. McGregor stands in a unique place in management history. He has one foot in the early human relations movement, and another foot in the movement of scholars who advocated a heightened awareness of management's responsibility for the human side of employer‐employee relations. McGregor serves as a true facilitator for growth and advancement in the field of management, in general, and human relations, in particular.

Originality/value

This paper holds value to management scholars and practitioners in its utility as a means of tracing the evolution of one of the most important management concepts of the last half of the 20th century. While it may lack in originality (a flaw in many historical reviews) it certainly addresses important issues and provides a path for understanding the development of a key management concept (Theory Y).

Details

Management Decision, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Abstract

Subject area

Manufacturing, Western management theories and Japanese management practices.

Student level/applicability

This case can be used in project management or management-related courses at tertiary institutions at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level.

Case overview

This case provides students with an opportunity to find out what make Toyota so successful in manufacturing through its famous production system as well as the underlying Toyota Way principles. All students are expected to understand the Toyota Way model with a balanced view that goes beyond a set of lean tools such as just-in-time. This case opens a historical account for the Toyota Way model by connecting with possible Western management theories and Japanese management practices.

Expected learning outcomes

It is expected to significantly benefit students with industry experience with the intention of initiating appropriate changes in their own industry and/or organization by applying what they have learnt from the Toyota Way, through bridging with Western management theories.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Business Ethics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-684-7

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