Elton Mayo’s Theory And Its Relevance To Modern Age Management

Elton Mayo's Theory

A theory to practice ….

There are many theories of Management, and among them, Elton Mayo’s theory of Management is very popular. It is based on “According to the Mayo management concept, employees are motivated more by relational components such as attention and camaraderie rather than financial compensations or environmental aspects like lighting, humidity, and so on”. This theory is labor-oriented, and we know that people are the backbone of any enterprise.

Interesting highlights of the story 

  • Mayo Professor of Psychology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where he pioneered psychoanalysis and other techniques to rehabilitate shell-shocked World War I soldiers.
  • He worked as a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and Finance, where he investigated the “interplay of physical and psychological factors in employee turnover.”
  • While Elton Mayo conducted numerous studies throughout his career, two Human Relations theories were incredibly influential in the field of Management:
  • Studies on the Philadelphia Spinning Mills; and The Hawthorne Experiments are a series of experiments.


The backstory of Mayo’s theory goes like this: Workers at the Hawthorne Works, a Western Electric plant in Cicero, Illinois, participated in the original study. The famous lighting study was carried out between 1924 and 1927. Workers were subjected to a series of lighting changes, with almost any change in lighting said to increase productivity. This turned out to be untrue. A series of changes in work structure (e.g., changes in rest periods) were implemented in a group of five women in the Elton Mayo study, which ran from 1928 to 1932. However, this was a methodologically flawed, uncontrolled study that prevented any firm conclusions from being drawn. Landsberger later proposed that the novelty of being research subjects and the increased attention that comes with it could lead to temporary increases in worker productivity. This interpretation became known as “the Hawthorne effect.”.

Elton Mayo is a philosopher of Management.

George Elton Mayo (1880-1949), born in Adelaide, Australia, is best known for his contributions to the Human Relations Movement while teaching Industrial Relations at Harvard Business School. Before attending Harvard. Elton Mayo is generally acknowledged as the “Father of the Human Relations Movement,” as well as the “Father of Human Resources” and the “Father of Scientific Management.” In the 1920s and 1930s, Mayo was involved in several research studies of organizational psychology, including the Philadelphia Spinning Mill Studies and the Hawthorne Experiments, which were significant in developing enterprise culture in America.

Elton Mayo’s human relation theory. 

Let me first write what I understand from Elton Mayo’s human relation theory. When the employer shows care and appreciation to the workers, it creates a positive environment. The workers feel more confident and positive while listening to their praise. As an employee, I shall feel good if once praised by my employer and would work more dedicatedly. If the working conditions are favorable to me, such as flexible work hours and lunch, frequent appreciation and good colleagues will likely increase my performance.

I even can feel the idea of Elton Mayo. In a nutshell, the Importance of relation theory lies in making employees more comfortable and good about themselves. This will increase their performance and dedication towards the work. This theory is based on Hawthorne studies, which clearly show that social issues and job satisfaction influence people’s work performance. The monetary incentives and good working conditions are less influential in improving employee productivity than meeting individuals’ needs and desire to belong to a group. The original goal of the Hawthorne studies was to look at how different aspects of the work environment, such as lighting, break timing, and workday length, affected worker productivity.

The relevance and Importance of relation theory.

Previously, it was assumed that an employee’s productivity was solely determined by their physical working conditions and pay. For the first time, it was discovered that employee satisfaction at work significantly impacted productivity. Following Mayo’s theory, psychological theories from a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, philosophy, and anthropology, have worked hard to investigate how people behave at work. As a result, they believe that managers should focus on analyzing organizational behavior or how employees interact with the company. The fundamental principle of this school is that the organization’s goals are achieved by and with the help of its people.

The objective of Mayo’s theory 

The Mayo motivation theory boosts the autonomy of the entire team. It represents rekindled hope. Collaboration and communication are at an all-time high. Companies should form a democratic group. It is advantageous to everyone. The Elton Mayo concept is a win-win situation for all parties involved because it is vital to everyone. The study of light was the first experiment. It was the most important level of production. In today’s world, many businesses use publicly available web tools and information to implement Elton’s theory. Elton Mayo’s management concepts more easily adopted. Businesses can select the most useful materials for their organisation from videos and other Elton Mayo theory-based products, information, and services. Companies consider several benefits of implementing Elton Mayo’s motivation theory in their organization, and they apply it in every area to obtain benefits such as company leadership, manager development, and employee engagement.

Extract of Elton Mayo’s theory of Management.

  • Human and social factors are the primary causes of industrial problems.
  • Human relations are the primary means of resolving industrial problems (but technical efficiency via Scientific Management is also important).
  • Workplace policies and procedures have an impact on employees’ attitudes.
  • Workers’ attitudes shape the characteristics and informal rules that govern workplace social groups.
  • Recognition, involvement, and cooperation have a greater impact on job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity than physical working conditions.
  • If group attitudes are negative, informal rules can take precedence over formal rules, affecting production negatively.
  • Intentional underproduction can result from a lack of attention paid to workers. Managers and supervisors should pay adequate attention to their employees.
  • Job satisfaction, group dynamics, and individual and group attitudes toward work have all been shown to have a significant impact on motivation and productivity.
  • Improved group cohesion results from increased communication and cooperation.
  • Managers and supervisors should be trained to be effective listeners, communicators, and interviewers to understand and address workers’ personal and social problems. Furthermore, they should employ these abilities at all times.

The more we think about the well-being of the employees, the more they show their dedication.

This is what all Elton Mayo’s management theory is about. Where favorable work conditions considered the responsible fact or improve productivity. Mayo’s theory is all about the motivation to dedication for work which is based on the Hawthorne effect. Elton Mayo’s human relation theory is highly relevant in the present corporate scenario. The Importance of relation theory is directly or indirectly acknowledged by the industrialists of the current world.

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