Jump to content
  • 0

Go to solution Solved by Kavitha Sundar,

Hawthorne Effect


Hawthorne Effect (Observer Effect) - states that the process performance is improved if the operator's know that they are being observed or measured. The knowledge of being watched makes them perform the tasks with more caution (behavioural change) which is a deviation from the way they normally work thereby resulting in improved output.


An application oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Kavitha Sundar on 27th November 2017. 




Q53. In some processes, improvement is desired but existing performance needs to be assessed for the first time. 


The performance in a process improves when people know that they are being observed as per Hawthorne Effect. While the intent in baselining is to judge natural process performance, we end up assessing an improved performance. 


There is also the opposite effect of performance assessment sometimes. A team may want to show a process to be more complex than it actually is and artificially create poorer than natural performance so that it is easier to showcase improvements later. 


How should one go about neutralising such effects while baselining a process? 


Note for website visitors - Two questions are asked every week on this platform. One on Tuesday and the other on Friday.


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 1
  • Solution

Q. 53 – How should we neutralize the hawthorne effect while baselining the project?

Answer –


Baseline is an important activity in measure phase and even sometimes in define phase.

It is the ability to assess the current performance to intend the improvements made. Hence baselining is important.


Why baseline is important?

It is important so that we can

·         Be able to assess the current performance

·         Calculate the earned value of the process

·         Estimate the accuracy of the improvement process.


While baseline is set to compare the state of the process before and after process improvement, we have to accept the reality that not always this comparison is valid or relevant given the change the process undergoes while the improvement activities are made.


Hawthorne effect –

Hawthorne effect is an observed effect. When the samples are observed directly, in response to the observer’s observations, the behavior is modified. This is a reaction to the action of observation. This effect is called hawthorne effect.


There are two ways of hawthorne effect

1.      Due to observation, the productivity improves with no error or minimal error

2.      Team takes conscious time to complete the work in order to reduce the error or decrease the productivity in order to reduce the target while in time study of the process.


Case studies – Reference






Neutralizing the effects in baselining:

1.      Mobility of spillover effects on data – Conflict areas like this will have very volatile security situations. People may face very well secured during ramp up period and then fluctuate. This situation should be carefully assessed during the study in order to establish how alarming or threatful the situation is to the entire process. Mid-term analysis is always good to identify how reliable the data is to proceed further.


2.      New comers in to the system / learning curve – While baselining, the new comers are also included in the study, which alters the baseline of the process. For eg. The coder who is in learning curve of 3rd week is able to produce only 5 charts with 70% accuracy and 100% audit. Whereas the tenured 8 months old coder will be able to process 500 charts with 20% random audit and >95% error free or accuracy score. While studying the process capability, the tenured coders alone will be taken into study. In other wise cases, the capability would be low while baselining, which improves naturally over the period of time once the learning curve settles down.


3.      Direct observations: While the samples are observed directly in terms of cycle time study, the coders who are observed are aware that they are been noted. Hence they exhibit slowness in their speed while observations. This can be eliminated if the speed of the samples are observed frequently and through multiple modes like recordings, shadow audits, time tracker, etc, the effect can be reduced and the baseline would be reliable. Transparency and trustworthiness is gained in such scenarios through constant communication to the experimental group.


4.       Statistical bias –  When you implement change process during experiment, to observe the result, it can be due to change, be a false change like the hawthorne effect, or your bias meaning the observer partiality / random result. The only way to know, to arrive at a deduced conclusion is to conduct many observations in controlled environment ans with some statistical analysis to rule out the variations existing or randomness in the data and experimenter’s bias.


Tools used / Approach to neutralize the effect – in summary

1.      Statistical tools like MSA to reduce the measurement error  and variation

2.      Hypothesis testing with null proven that there is no bias in data

3.      Tools like run charts, etc to detect the randomness of the process

4.      Multiple observations in controlled environment

5.      Multiple mode observations to avoid experimenter bias



One should know how to apply healthy skeptism of what has been observed, observing and will be observed in order to reduce hawthorne effect, bias and stochastic observations. Hence stick to null hypothesis always until it is proven otherwise.

Another important take away is it is found in operation setting where work was ongoing. They found an increase in performance caused by a benign variable while baselining, that decreased over time. Therefore, you will not observe a steady decrease back to baseline.

In this type of scenario, what is likely observed is performance variability of up and down trends over a period of time that may or may not be due to anything you changed or solution implemented.

You will simply need many observations over quite a period of time to rule out random effects, Hawthorne, or bias.




Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Any Industrial Engineer who has attempted to conduct Time and Motion Studies in a factory would have experienced first-hand, the reverse Hawthorne effect of workers trying hard to make work stretch to fill available time, intending to get a smaller quota of daily work. While on the floor, the practice of Rating during Time Study can to some extent help the observer to arrive close to the correct time standard, this alone may not be sufficient to completely nullify the reverse Hawthorne effect.


In certain other situations, the fear of being branded as slow, uncooperative or having what is conveniently, if popularly called, “an attitude problem”, can make people work faster than normal. This can also happen when the people being observed are mis-motivated to impress the observer with their speed of working.


In both the above situations, it would be very difficult to arrive at the correct baseline for the process. The process of neutralizing these effects and getting people to work normally cannot start on the floor during the observation for baselining.


Setting the stage

This process begins with setting the correct environment throughout the organization for all staff to be normal and be themselves throughout without any fear of any kind of retribution. This can happen only if staff are genuinely convinced about this in their heart-of-hearts. These staff will get convinced only if the Management demonstrates its correct intentions and walk its talk. The right actions are more effective than a million words spoken or written.


Before the observation begins, all the staff who are being observed will need to be addressed by the organizational Management. The purpose of the observation and baselining need to be explained clearly and any questions asked by the staff during this meeting need to be answered completely and satisfactorily by the Management.


Draft Benchmark

Once the staff being observed are satisfied and are willing to cooperate by being normal during the baselining, a few other things will need to be done before the observation. The Management should try to get through their own network, an idea of the baseline for similar processes in other organizations in the same or similar industrial sectors. Further, the Management should take the help of one trusted staff or Supervisor to have the process executed away from the floor in private. Sufficient number of transactions need to be observed which are representative of the real-life day-to-day scenario. From both these sources, the Management will get a reasonable idea of the practices and the time taken for the process they are planning to baseline.


Rating during observation

Once this is available, the observation can then start with a trained person rating the pace of execution of work continually. The Management will need to use the draft benchmark to check if the results returned by their current baselining efforts are close to the one they have assessed earlier. This checking will need to be done atleast twice a day and can be done once an hour.



Once the check is done and it is observed that the Hawthorne effect or its reverse is visible, then the baselining efforts will need to be temporarily either halted or results should be ignored temporarily. The staff involved in the process will need to be called in again and the Management needs to re-explain to them the objective of the baselining study and their cooperation needs to be requested again. The feedback needs to be shared with them that they are working too fast or too slow than normal and they need to work in the normal manner and pace for the mutual benefit of all concerned.


To summarize, the approach required to be followed to neutralize the Hawthorne effect or its reverse would constitute the following:

1.    Setting the stage with the staff being studied by a open and transparent discussion and ensuring that each of the staff are convinced about the necessity and the advantages of working at a normal pace

2.    Developing a draft benchmark by:

a.    Getting some external benchmarks from other organizations for a similar process

b.    Preparing a draft baseline by observing a reliable staff perform the process outside the floor

3.    Rating the pace of the work during the study

4.    Checking the results of the study with the draft benchmark atleast twice a day and giving feedback to the staff being observed if any Hawthorne effect or its reverse is observed

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Taking process performances samples over different time zones will help to increase possibility of getting natural performance of the process. Educating the people involved on the impact of indulging with natural process performance of the process would also help. Subject Matter Experts assessment of the process performance for any flaws involved in natural flow of process can also help neutralize the process. Benchmarking the process performance against similar industry processes will help to understand the natural flow of process. Sampling process outcomes from area of experienced professional’s area also will help. Even benchmarking similar processes within organization will help to neutralize the effect. Monitor the process for sudden spike or fall in performance and analyze the reasons for this sudden change in process performance also will provide good insight in to the possibility of unnatural process.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The performance in a process improves when people know that they are being observed as per Hawthorne Effect. While the intent in baselining is to judge natural process performance, we end up assessing an improved performance. 


There is also the opposite effect of performance assessment sometimes. A team may want to show a process to be more complex than it actually is and artificially create poorer than natural performance so that it is easier to showcase improvements later. 

The effect that can be neutralise in a systematic manner.  It seems human tell deny that we start to do work whenever someone is watching.  Now it depends on intention of worker what he thinks about the observer.  There can be two points,  one if he thinks that observer is seeing that how knock on going on,  observer will decide grades,  promotions,  on the study Base then the worker will start work with full capacity under observations because he want a to show them he is the best among all and swing good. On the other hand if he think that by doing study they are going to decide productivity of line,  or they will find out nos of manpower extra or not,  if such types of thinking comes in his mind then he starts slow down while working because no one wants to loose his job and wants to show them the productivity is less because the process is designed slow moving an dater they start to do work with good capacity so that they can show the difference between situation and tell them that they have improved the productivity but it actually it is biased.  The problem with this effect us that it is a short term experiment which leaves a lot of fans behind after study and we reach at the improved productivity or biased result. 

If we do following then it may help to over one this:

One thing we should maje sure that we are taking a long term approach. We are measuring how changes to process impact productivity,  so the next step is your extend timeliness of the project do that we can a significance difference. 


Another thing observer should be discrete while taking observations,  don't be biased because it is human tendency that human changes their behaviour or changes heir approach towards work whatever they are doing when they know that they are being observed by someone.  Someone wants to show their best,  wants to appear good while someone wants to set a low benchmark level of targets. It depends on the intention and thinking,  so he discrete while deciding about the performance of an individual. 

The another key point to overcome this if you communicate properly from the beginning why you are doing good this and what is in it and how this is going to benefit them.  What is your intention behind observation and experiment. Then you will definitely find an actual refelection

Of the worker while working at workplace and you can judge the process in true manner about productivity and behaviour of worker. 

These three key points will help more or less to overcome hawthorne effect and improve process output. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The Hawthorne effect is impending as it is prods on the intrinsic human behaviour. It is a common observation that there is an improvement in human behaviour of performance when there is attention on them from their supervisors, Clients, colleagues or for that matter whomsoever they consider as the entity to which they are answerable for their performance. Taylor’s theory also somewhat seconded the theory putting forward the idea that workers are mainly motivated by “pay”. According to his theory of scientific management, workers do not enjoy their work by nature and hence need supervision and control through performance assessment.

Having said that , given the dynamic behavioural habits of a human being, it is but natural that the worker/ team , in their effort to prove their performance will find loopholes in  process to showcase their better performance – Everyone likes to shine!!

No matter how outstanding the organization is, the people who have learned how to manipulate a metric for performance measurement, without actually having to perform will do just that, at every possible opportunity. The management must work with this fact before defining any performance management system.

More often than not, many organisations are not able to curb this effect is because the people defining the performance management framework are not experts in performance management- They refer to the business patterns of the previous terms and look at only bettering them as the best method to measure performance and attach incentives to this perceived improvement in performance . The logic is static and does not consider the operating realities that connect to the performances. The performance hence is related to numbers which can be manipulated and gives the opportunity to the teams/ workers to show that a process is more complex than it actually is and artificially create poorer than natural performance so that it is easier to showcase improvements when the same is attached to “incentives”- Thus seconding Taylor’s theory.


How should one go about neutralising such effects while baselining a process? 

First thing first , Instead of striving to reduce judgements to a single ROI number or to the comparison of metrics  to previous trends , the performance measurement system should be designed in consultation with the people who understand performance best- The line Managers.

Designing the Performance Management System

-          Performance Management systems should be designed with both the top-down & Bottom- Up approach. It will help to bring in lot of operational detail into the system including failure modes and realistic cycle times.

-          Do not limit the performance goals to only outperform the existing performance standards. Instead the focus should be on the benchmarks from outside the organization- try to meet and better the market standards- This will keep the desire to manipulate any old metric from within the system- Focus will be more on catching up or doing better than what is happening beyond the organisation- People will be rewarded for doing better than everyone else- Good for all!!

-          All processes need to be broken down into series smaller tasks with defined ownership at all levels- Thus reducing the scope of impropriety in the process. The boundaries of measurement can be reduced also by breaking up responsibilities at various steps as everyone has an incentive to cooperate and gaming performances across various levels becomes very complicated and difficult.

-          Performance Metrics need to be diversified, as it will become difficult to manipulate several of them at once, with the fact that too many people will be involved . Performance Metrics can be based on the following criteria on which the “incentives can be based-  i) Training within the process (ii) Quality of output (iii) Customer Feedback (iv) Operational Audit Scores and (v) contribution to the organisational goal.

-          Aligning all processes at every level  and the associated KPIs to the organisational Scorecard.

-          The so defined Metrics should have varying sources which cover the process at 360 degrees of its functioning- like Supervisors, Colleagues, Customers and Time frames.

-          An effective performance management system needs to ensure that the ownership of the performance should change hands periodically- This negates the human tendency to get comfortable enough, with the process, and find scope for padding performances.

Measurement method of performance

Broadly speaking, Performance should be measured along the following 2 perspective-

Perspective #1 covering actions related to defending and maintaining core business with metrics based on current business, like sales and profitability

Perspective#2 Covering actions taken to build Business growth with metrics based from Marketing and incremental and exponential sales

Perspective #3 covering actions taken to set the pathway for futuristic goals.

Multiple levels like these will make gaming performances  very complicated and less likely to succeed.

Execution of the Performance assessment system

With all the above means to neutralize the pitfall of base lining the performance due to human nature , one another good option is to trust the workers but verify the actions whether they are in sync with the 3 perspectives mentioned above. Leeway with ample verification helps in small organizations for sure.

In Conclusion, we may say that an effective performance assessment system is possible when the top management and the line managers are in alignment to allow the organization to benefit from both the decision making ability of the former and the expertise of the latter.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hawthorn Effect:


The Hawthorn is a term used to refer the tendencies of the people who are under observation. The Hawthorn effect is the effect of such tendencies (good or bad or neutral).


There could be some effect due to somebody or some system is observing or there may not be.


Let us go a bit detail,

Since we are talking about the tendencies of humans, it is obvious that there will be. But it all depends on the way of observation.


Say for example:-

An office cabin or a work area is under CC TV where phone calls are being attended by representatives. Certainly there is some psychological impact on the person/s working in that cabin or the work area. 

The impact could be that the people perform better or try to behave in a manner that shows the work is critical. It can be called as quite natural, even though it is not natural on the part of the behavior.  


With respect to the specific questions on this topic.


Baseline performance is a performance done in natural conditions. In the above case or scenario it could be said as not natural. Now considering the performance on such parameters could be called baseline or not.

My answer would be NOT !


Why ?. Because it is not natural.

Now the question is how to set the baseline performance level?


Answer: It all depends on 2 factors

1.     Are we going to perform this task under observation always?

2.     Are we only observing the task sometimes and not always ?


If the option is 1, then the performance in such case under observation can be considered as natural & hence can be called baseline performance.


If the option is 2, then the performance cannot be considered as baseline performance. In such cases, either we need to set a constant value for difference quotient & use it in the calculation or we need to exclude this be considered as baseline performance.


Another important thing to be considered, The behavior of the person compared to the time when initially observed ( under observation) changes naturally to neutral as the observation persists for longer time. The human psychology plays a role here that it doesn’t have it considered as under observation.


A solution :- In order to avoid the situations where to observe or not, an organization or system needs to be uplifted to a level where the system or person works with the same motivation & trust in either cases. A difficult one. But the Philosophy of Yoga emphasizes on this very much. In simple terms, if we are aware of the present moment, all others doesn’t matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

In medical science, it is said that many times, patients respond to medications, not just because of the medicinal effect, but also due to the psychological expectation that the medicine will cure them. This behavior is known as placebo effect. This effect is considered to be due to the positive state of mind that the very belief one is undergoing treatment, induces encouragement for the body to respond positively.


While new drugs are tested for effectiveness the evaluations often take into account the placebo effect to distinguish the actual effect of the drug.


When we discuss Hawthorne effect, I get reminded of the placebo factor in medical field. Hawthorne effect, sometimes also known as “Observer effect” refers to change in response behavior of people, when they are conscious that they are being observed.


However, as mentioned in the question, there is not only a positive effect, but also a possibility of deliberate negative effect.


I can divide the type of responses, while people are being observed, into 3 categories:


1.     Involuntary improvement in people performance:


This could be a genuine psychological human response when the mind becomes more alert, when it senses that someone is observing. In today’s life most public places are covered by cameras, which makes people more self-conscious and more careful in their actions and behaviors. In this case, the responses are involuntary and quite comparable to the ‘placebo’ effect.


2.     Deliberate effort to show improvement:


Depending upon the purpose for which the observation is being done, there could be deliberate efforts to show improvement. If the observation is perceived as an exercise to identify the best performer, it could induce a competitive spirit and people would strive to do their best. Though the effect appears to be similar as in the earlier situation, in the second situation, the psychological drive is different.


3.     Deliberate effort to slow down:


Again, depending upon the purpose for which the observation is being done, there could be deliberate efforts to slow down. This, probably is one of the nightmares of an industrial engineer, while executing a time study to establish standard times for each jobs, for the purpose of setting norms for incentives.


How should one go about neutralizing such effects while base lining a process? 


1.     Explore the use of Historical data:


At a well-managed level, processes should have a good MIS in place, and we can readily pull out desired data and analyze it with little effort and special observation exercise can be avoided or minimized. For instance, if we are planning to work on an improvement program for productivity, the base line may be established by referring the control chart of daily productivity, from the MIS report for the past two months for that process. It will also help to identify and address outliers if any, and help us to have homogenized data.


Even if specific observation exercises are undertaken, the findings may be compared with the control chart data to see any significant differences due to Hawthorne effect.


2.     Introduce observation exercises as part of regular internal audits:


If we have regular internal audit system in place which the workforce may already be used to, it will be a good idea to integrate the special observation activities and make it less conspicuous. This will camouflage the observation exercise and the purpose will not be very evident to the people.


3.     Remote monitoring methods:


This is more common in the IT industry, where specific screens can be monitored using special applications remotely. The processors being observed will be completely oblivious of such monitoring. They could be aware that such a feature exists, but will not know when and how long it would be enabled for their work stations. It is also possible to record process cycles and could be played back for detailed analysis. Taking cue from this, similar approach may be adopted for manufacturing as well using pre-installed cameras that cover the work stations.


4.     Apply a correction factor:


Anticipating a reasonable deviation from the normal performance, depending on the purpose of the observation exercise, apply a correction factor on the observed performance. This method, however will have subjectivity and may be adopted as a least preferred approach.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hawthorne Effect:

This is about how a person/individual (read worker) changes an aspect of his/her behaviour when his/her activities are observed or monitored by someone and the resulting increased attention could lead to temporary increases in productivity in a worker.



In an IT development project, the dev team is doing software estimation process.  While doing the estimation, team members would be providing their estimation inputs to the functionalities (requirements) that would be developed, to the project lead (especially in a waterfall methodology).   In a normal scenario, when the team is rich in experience and expertise, the project lead would collate that estimation inputs and then after vetting the estimation, he/she would finalize the estimation.  


However when a team is having a mixture of experience (freshers/less experienced, experienced members), there is a chance that lesser experienced team members may provide padding to their estimations, which results in unnecessary additional period (in days, hours, or any predefined unit preferred by the team) of estimation. That additional period is added as a buffer to ensure that a given requirement is finished within that buffer days (let us keep that in days, for easy comparison), in case where the team member is not able to finish that requirement for whatever reasons.    So the project lead sits with those team members and educates them how to do effective estimation and would monitor every now and then. As a result, the lesser experienced members would not pad their estimations and this would do proper due diligence and provide right estimations. Having proper estimation would naturally give the right productivity.


There could be similar functionalities (requirements). Requirement 1, Requirement 2, Requirement 3 may be of similar nature. For instance, a search page(a Screen or web page) having a search text field and a ‘submit’ button may be categorized to ‘Simple’ which could be equated to 3 days of estimation. But two other similar search pages can be equated to ‘Medium’ category which could be equated to 5 days of estimation.  The team might actually be able to complete those 2 requirements (search page) even in less than 3 days leave alone 5 days because already the team would have a chance to complete one search page (estimated at 3 days) and so they may carry that prior experience for doing the remaining search pages which can enhance or increase the speed of doing the development.  But instead of putting a lesser estimation, the team could put 5 days of estimation (medium), then while doing the actual development work, can finish it in less than or 2-3  days, thereby earning appreciation or a pat on the back from the supervisor/project lead for expediting the work, showcasing false improvement step.  So the estimation process will not be correct and cannot be baselined. 


Some may wonder as why we need to go for an estimation process for the team. Would an organisation not have estimation templates for development projects for projects of different size, as part of Organisational Process Assets (OPA)? The answer could be yes, in most of the organisations. But that will not be enough and some project specific customisation might be required always.  This is where all the issues mentioned earlier would surface. The aforementioned issues could also happen if estimation (as a process) happens first time for the team.



While this effect can occur in any type of industry, this effect can be seen even in sports.  Taking the game of Cricket, often cricketers when watched by the cricket selectors (who select the national team), would like to impress them by carefully playing with the bat or bowl. This case is about Selection process. There is the negative scenario as well. A fielder (who ensures that he puts the ball back to play) might dive unnecessarily to stop a ball, when all he has to do is to run around the ball to stop it.  Here , this is about trying to portraying a simple stop to look like a complex one. This example can be equated to setting Fielding standards when compared with rest of the nations. So this is to tell that even in sports, you have the Hawthorne effect .


How to make the process baselining taking this Hawthorne Effect into consideration

This can be divided into three facets

-          Subject knowledge of the Process Owner/Process lead & his/her  approach towards the team

-          Creating awareness on the need for process baselining and subsequent improvement

-          Commitment of the team members to the process and their trust on the process   owner/process lead  (who could also be the team’s supervisor in most cases)

These 3 facets can be further drilled down. Let us see that in detail


Subject knowledge of Process Owner/Lead

The Process owner should:

1.       Have sufficient technical/functional/domain knowledge to ensure that he/she is in a

          position to vet and approve the data provided by the team. For instance, this is a critical

          aspect for a IT development project lead for doing an estimation process (Note: Project  

          Lead normally is the process owner/lead in a typical Waterfall model; whereas in a agile

          scrum model, everyone provides the estimates but scrum master facilitates it)

2.       Be able to challenge the data provided by the team, if he/she feels that data is not correct.

3.       Understand the overall strength and weakness of the team

4.       Have a personal rapport, but at a professional level and should develop the personal trust

          within the team members to garner support for streamlining the process.


Creating Awareness sessions
1.    Process Owner need to educate the team on first baselining of the process.  If there is an

       industry standard existing, he/she has to highlight to the team as how to reach to that level (if

       the team is lagging behind on that). So it is basically setting up the context and priorities
2.    If it is about starting from scratch, then the process owner should clearly define the

       expectation by setting realistic achievable goals and a roadmap as when to achieve the new

3.    Announcing, Rewards and Recognitions programme,  at the beginning  (before the baselining

       process happens), can be a motivating factor to the team as they would be pumped up to

       know that their efforts would be recognised.


Commitment of Team Members
1.    The team members need to understand the process owner’s expectation and the team and

       hence the organisational’s needs.
2.    Team members need to show the trust normally unless it turns to be otherwise for various

3.    Team members should have the inclination to learn new things and should work as a team

       for showing more productivity or improving the process as a team.


We had seen how Hawthorne effect can positively and negatively impact a process.  Whether        the impact is positive or negative depends on several factors such as the experience of the team, the experience of the process owner in handling the situation and other factors. But in my opinion, the organisation culture, how the process owner handles the situation can ultimately decide the impact of the effect on the process.




Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hawthorne Effect:

The Hawthorne effect is named after a series of experiments that changed the way we think about work & productivity. While earlier studies had already focused on individuals & how their performance could be improved, the Hawthorne effects placed the Individual in the Social Context for the First time. 

- The experiments were conducted at Western Electrical works in USA, between 1924 ~ 1932

- It was initially designed by western Electrical Industrial Engineers

- Four parts of Hawthorne Studies are

  a. Part I - Illumination Experiments

  B. Part II - Relay assembly Test room study

  C. Part III - Mass interviewing Program

  D. Part IV - Bank wiring observation Room experiment


The hawthorne Effect is a form of reactivity & says the temporary change to behavior or Performance in response to the change in the environmental condition, with the response being typically an improvement. The Hawthorne studies have a dramatic effect on Management in organisation & HOW PEOPLE REACT TO DIFFERENT SITUATIONS. It is a Short term improvement caused by observing worker Performance.


Significant of the Hawthorne Effect:

The findings are expected to bring advantages to the following

1. Employee


-Understanding on Hawthorne effect Positive impact,

-Reduce Turnover


- Provide better Working environments

- Better understanding about the Employees

- Interpersonal Skill


- Global competitive advance 

- Increase Profit

- Continuous improvement



- Limited to Three Firms only

- Poor Quality of Data

- Respondent Bias

- Constraints - Time & Money


How to manage it during the Base lining of the Process:

During the Initial time of the Project, trials will be taken & the Process cycle time will be calculated. So during the Trials we can come to a conclusion about the Time taken for a particular process and also the output of the Process by an Operator. So keeping a record of this would help us to retain the data taken for a process. That is we can easily identify if a Process produces while we are observing him or he is following the regular cycle time to complete the Product.

Meanwhile as we have the  Trial data, we can also identify if the Persons are slowing down a process & showing as if they are tring to improve it during the Observation time. 


Conclusions of Hawthorne Studies:

- The social & psychological factors are responsible for workers, productivity & job satisfaction

- Informal relation among them influence the Workers behavior & performance more than the Formal relation in a Organisation

-Employee will perform better if they are allowed to participate in decision making

- They will work more efficiently when they believe that the management is interested in their welfare.

- When employees are treated with respect & dignity, their performance will improve

- Financial incentives alone cant increase the performance. Social & psychological needs must also be satisified

- Good communication between Superior & subordinates can improve the Productivity

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hi all, quite tricky as is the topic under review, it is also very difficult to actually have very clear ways and means to avoid/neutralize Hawthorne effect.


The best three answers were from Mr. Mohan P.B., Ms Kavitha Sunder and Mr. Rajesh Chakrabarty. The most suitable one amongst these three was answer from Ms. Kavitha Sunder and the same is adjudged as best answer for this question. The summary on how to neutralize the effect of Hawthorne effect just before the conclusion was spot on amongst all other answer. Cheers!”

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
    • Most Online

    Newest Member
    Dan Weigel
  • Create New...