Hawthorn Studies - What the quantitative approach has contributed to the field of management

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The significance of Hawthorn Studies to management history

The Hawthorne research was undertaken by Western Electric plant engineers: Fritz Roethlisberger and Elton Mayo in 1924. The research was part of an initiative that focused on enhancing managerial strategies and focused on a range of psychological and social aspects of people's behavior in the workplace. Initially, the studies reviewed the extent to which the employees were responsive as well as their input under certain working conditions that included proper lighting(Hassard, 2012). Western Electric company technicians reported that employees were more receptive to social aspects like the workmates and supervisors as opposed to environmental factors such as lighting. The research indicated that workers were highly motivated by extra attention from their leaders and they were interested or cared about their work.

Whenever a variable was changed even returning to the previous condition, an improvement in productivity was always reported. According to the engineers, workers put more effort in their duties because there was individualized monitoring. They further reported that special treatment, being given the freedom to select your teammate/coworker and sympathy from managers contributed immensely to success within the organization.

Most of all, the Hawthorne research showed that performance at work was directly related to job satisfaction and social aspects. Nice working conditions and financial motivations are not so significant in boosting worker's productivity (Hassard, 2012). The Hawthorn Studies has helped many organizations understand it is important to meet employees' desires and needs to belong somewhere so as to improve their productivity.

What the quantitative approach has contributed to the field of management

The quantitative approach was developed from statistical and mathematical techniques that were designed for military use during the Second World(Hammersley, 2012). When the war ended, most of the techniques were adopted by business organization to enhance decision making around 1945. It is good to note that quantitative approaches entail using statistical models, information systems, optimization approaches and simulations to managing business operations. A good example is when managers use linear programming techniques in making decision concerned with resource allocation to various departments. Additionally, work scheduling could be enhanced by use of critical-path scheduling technique.

In the 1980's and 90's, quality revolution was witnessed in most public and business sectors. The revolution was inspired by a section of quality specialists that included Joseph Juran and Edwards Deming. Their total quality management advocacy are the basis of today's quality management processes in most organizations (Hammersley, 2012.

At the moment, organizations are using quantitative approaches to management by effectively applying statistical tools, simulations and other quantitative approaches to inform their decision making. Quantitative techniques to management employs the opinions of professionals to create and promote business forecasts and performance.

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