E9: Hawthorne Studies - Elton Mayo (Part 1)


For Episode 9 we turn to the famous Hawthorne Studies - a series of social experiments that gave rise to what is now a Human Resources Management approach to organizing work. Specifically we look at the second book published by Elton Mayo, The Social Problems of an Industrial Civilization. In this book, Mayo reports on a number of his research projects – including the studies in the Textile Mill in Philadelphia and the at the Hawthorne plant – and provides an ambitious social commentary on industrial society. In this, he dialogues with a number of authors, including Chester Barnard, and expresses some nostalgic views on the relationship between the individual, the collective, and technology. Mayo also argues for the development an understanding of humans as social beings by definition, eschewing ideas put forward by economics and traditional political scientists who espouse ideas of the likes of Hobbes, and the importance of field studies in scientific development. 

Join us for Episode 9 to see what is the text, and who is the author, behind one of the most famous studies in management history.