Major experiments behind human relations theory 4 2. Illumination study 4 2. Relay assembly study 5 2. Employee interview study 5 2. Bank wiring observation studies 5 2. Limited incentives for management 12 2. Participation without substance 13 2. Autonomy is devoid of authenticity in relationship building 13 2. Solutions to problems associated with human relations theory 14 2. Linking organizational goals with larger social purposes 14 2. Google’s motivation techniques 19 4. Participatory management at Google 19 4. Flexibility at Google 20 4. Freedom at Google 20 4. Intrinsic sources of motivation at Google 21 4. This is followed by a conclusion that connects the dots between theory and practice with a list of works cited at the end. Main body 2. Definition of human relations theory The human relations theory is a researched belief that individuals have a deep desire to be part of a supportive team that creates room for growth and development.
It advances that those employees who receive special attention and are also given room to participate in decision making at their organizations perceive that their work is highly significant. As a result, they are motivated to increase their output levels while improving quality in their work (Perry 1). The study involved three groups of workers who were subjected to different lighting conditions during their work activities. The findings were that lighting conditions had no influence on workers’ productivity (Wrench, Punyanunt-Carter and Ward 120). In this study, the conclusion was that the presence of researchers influenced the performance of workers – as opposed to external conditions. Relay assembly study In order to explore more underlying performance factors, another study named relay assembly study was conducted.
Its aim was to evaluate the impact that rest periods and work hours had on employees’ productivity. For researchers, it meant that employees became more satisfied workers when they realized that some individuals – researchers, listen to their plight. As a result, employee reaction surveys have increased in usage to date. Bank wiring observation studies The studies were done to respond to the informal output standards that were seen among workers in the interview studies. Such standards were set in groups though informally established and they were against the performance standards set in the company. The wiring observation studies sought to establish the influence of informal groups on worker productivity. Notably, the studies comprised of small groups of workers – such as the 6 in the relay study and 13 in the bank wiring study.
This implies that such studies were limited hence leading to erroneous results. Perspectives to human relations theory Apart from Mayo and Roethlisberger there were other individuals such Kurt Lewin who participated in the human relations theory. Lewin explored the human relations side to organizational communication (Carson, Lanier and Birkenmeier 320). He conducted research in a pajama factory and found out that workers had a higher possibility of exploring new methods of working when an opportunity to discuss their work environment was accorded. The human relations theory made attempts to relate the theory to practical management in terms of leadership motivation and coaching. Application of the human relations theories created significant relations between human and social factors such as people’s feelings, needs, perceptions and their relations in the workplace.
Figure 2: Linkage in human relations theory 2. Major sub theories underlying human relations theory Though major contributors to human relations theory were Elton Mayo and Roethlisberger, there were theorists who sought to determine the factors that sustain human behavior through focusing on effects of supervision, working conditions and incentives. They also explored the process of motivation to determine the nature of different stages shaping motivation of humans for productivity improvement (Efthymiou and Yacoub 15). It relates to the expectancy theory since only extrinsic rewards are comparable. He noted that employees had a sense of equity that is highly influenced by their subjective view of conditions hence they fail to view situations objectively. This theory notes that part of the valence in terms of rewards within a work context is the degree to which they are held as comparable with the other options that are available to the cohort.
The goal-setting theory In a twisted development to expectancy and equity theories, Edwin Locke introduced the goal-setting theory whereby satisfactory outcomes are the main drivers of motivation as opposed to any promise of rewards to employees. Therefore, the goal itself is the factor that drives performance hence setting higher goals leads to improved productivity. However, skills, creativity, commitment and cooperation of all personnel are required for ensuring successful implementation of the proposals held under human relations theory (Rastogi 4). This implies that managers within organizations and their supervisors together with staff members must have the will and capability to implement the particulars of the human relations theory in order to maximize productivity. Further, realizing the optimal level of productivity is realized when organizational policies support, strengthen and facilitate such orientations.
However, such ideals are rarely achieved in organizations since some employees perceive work as uninteresting and that they have to endure it to sustain a living. For others, the adverse relationship in the workplace is created by tough contracts between unions and management hence leading to occurrences such as strikes and retrenchments. When such relationships are inexistent or weak, employees may be indifferent to performance standards even though a misleading peaceful environment that is devoid of productivity may emerge. To harness the creativity and excellence of employees along with their intelligence and diligence, the process of achieving organizational goals must align with his life purposes. Such matching must be set on an equilibrium consistent of cognitive, emotional and personality needs. Limited incentives for management Under human relations theory, implementation of changes in organizational climate and development of transformational relationships among employees is handed to management.
The management is also expected to address business concerns such as minimizing production costs and promoting profitability and competitiveness. However, it can be criticized on the same grounds whereby disharmony might emanate from factionalism that develops among workers concerning matters about leadership and representation. Such participation has led to reduction of employment opportunities for eligible workers since the focus has been economic gains for the employed. It occurs when such economic benefits are financially unviable. With participation management, there arises the challenge of inefficiency in decision making. Under such circumstances, the capacity of management to make difficult and timely decisions so at to avert impending crises or take new opportunities is limited. There are several alternatives to address the challenges as shown in the following section.
Linking organizational goals with larger social purposes Organizations usually have goals including profit generation, boosting their return on investment and maximizing dividends to shareholders. However, such visions fail to inspire employees to maximum productivity since they are tied to short term benefits such as financial rewards such as bonuses and stock options. However, loyalty and allegiance can be attained in the long-term when there is a successful linkage between organizational goals and social as well as moral missions. Social purposes that need to be considered are redefinition of organizations as efficient producers of commodities, generators of economic surplus as well as channels for harnessing skills possessed by employees for the long term benefit to society. This implies that efficiency and motivation, as seen from the aforementioned professionals, can be achieved in an environment characterized by inhibitive factors within organizations applying human relations theory.
Therefore, appreciation of the role of moral basis of work to its full extent will improve motivation, work relations and productivity. Main areas to appreciate are nondiscrimination, sensitivity in labor management relations and sincerity to the call of duty. Inclusion of creativity within human relations theory Creative individuals are needed in organizations applying the theory since they bring out the moral dimension in terms of their personalities. They commonly create room for competence and dedication as well as setting examples to their peers. Human relations theory as a model As a model, it provides techniques for relating with employees in a manner that makes organizational members feel useful and crucial within overall operations. It entails that participation is meant to be held as a lubricant for oiling traces of resistance to formal authority.
A cohesive workforce is expected to be built through this model. Attitudes towards human relations model Given that implementation of principles held under human relations theory is given to managers, it is essential to determine their attitudes towards the same. Arguments that managers generally accept the use of participative concepts and endorse them are common (Miles 2). Factors driving the reasoning Through the lens of a psychologist, the conduct by managers can be explained as human nature where individuals think highly of themselves and wish to obtain more than they can give. In addition, management in organizations might have challenges in accepting concepts that challenge their deep emotional attachment. The call for participatory management under human relations theory implies that organizational managers fail to appreciate the lack of division between those who command and organizational thinkers and those required to obey and perform on the other hand (Matejko 3).
Within the managerial level of organizations, acceptance of the concepts within human relations may be hindered since solutions to organizational issues are expected to come from multiple sources hence contrasting with the ego of managers. Control in the human relations model In order to address the irony between the views of organizational managers to their superiors and subordinates, it is imperative upon the organization to encourage those in the managerial level to have a criterion of success as attaining of results as opposed to the numbers of orders issued (Guillén 97). This section will focus on techniques applied by Google that are in line with different concepts relating to human relations theory or even against the mentioned concepts. Google’s motivation techniques The corporation believes in offering benefits that are uncommon yet affordable.
It offers extrinsic benefits including nil cost health and dental benefits, tuition reimbursements and vacation plans. With these basic remuneration packages, Google’s remuneration plans match with the specifications of human relations theory where financial rewards are expected to motivate employees. Given the financial success at Google, such perks have been sustainable hence the management at this corporation expects performance to be sustained. Based on such surveys, managers are acknowledged within the organization and made role models until the next review. Support and coaching is done to the worst performers for improvements. Such activities relate to the findings in the employee interview study where aspects of relationship between employees and managers were determined through interviews. Flexibility at Google In terms of management structure, Google has flat hierarchy where engineers enjoy flexibility when selecting projects.
Instead of directions on handling tasks being issued by management, this organization gives room for Google employees to approach tasks using unique ways. Based on this need, Google offers fun opportunities such as frequent breaks and play facilities such as beach volleyball and wall climbing. Likewise, other holidays that might be barely noticed in other organizations are observed at Google. An example is April’s Fool’s Day where employees are allowed to plan and implement gags. Fun aspects are also incorporated through the design of offices. In some offices, employees can slide to the lower floor by use of slide type facilities. This is comparable to the equity theory developed by John Stacey Adams where comparative nature of rewards is held as a main determiner of motivation.
It is usually the case within groups where fairness is of ultimate importance as far as promoting motivation is concerned. Upholding of creativity within Google Google respects individual creativities whereby a decoration budget is set for each employee. This creates room for employees to decorate their working spaces to promote the outlook of their spaces via customization of looks (Mace 13). The creative atmosphere enhances a sense of purpose within the organization hence promoting productivity within Google. In agreement with the limitation of financial incentives in generating desired levels of motivation for managers as well as sustaining it, Google explored the techniques of having the best managers in the organization through in-depth research (Bryant 45). This attempt was meant to counter the problem of ‘limited incentives for managers’ where such financial rewards can never be increased continually.
This indicates that motivation for management can only be achieved temporarily. Through data mining within Google, aspects such as assisting employees in career development were found to have meaning to the management hence managers were given room to mentor their subordinates hence improving motivation and productivity (Bryant 49). In a sense, this promotes the moral basis of work at Google hence avoiding a sense of alienation by management. The New York Times (2011): 45-52. Carson, P. P. A. Lanier and B. Engwall, L. The anatomy of management education. Scandinavian Journal of Management (2007): 4–35. Guillén, M. F. Management Participation. International Review of Scoiology (1977): 3. Miles, Raymond E. Human Relations or Human Resources?" Harvard Business Review (1965): 2-7. Perry, Gail L. Flat World Knowledge, Inc.
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