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Peer Review

Hawthorne Studies



Overall Rating:

3.1 stars
Content Quality: 2.8 stars
Effectiveness: 2.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Apr 25, 2005 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This module introduces the Hawthorne studies which formed the basis for the
Hawthorne Effect, traditionally a fundamental principle of organization
development. The module gives an overview, with click-through and encyclopedic
background material, and describes the details of the study.
Learning Goals: The major learning goal is to become familiar with the classic Hawthorne
Studies, and their implications for organizational behavior and organization
Target Student Population: The target population would be students who had no prior introduction to the
subject matter ... or very limited prior knowledge of the subject. The student
could be either high school or college undergraduate and might be studying any
one of a number of disciplines. Well suited to courses in Introduction to
Management or Organizational Behavior.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The only prerequisite skills necessary would be basic computer skills.
Type of Material: The material is a reference, with links to background information.
Recommended Uses: This material would be most appropriate for students conducting research on the
topic, or as a quick reference guide.
Technical Requirements: An Internet connection is all that is required.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 2.8 stars
Strengths: The content is well-presented with enough background information to adequately
provide an understand the basics of the study and resulting theory. It is
essentially an encylopedic summary that is very brief in places.
Concerns: There is no mention of the latest literature and how the Hawthorne Effect is
being debated in terms of its viability. There is also no mention of the debates
and critiques of the Hawthorne Studies that are in the literature.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 2.5 stars
Strengths: This is a general overview of the Hawthorne studies that provides a good
starting place for research and discussion. The material is concise and clearly
Concerns: It is simplistic material that does not provide current literature and the state
of thinking in organization behavior and organization development circles.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The website is easy to read and the links to background information are easy to
see and use.
Concerns: The flashing ad at the top of the frame is highly distracting.

Provides less coverage than the typical equivalent material in an introductory

Other Issues and Comments: This is a general overview of the Hawthorne Effect. It provides reasonable
background information and is easy to use.