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.
The major learning goal is to become familiar with the classic Hawthorne Studies, and their implications for organizational behavior and organization development.
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.
This material would be most appropriate for students conducting research on the topic, or as a quick reference guide.
An Internet connection is all that is required.
Evaluation and Observation
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.
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
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 written.
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
The website is easy to read and the links to background information are easy to see and use.
The flashing ad at the top of the frame is highly distracting.
Provides less coverage than the typical equivalent material in an introductory text.
Other Issues and Comments:
This is a general overview of the Hawthorne Effect. It provides reasonable background information and is easy to use.