17 Pages

Hawthorne: An Early OBM Experiment

WithH. Mcllvaine Parsons

The Relay Assembly Test Room study in the famous research that produced the Hawthorne effect can be regarded as an early OBM experiment. As was shown in reexamination and analysis more than four decades later, it involved both monetary reinforcement and discriminative feedback and had numerous points in common with contemporary OBM investigations. From that restudy have been derived some lessons for productivity that are pertinent today, involving conditions of work, information feedback, money incentivation, removal of disincentives, job enlargement, job satisfaction, job attendance, automation and potentiation, and long-term investment. The Hawthorne research left a richer legacy than has been generally realized.