Mayo’s contributions are discussed as follows:
Mayo was the first person to plead for the understanding of workers’ problems in the context of growth of science and technology. He wished the management to understand the problems of workers and make efforts to redress them.
1. Human Relations Approach:
Mayo is rightly called the father of human relations movement. His ideas were a milestone and a turning point in human relations approach of the management. He recognised the importance of human beings in management.
He said that human beings are complex and influential input into organisational performance. The social and psychological needs of human beings cannot be ignored, if management wants to enhance productivity.
2. Non Economic Awards:
The earlier assumption was that workers will work more if they are offered more monetary incentives. Taylor was the main proponent of this approach. Elton Mayo said that the techniques of economic incentives were not only inadequate but also unrealistic.
He was able to show that humane and respectful treatment sense of participation and belonging, recognition, morale, human pride and social interaction are sometimes more important than pure monetary rewards.
3. Social Man:
Mayo developed a concept of ‘social man’. He said that man is basically motivated by social needs and obtains his sense of identity through relationships with others. He is more responsive to the social forces of the informal group rather than managerial incentives and controls. He also related productivity to a social phenomenon.
4. Organisation as a Social System:
Mayo was of the view that informal relationships in the organisation are more effective than formal relationships, People form informal groups to give a bent to their feelings and seek guidance for action from such groups. In Mayo’s words, “An organisation is a social system, a system of cliques, grapevines, informal status systems, rituals and a minute of logical, non- logical and illogical behaviour.”
He was of the opinion that managers should maintain equilibrium between the ‘logic of efficiency’ demanded by the formal organisation. He thought that besides logic and facts people are also guided by sentiments and feelings.
Hawthorne’s experiments were criticised for lack of scientific and vigorous research. The experiments were too narrow to warrant generalisations. Despite these observations Mayo’s work was a turning point in the development of management thought.