Echoes of Hawthorne Effect in Social Media Age

Why start at 100 years ago looking for relevant research on employee communications in the digital age? To remember that leading management scientists of that day saw employees as interchangeable parts, like tools they used. Frank Ovaitt If that idea seems amusingly quaint today (or if, unfortunately, you work in an organization where it’s not quaint at all), things did get better. Eighty years ago, the famous Hawthorne Studies produced findings that were striking at the time: If the boss pays attention to you, if you work in a friendly team, if you feel some control over your work—you become more productive. The Hawthorne Effect may be more relevant than ever in the time of social media.

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