Hawthorne Effect

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Hawthorne Effect

The phenomenon in which subjects of study alter their behavior simply because they are being studied. The Hawthorne effect is important in marketing. For example, test audience members may unintentionally skew their responses one way or another simply because they know they are part of a test audience. The concept originated in 1950 when analysis of a study from the 1920s and 1930s saw that productivity in a factory improved during a study of employees and declined after the study's conclusion.
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In particular, the Hawthorne experiments of Elton Mayo underwrite this book's thesis.
The focus on a worker's individuality is not a new concept, since the Hawthorne experiments by Elton Mayo in the 1920s opened the door to this venue in organizational studies.
The Hawthorne Experiments began in 1924, Mayo's involvement in them in 1928, after he had moved to the Harvard University School of Business Administration as Associate Professor of Industrial Research.