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Adoption Of Human Relations Management Approach Business Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 1659 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The Hawthorne studies were conducted at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant in Illinois, running from 1924 through 193. The primary experiment for the Hawthorne studies was to examine the connection between the illumination intensity and employee productivity. The experiments represented revolutionary work in the field of management and lead to the creation of the human relations movement. These studies broke the boundaries of the management theory of the time, Taylorism. Scientific management, developed by Frederick W. Taylor, was a concentration exclusively on the physical aspects of work, ignoring the psychological needs and capabilities of the worker. Taylor’s view of management became inadequate due to the findings of the Hawthorne researchers, who revealed that the physical work environment was one of the only many aspects which influence employee productivity. This style of management became known as authoritarian. The human relations school was concerned with the human aspect of work, meaning that interpersonal relations, especially the feelings within working groups were of importance. Group harmony, satisfaction of individual needs, and the care for people were vital. By the individual worker being able to participate and involved in the decision making related positively to the productivity. In other words, this represents a democratic way of leadership.

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The main conclusions that can be drawn from Elton Mayo’s experiments are it is essential that work is a group activity, the necessity of recognition, need for security, and job satisfaction. Organizations are social systems, not just technical economic systems. It was proven that management requires social skills and not just technical skills. Only giving the employee specific instructions and demands will give the worker the wrong impression. It is necessary to have some contact in order to achieve knowledge of what is going on between the workers.

They were revolutionary, no one before had noticed that human relations were that important to organizational output. Humans were seen as ‘machines’ until the studies came along. Then the well being of employees became of significant and changed the way managerial style.

Ashfield in2focs adopts more of the Human Relations Management Approach as It’s importance lies in its association with a strategic goal of the company, this is labour being seen as an asset and resource and not as a cost. The strategy is to try to develop this resource to it’s maximum so that emphasis is on the individual employee and on his/her motivation, training and development.

The fundamental problem with Human Resources Management is that in most cases Human Resources issues are subordinate and secondary to business strategy. This is not the case with Ashfield, the Human Resources Management approach is vital due to the nature of the organisation. A field force of 900 that is largely left to do the job as they see fit. Each field force member is given a set target list and encouraged to do the best they can. Targets are set but how the target or achieved is not. Employees are encouraged to keep an open line of communication with their line manager and team members. Everyone is asked to write at the end of the week how that week has gone and encourage fellow team members to achieve. Ashfield insist once a month the team sit together and discuss ideas to take that particular team forward. Every employee is given an opportunity to progress through various training courses closely selecting which route they would like to follow with the company. Incentives are issued not just for performance but creative thinking too.

Organisation Structure and Culture

Organizational Structures:

Organizations are structured in a variety of ways, dependant on their objectives and culture. The structure of an organisation will determine the manner in which it operates and it’s performance. Structure allows the responsibilities for different functions and processes to be clearly allocated to different departments and employees.

Management can be thought of as a function that is part of an organisation’s formal structure. IMullins’s (2005, p. 190) statement that he states management as: taking place within a structured organisational setting and with prescribed roles; directed towards the attainment of aims and objectives; achieved through the efforts of other people; and using systems and procedures. He also goes on to say: It is through the process of management that the efforts of members of the organisation are co-ordinated, directed and guided towards the achievement of organisational goals. Management is therefore the cornerstone of organisational effectiveness, and is concerned with arrangements for the carrying out of organisational processes and execution of work.

Organizational structure determines the manner and extent to which roles, power, and responsibilities are delegated, controlled, and coordinated, and how information flows between levels of management. This structure depends entirely on the organization’s objectives and the strategy chosen to achieve them. In a centralized structure, the decision making power is concentrated in the top layer of the management and tight control is exercised over departments and divisions. In a decentralized structure, the decision making power is distributed and the departments and divisions have varying degrees of autonomy.

Ashfield in2focus Organisational Structure

• Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Our CEO sets the direction and looks on the overall operations of the organisation. All business managers report to him.

• Chief Technical Officer (CTO): The role of our CTO is to look at the technical issues within the organisation, deal with the clients and gather requirements from the clients. Our CTO also looks into the capital budgeting.

• Business Unit Manager (BM): Business Unit Managers role is to focus on team management, allocate the work, deal with the client and gathers requirements from them.

• Team Managers: The role of Team Managers is to distribute the work to area managers in accordance with the client wishes and overall targets which has been allocated to him by the Business Manager.

• Area Manager: The job of the Area Team Manager is to allocate and distribute the work to their sales force.

As you can see from the above mentioned principles, Ashfield is bureaucratic in nature. All workers have to obey commands of their superiors. They have to follow certain rules and procedures. It sometimes becomes difficult for the senior management to agree or obey all the rules which, in turn, can and has created a rift among senior staff. At senior level Ashfield is very much structured organisation but due to the nature of the business Ashfield is developing a strong organisational culture, all staff members taking responsibly for their own targets.

Individual and Interpersonal Behaviour

Team Working within the organisation:

A team must have direction the leader provides guidance and leadership for the members.   They make the tough decisions for the team.   The leader places high importance on facilitating the team as opposed to directive commands (Temme & Katzel 1995)   The leader also makes sure the teams stays on task and accomplishes it’s goals in a timely manner.   They must work on issues that are critical to the achievement of   the goals they wish to obtain (Thomas.1999)

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Benefits of working on a team that has clearly defined roles are strengths and weaknesses “allows a group to analyse its collective strengths and weaknesses in Team Role terms and objectively plan to capitalise on those strengths and minimise the negative impact of its weaknesses” (Chanliau). Working on a team allows individuals to identify their own weaknesses and strength and find the niche in which to become a productive member of not only the team but the organization overall. Personal and individual growth can be found during the progression of the project while the individual learns to manage time more wisely to meet assigned suspense’s, learns when to be assertive, and learns when to fall into a more supportive role. Participating on a successful team project can be very rewarding for all individuals on the team as they are recognized by their superiors and realize that they can make a positive contribution and that each individual can make a difference.

The organisation used for this report Ashfield in2focus relies heavily on the Belbin Theory that each team should be made up of the following team members.

Ashfield employs people on merit but select the team they work they join because of the results obtained by the Belbin test. As previously discussed the nature of the company different teams rarely meet, each team is positioned like a miniature version of Ashfield so it is of vital importance that the team functions to it’s maximum capability. Four different teams work in one particular area thus is a vacancy arises in one team it does not necessarily mean a new employee will join that team, on the strength of the belbin test other members may join different teams to accommodate the new employee.


Ashfield is not a unique business model and thus the management structures it has in place will be common among most similar business from the Human Relations Management Approach with many of today’s organisations expect cooperation between managers and workers through various forms of employee involvement. Through to the Organisational Structure in place to achieve the maximum results for the employees. Although Organisational Culture is still very much a forethought


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