The Hawthorne Effect


At Scientific American , Hilda Bastian looks behind the story

Orrin Woodward Leadership Team :: Lead People & Manage Numbers

Orrin Woodward

Meaning, you cannot measure leadership directly, but you can certainly measure the effects of leadership in the results of a group the leader is leading. Measuring results reminds me of the Hawthorne Studies.

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Virgin Atlantic Tested 3 Ways to Change Employee Behavior

Harvard Business Review

This is consistent with a well-documented social science phenomenon called the Hawthorne effect, whereby people change their behavior as a result of knowing they are being observed.

When Clinicians Know They’re Being Watched, Patients Fare Better

Harvard Business Review

In the 1920s, a series of experiments were conducted at Hawthorne Works, a Western Electric telephone factory just outside Chicago, to study the effects of lighting on worker productivity. The “Hawthorne effect,” as it is now known, has been well-documented in social science : individuals, typically research subjects, actively change their behavior when they know they are being observed and monitored. The effect goes beyond productivity.

Uber Shows How Not to Apply Behavioral Economics

Harvard Business Review

In a paper published in 2009 , Alex Haynes and colleagues examined the use and effectiveness of checklists in eight hospitals in eight cities in the Unites States. It’s a well-documented social-science finding called the Hawthorne effect.) Tailored information with targets and feedback was the most cost-effective intervention, improving fueling precision, in-flight efficiency measures, and efficient taxiing practices by 9% to 20%.