Behavioural (Human Relations) Approach to Management


The behavioural approach to management came about as a result of continuous research in the 20th century when questions began to come up regarding the interactions and motivations of the individual within the organisation. This was after the classical approach to management that emphasised on productivity of the worker was considered by some theorists as not getting the best of the workers. Indeed the classical approach was deemed inhumane in some circles.   The basic principles of this approach are borne out of the realisation that management principles that were developed during the classical period, were simply not useful in dealing with many management situations and could not explain the behaviour of individual employees as classical theory ignored employee motivation and behaviour completely.  

Elton Mayo  

Following the research that he carried out together with J.Roethlisberger as part of the Hawthorne studies concluded that increase in productivity resulted from the supervisory arrangement rather than the changes in lighting or other associated worker benefits. The intense interest Elton Mayo and J Rothlisberger displayed for the workers during the research was the basis for the increased motivation and resulting productivity. This shows that there are issues that make workers get motivated like values, attitudes, friends and groups or working terms.

Abraham Maslow

He developed one of the most widely recognised needs theories, theory of motivation based upon consideration of human needs. His theory looks at the hierarchy of needs which starts with the satisfaction of first, of all physical needs necessary for maintaining basic well-being such as food and drink as being a motivator for productivity. When this need is satisfied an individual will want his safety needs as well to be satisfied. This includes the need for basic security, stability, protection and freedom from fear. When this...