Behavioral Management Perspective
Behavioral management shifted attention from the largely mechanistic view of employees and work held in classical management to the psychology, attitudes and behaviors of individuals. A leading figure of behavioral management was Hugo Munsterberg, whose focus on psychological testing for selection and motivation in management are commonplace today. The Hawthorne Studies lent credence to the behavioral approach by studying a group of workers. The workers’ levels of illumination were increased, resulting in increased output. When the light was decreased, however, output continued to increase. It was discovered that employees were working harder because of the attention they were receiving. Thus, psychological factors were seen to be an important factor in worker output.
The human relations movement was an evolution of the behavioral approach that concentrated on the social context of the workplace. Much of the work in the area of motivation theory comes from this movement, including the work of Maslow (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) and McGregor (Theory X/Theory Y). Organizational behavior emerged from human relations by integrating elements of other disciplines such as psychology, sociology and medicine. This recognizes the complexity of human behavior and takes a holistic view of individual, group and organizational processes.
The behavioral management approach provides important insights into the importance of motivation, group dynamics and interpersonal processes in organizations, as well as the need for management to focus on these. However, the complexity of individual and group Study Guide to accompany behaviors makes prediction of that behavior, and management decision-making to influence that behavior, very difficult.