Essay Title: 

Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization by Elton Mayo

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in hr management, mathematics and economics

The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization

The author , Elton Mayo was able to show his ground-breaking work in this book . It is an apt title for it captures what Mayo is trying to say from the onset . The human problems arising from the industrial age is not brought about by machines and technology but surprisingly it comes from how man treats his fellow man . Technology is a tool in the industrial age but it is human behavior that dictates the success and failures of businesses . Mayo ‘s insight seems to be so [banner_entry_middle]

advanced that one wonders how his ideas was received during his time . An example of his ideas can be seen in the following statements , The human aspect of industry has changed considerably [ .] Whereas the human problems of industry were regarded until recently as lying within the strict province of the specialist , it is now beginning to be realized that a clear statement of such problems [ .] is necessary to the effective thinking of every business administrator and every economic expert (p 1

Another thing that is interesting about this book is the fact that the author focused his research not on how to maximize production and how to increase the productivity on the basis of correct usage of technology Mayo went the other route and he set his sights on the human aspect of industry . It was such a refreshing view and its effect no doubt is to reawaken the businessman ‘s passion for people and reinvigorate the administrator ‘s basic belief that the most important resource is not the raw materials and the machineries needed to create goods and services but the people working for the company

Mayo acknowledged that the foray into the human aspect of industrialization is a fairly recent endeavor . He traced this development in the early research of England ‘s Sir William Mather of the firm of Mather and Platt in Manchester . Mather experimented on reducing the weekly hours of working . The result was positive and production increased while there is a significant reduction of time lost . From this experiment Mayo expressed amazement at this breakthrough . For the first time there is now a documented body of evidence that improving work conditions can improve the efficiency of the operations

But Mayo was quick to point out that the only significant development coming from this discovery is the institution of the forty-eight hour week in the arsenals and dockyards of the British government (p .2 Mayo lamented however that , .apart from this , the results of the experiment did not lead to any general adoption of analogous methods on the part of the privately owned establishments (p .2


According to Mayo the general disregard for this revolutionary idea of the positive effects of improving working conditions continued until the World Wars came . In this special circumstances behaviorists and like-minded individuals were exposed for the very first time on the varying forces and factors that affect a large scale production… [banner_entry_footer]

Comments Off on Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization by Elton Mayo


This author has published 9190 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.

Comments are closed.