Hawthorne Effect


The Hawthorne Effect is often mentioned as a possible explanation for positive results in intervention studies. The concept examines the empirical evidence for the occurrence of the effect and discusses its implications.

Technique Overview

Hawthorne Effect Definition

The Hawthorne Effect is the tendency of people being observed, as part of a research effort, to behave differently than they otherwise would (Gillespie, 1991). The Hawthorne Studies of the 1920s and 1930s revealed the social forces at play in work situations and led to the development of the Human Relations approach to management (Burnes, 2009).

Hawthorne Effect Description *

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Business Evidence

Hawthorne Effect Strengths *

Hawthorne Effect Weaknesses *

Examples of Hawthorne Effect *

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Business Application

Hawthorne Effect Implementation *

Success Factors of Hawthorne Effect *

Measures of Hawthorne Effect *

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Professional Tools

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Further Reading

Hawthorne Effect Web Resources *

Hawthorne Effect Print Resources *

Hawthorne Effect References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Burnes, B. (2009) Managing Change. (5th Ed.) Pearson Education, Essex, UK.
  • Chiesa, M. and Hobbs, S. (2008) Making Sense of Social Research: How Useful is the Hawthorne Effect? European Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 38, pp. 67-74.
  • CIMA (2005) CIMA Official Terminology. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Oxford, UK.
  • Cox, A., Marchington, M. and Suter, J. (2009) Employee Involvement and Participation: Developing the Concept of Institutional Embeddedness Using WERS2004, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 20(10), pp. 2150-2168.

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