Human Relations Movement
refers to those researchers of organizational development
who study the behavior of people in groups
, in particular workplace groups. It originated in the 1920s' Hawthorne studies
, which examined the effects of social relations
and employee satisfaction
on factory productivity
. The movement viewed workers in terms of their psychology
and fit with companies
, rather than as interchangeable parts.
"The hallmark of human-relation theories is the primacy given to organizations as human cooperative systems rather than mechanical contraptions."
Barnard stressed the following:
- Natural groups, in which social aspects take precedence over functional organizational structures
- Upwards communication, by which communication is two way, from worker to chief executive, as well as vice versa.
- Cohesive and good leadership is needed to communicate goals and to ensure effective and coherent decision making
(Wilson & Rosenfeld, Managing Organizations, McGraw Hill Book Company, London, p.9.)
It has become a concern of many companies to improve the job-oriented interpersonal skills of employees. The teaching of these skills to employees is referred to as "soft skills" training. Companies need their employees to be able to successfully communicate and convey information, to be able to interpret others' emotions, to be open to others' feelings, and to be able to solve conflicts and arrive at resolutions. By acquiring these skills, the employees, those in management positions, and the customer can maintain more compatible relationships.
(DuBrin, A. J. (2007). Human Relations Interpersonal Job-Oriented Skills, Pearson Prentice Hall, 9th. ed., New Jersey, p. 2.)
Institutes where human relations are studied include:
- the Tavistock Institute, co-publishers of the Human Relations journal;
- the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science;
- The Oasis School of Human Relations (Oasis Press publishes human relations books and manuals);
- Trevecca Nazarene University, Bachelors Degree in Management and Human Relations for working adults;
- the University of Oklahoma offers a Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations, as well as a Master of Human Relations;
- the Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) offers a Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations, as well as a Master of Human Systems Intervention.
- Kyle Bruce, "Henry S. Dennison, Elton Mayo, and Human Relations historiography" in: Management & Organizational History, 2006, 1: 177-199.
- The Human Relations Movement (circa 1929-1951)
- NTL (National Training Labs) in Bethel, Maine: http://www.ntl.org
- Tavistock in London: http://www.tavinstitute.org
- Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN: http://www.trevecca.edu/mhr/courses.html
- The Oasis School of Human Relations: http://www.oasishumanrelations.org.uk
- The University of Oklahoma Department of Human Relations: http://www.ou.edu/cas/hr/