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Chapter 1

COMM 151 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Human Relations Movement, Western Electric, Corporate Social Responsibility

Course Code
COMM 151
Christopher Miners

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Chapter 1 (Introduction)
Organizations: Social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group effort.
Organizational Behavior: Attitudes and behaviors of individuals and groups in
HR Management: Programs, practices and systems to acquire, develop and retain
employees in organizations.
Management: The art of getting things accomplished in organizations through others.
Evidence-based Management: Translating principles based on the best scientific
evidence into organizational practices.
Classical Viewpoint: An early prescription on management that advocated high
specialization of labor, intensive coordination and centralized decision-making.
Scientific Management (Frederick Taylor): Rather than informal “rules of thumb” for
job design, Taylors scientific management advocated the use of careful research to
determine the optimum degree of specialization and standardization. Supported the
development of written instructions that clearly defined work procedures, and encouraged
supervisors to standardize workers’ movements and breaks for maximum efficiency.
Bureaucracy (Weber): Strict chain of command in which each member reports to only a
single superior; criteria for selection and promotion based on impersonal technical skills
rather than nepotism or favoritism; set of detailed rules, regulations and procedures
ensuring that the job gets done regardless of who the specific worker is; the use of strict
specialization to match duties with technical competence; centralization of power at the
top of the organization
Hawthorne Studies: Research conducted at the Hawthorne plant of western electric near
Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s that illustrated how psychological and social processes
affect productivity and work adjustment. The studies showed:
Strict specialization is incompatible with human needs for growth and
Strong centralization and reliance on formal authority often fail to take advantage
of the creative ideas and knowledge of lower-level members
Strict, impersonal rules lead members to adapt the minimum acceptable level of
performance that the rules specify.
Strong specialization causes employees to lose sight of the overall goals of the
Human Relations Movement: A critique of classical management and bureaucracy that
advocated management styles that were more participative and oriented toward employee
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