A Comprehensive Guide on Elton Mayo’s Human Relations Theory

Just visualize working with an organization that follows an inflexible workflow. You do not have any authority of recommending or suggest any creative interpretations, and there is only a single way through which you can complete your daily tasks. Then you will surely have a feeling of being a cog of a machine. Everyone has their own expectations and needs. Therefore, an organization’s working culture is only successful if it accommodates multiple expectations, assists various perspectives, and fulfils the employees’ requirements. This approach of management was first seen in Elton Mayo’s Human Research Theory. Read the below-given article to know how this management approach changed the working environment of the organizations.

The Rise of Elton Mayo’s Theory of Human Relations

For understanding the approach of human relations, you should first know about the circumstances it emerged from. The movement of human relations came to light due to a few scientific management theory limitations. According to the theory of scientific management, there was specific logic behind every action and understanding that raised workplace motivation. Talking about it in simpler words, organization is a result of administrative, operational and legal improvements.

When Taylorism theory of scientific management was prevailing, recommended by Frederick W. Taylor. It viewed the workers and employees as a machine. It suggested that the best way for the factory employees and workers of becoming efficient is to take appropriate training and learn about the necessary tools. The approach of human relations addressed these gaps by considering their social holes. It realizes that the attitudes, expectations and perceptions of the people play a crucial role in the performance of the employees at the workplace.

Elton Mayo, a psychologist from Harvard University, Australia, generated the theory of human relations. He supervised a chain of experiments that are now coming to be known as Hawthorne Experiments or Hawthorne Studies. He was the one which culminated that the people have their own individual unique preferences and they must not be treated as machines.

Below given are some of the important takeaways from Elton Mayo’s Human Relation Theory:

  • Human Beings are complex, and many factors influence their behaviour.
  • The team relations or the group dynamics also impact the output and job performance of the employees.
  • Managers must also understand that each employee have their unique requirements, and one thing can’t be fit for all. Therefore, communication between the employees and managers is very crucial.
  • People do not get motivated just by getting compensation. Instead, it is also important that they can take out some meaning from the work they do.
  • The workers and employees are more open to accepting the change when they are allowed to participate.

The Elton Mayo theory recommended that the workplace is like a social system with various factors that influence an employee’s performance. The organizational and psychological are required to pay attention to these characteristics for leading the way towards change.

Characteristics of Human Relations Theory

There are numerous characteristics of the Human Relations Theory which are common. Below given is a detailed description about the same:

  1. Coordinating Process: Miscommunication is eliminated by making certain efforts to attain the organizational targets and build trustworthy relationships with substantial efficiency. Coordination and emotional unity are significant for achieving and pursuing a common objective.
  2. Job Satisfaction: Apart from the financial requirements, employees are required to focus on expectations and psychological and social needs as well. There must be the inclusion of some non-monetary incentives as they help boost the employees’ morale and increase employee retention.
  3. Human Aspect: The human aspect of management indicates that humane treatment is important for successful and appropriate management. The meaning of it is that employers must focus on employees’ well-being inside and outside the workplace.

These characteristics of this approach of human relations management also indicate that they must be able to find meaning in their work and be happy. When the employers identify and cater to the primary needs, the employees become more willing to accomplish their assigned tasks. This also helps in improving productivity profitability and also contributes towards business growth.

The Need for Human Relations Skills

The human relations theory by Elton Mayo manifested that relationships are highly dominating for the productivity of people. The managers and employers must have a wide area of skills for successfully carrying out human relations focused on the workplace’s culture. Let us look at the different skill requirements for successful human relations.


Communication skills are vital for the management approach of human relations. It makes sure that every organization employee is on the same page. It includes all types of communication such as written, verbal, non-verbal, etc. Be it the eye contact you make with your audience while conducting meetings or the mails you share or send. Effective communication skills are a significant way of connecting with others and conveying your message. These skills are important for the team leaders and managers, especially as it helps them collaborate and drive teamwork.

Conflict Resolution:

The employees come from different sectors of the society, which leads to a diverse outlook, personality types, and goals of all the people working together. There can be times when you do not agree with a certain perspective of someone, and you actually have the right to disagree. This is the reason why having appropriate skills in conflict resolution is important. It helps the people in resolving and politely addressing the problems.  You must bring out a solution with which everybody feels comfortable and also maintain proper harmony in the process.


It is one of the most essential human relations approach skills that affect all the organization’s work areas. Be it your physical workplace or workflow; it will provide you with many benefits if you are well organizing. This helps in proper time management and prioritizing the work. It is the fundamental element with which you can create a systematic workflow. The organization also allows you to be productive and meet deadlines. It is a key quality that every team member must have as it helps them complete multiple tasks in an organized way.

The team leaders and managers can execute the practices of human relations management with more efficiency after utilizing these skills.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Human Relations Theory


  • Improves the efficiency and productivity of employees.
  • Helps in removing the grievances amongst the employees.
  • It helps in forming good human relationships.
  • Trains and hire the workforce.
  • Improves the goodwill of the organization.
  • Improvises employee retention.


  • It involves a lot of time.
  • It doesn’t comprise the employee’s productivity.
  • Difficult in analyzing.
  • Installation, training and setup cost is involved.
  • The future is uncertain.
  • The theory of human relations involves more theoretical concepts.

Criticism of Human Relations Theory

  • The scientists haven’t verified it.
  • The behavior of employees was natural when the experiment was taking place.
  • It gave more importance to informal relations rather than formal relations.
  • It is anti-union and pro-management.
  • This theory doesn’t include the economic dimensions and neglects the nature of work.
  • It cannot inspect multifaceted human motivation phenomena.
  • This is over bothered about happiness.
  • It ignored the environmental factors which can affect the attitude of the employees.

If you wish to learn more about the Human Relations Theory of Elton Mayo, then you can take assignment help online.  Students often look for experts so that they can provide them with the assignment writing help services so that they can deliver the assignments within the deadline and score HD marks and grades.

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