Hawthorne Effect

What is Hawthorne Effect?


‘Hawthorne Effect’ is the effect that observation has on the outcome of the phenomenon being observed. For example, if people are under CCTV surveillance, they tend to behave more appropriately in public than under no surveillance.


Similarly, concerning HR, employees tend to perform better if they understand that their actions are being scrutinized by someone. This also helps them in allocating their time better to the task at hand.


The term was first used by Henry A. Landsberger while he was analyzing some of Hawthorne’s studies. In an experiment conducted on workers to find the relation between the productivity of the workers and their lighting conditions, it was found that they were more productive in both light and darker conditions when they knew that they were being watched.

More HR Terms

Artificial Intelligence

What is Artificial Intelligence?   ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is the intelligence shown by machines and programs that mimic the natural thinking of human beings to fulfill


What is Commission?   ‘Commission’ has different meanings based on the context. However, concerning sales and HR, ‘Commission’ is defined as a variable pay given

Distance Learning

What is Distance Learning?   ‘Distance Learning’ refers to the kind of learning imparted where the students are at separate physical locations. Traditionally, distance learning

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