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.

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