Human relations is an integrated body of knowledge composed of several elements from different disciplines.
Human relations is an inter-disciplinary field because the study of human behaviour in an industrial or business setting must include the research of several social and physical sciences if it is to be coherent.
The inter-disciplinary approach requires an understanding of the separate contributions made by other disciplines and then the integration of that information into a unified whole.
Human relations refers to all the interactions that can occur among people, whether they are conflict or cooperative behaviours.
The study of human relations in business and industry is the study of how people can work effectively in group in order to satisfy both organizational goals and personal needs. – Jack Halloran
1. Introduction and Meaning to Human Relation 2. Definitions of Human Relation 3. Scope 4. Philosophy 5. Characteristics
6. Factors Responsible for the Origin 7. Human Relations in Industry. 8. Basic Themes 9. Hawthorne Experiment 10. Human Relations Movement
11. Differences between Human Relations and Industrial Relations 12. Factors 13. Contribution 14. Assumptions 15. Criticisms 16. Measures.
Human Relations: Meaning, Definitions, Scope, Need, Characteristics, Importance, Criticisms and Other Details
Human Relations – Introduction and Meaning
Human relations is an integrated body of knowledge composed of several elements from different disciplines. Human relations is an inter-disciplinary field because the study of human behaviour in an industrial or business setting must include the research of several social and physical sciences if it is to be coherent. The inter-disciplinary approach requires an understanding of the separate contributions made by other disciplines and then the integration of that information into a unified whole.
For example, psychologists have done extensive research and experimentation on the relation of the individual to the work environment, (particularly job satisfaction, training, job placement, incentives, testing, counselling and various other work-related areas). The social psychologists, through their scientific study of the behaviour of individuals, have provided an answer to why people behave as they do.
Sociologists have made major contributions to human relations with their studies ‘group behaviour’ and ‘group dynamics’. They have strived to develop laws and generalisations about human nature, social interaction, culture and social organisation. Anthropology examines all the behaviours of man which have been learned, including all the social technical and family behaviours which are a part of the broad concept of “culture”.
Their concepts of role behaviour, status and effects, and the influence of informal groupings have proved invaluable in understanding human behaviour in work environment. They give answer to why groups behave as they do. Economics has contributed both theories and information to a total theory of industrial relations. The Science of semantics and the field of information theory have made useful additions to the practice of efficient communications in business and industry. The political science has contributed useful informatory about the relationships between organisational structure.
It should be stated that all these fields have added separate and useful elements to the knowledge of human relations. Human relations are likewise concerned with the ‘why’ of the people and their groups. Moreover, in the study of human relations, in addition to why, one also learns ‘what’ can be done to anticipate, prevent or resolve conflict among organisational members. In other words, “the field of human relations is action-oriented, emphasizing the analysis, prevention, and resolution of behavioural problems within organisations.”
Generally human relations are used in the context of social setup while employee relations refer to organizational setup. An organisation is composed of people who come from different walks of life and having different social, economical, psychological and political background. Human relations is the medium through which both employees and organisation mutually cooperate to achieve high performance standard in the society.
The quality and quantity of employees are modified by an environmental factors such as education, training and development because the human beings differ from one another in their basic mental abilities, personality, interests, skills, intelligence, attitudes, aspirations, energy, qualifications, experience and behaviour. The handling of physical material and financial resource are also quite different from that of human beings because the later are not standardised and interchangeable.
Because of different traits such as think, develop, create, invent, feel, love, give, respect, hate, analyse and destroy, the human beings are more complex in their behavior and psychological make-up; and when they interact or react with each other than this complexity is multiplied. Therefore, the understanding of human behaviour is essential for establishing and maintaining human and employee relations. In a broader sense, human relations is the art of successful living.
Some views of human relations are:
The Core of its Philosophy is that Managers Respond –
(i) To clearly demonstrate interest by management in the work that they are doing and their own opinions there of; and
(ii) To the informal social structure prevailing at the workplace. The human relations school therefore aims to develop self-awareness in managers and conscious analysis of group dynamics and behaviour at work.
Human Relations – Definitions
Human relations is the study and practice of utilizing human resources through knowledge and through an understanding of the activities, attitudes, sentiments and interrelationships of people at work. – D. E. MacFarland
Human relations is the integration of people into a work situation is that it motivates them to work together productively, co-operatively and with economic, psychological and social satisfaction. – Keith Devis
Human relations refers to all the interactions that can occur among people, whether they are conflict or cooperative behaviours. The study of human relations in business and industry is the study of how people can work effectively in group in order to satisfy both organizational goals and personal needs. – Jack Halloran
On analyzing the above definitions, it is cleared that:
1. Human relations programmes are an integral process through which an employee’s attitude and work are integrated to improve employee morale and motivation.
2. Human relations seek to make employment and working conditions less impersonal.
3. Human relations deals with many problems and conflicts in the organisation.
4. Human relations is the art of getting people as individuals or as a group in order to improve individual efficiency and job satisfaction, group solidarity and effectiveness and also to achieve organizational goals.
Some of the definition of human relations has been deemed by some eminent authors as follows:
B.R. Kalsi, “Human relations in industry are deemed as the optimum relation between maximum productivity and maximum satisfaction. If we wanted to really succeed in promoting good human relations, let us forget the technological approach to this human problem. It is a problem of developing men and not techniques of skills.”
Mee. John. F., “Human relations is the medium through which both the employees and the company mutually co-operate to achieve more production through high morale, which after all is the economic purpose of all the business and industries.”
On the basis of analytical study of above definitions, it can be concluded that human relations is a process through which the pre-determined objectives of the enterprise are achieved through the maximum satisfaction of its workers.
Human Relations – Scope Stated by Halloran
The scope of human relations springs up from the problems which have many different causes and perspectives.
Halloran has stated these as:
1. The organisational aspects of a company, such as its size, the scope of work and the activity in each work division. These frequently arbitrary structural definitions often cause difficulties in human relations.
2. Every person brings a unique set of talents, ambitions and work experience to as job. These personal attributes change over time, often as a result of the degree of success or failure the person experiences in the work world. Matching so many unique sets of personal qualities to a standardised technology can create problems.
3. Inexperienced workers may not be able to perform their roles or tasks in work groups in a competent manner. The time they take to adjust cannot only create problems with production schedules, but can also create particular kinds of human relations problems between them and their co-workers and supervisors.
4. Innovations in technology and production methods generally require the restructuring of job roles and responsibilities. Radical changes in basic organisational structure can cause severe strains between workers and management and create intense problems in human relations.
5. Promotion of individuals to positions of greater responsibility and authority generally creates a need for changed behaviour patterns between the new supervisors and their former peers which, in time can create human relations problems.
The variety of causes of human relations problems lead to the conclusion that no one programme or single approach can create conditions for good human relations. Therefore, different kinds of programmes would be necessary for dealing with these different sets of problems.
Human Relations – Philosophy
Human relations stress the prime importance of getting a job done in an organisation. They recognise the importance of the dignity, integrity and self-respect of the workers. They seek to distinguish between the workers as a mere cog in the production machine and the worker as an individual.
A personnel manager has been compared to an industrial engineers. If the machinery in a production department breaks down or operates improperly, production stops or goes down, and losses are incurred. The engineer attempts to analyse the defects and tries to remove the malfunctioning of the machine at the earliest possible moment. Similarly, as much time and energy is spent of discovering the causes of human malfunctions, and their correction has to be speeded up to improve production.
The philosophy of human relations is expressed in the following ten basic tenets:
(i) The relationship of the individual with the enterprise is a basic one irrespective of whether there is or is not a trade union in the plant. The policies and activities of government, of labour unions, or of a management in the field of industrial relations must be judged in the light of whether they promote or jeopardise this basic relationship.
(ii) An individual enterprise, in its operation, must take full account of the social, spiritual, and economic needs of the individual as an employee, as a stockholder, as a consumer, and as a member of society.
(iii) The Industry exists for the individual and not the individual for the industry.
(iv) Loyalty is not an “either-or” proposition. There is no basic in consistency or in compatibility between an employee’s interest in his unit and his acceptance of a trade union membership.
(v) Employers should, as far as it lies within their control, work for and provide the maximum degree of economic security for their employees.
(vi) Sound company personnel policies and practices must be designed to safeguard and promote the rights, interests and welfare of employees as persons.
(vii) No policy, whether it be of the management or of labour, which violates or affronts the rights and freedoms of the individual, can long survive in a free society.
(viii) The co-operation of the individual in the productive process must be won and deserved. It cannot be forced.
(ix) The individual employee, in respect of his status, rights, prospects for advancement, and his economic well-being, is inescapably linked with the success of the enterprise by which he is employed.
Another authority on Personnel Management, John Mee, has to say this about human relations philosophy:
1. Make the worker feel important; appeal to his “mastery” drive. Give him an opportunity not only for advancement but also for expression.
2. Do not dominate the employee; let him keep his self-respect.
3. Give the employee the facts; keep him in the “know” in advance.
4. Consider the employee is sentiments and social situations; out of these his world is built.
5. Promote the competitive spirit among the employees, but avoid a fight.
6. Set an example for the employees; they like to respect their superiors. Train supervisors in human-relations.
7. Provide reasonable security and safe healthful conditions.
8. Treat each employee as an individual; determine what makes him valuable.
9. Make decisions as fairly as possible after considering the available facts. Be particularly objective in making decisions.
10. Be firm; do not give concessions too easily; let the employee feel he has earned them fairly.
It is important to note that a change or improvement in human relations can neither be demanded nor ordered by the management, nor can a change in personnel policies yield favourable results. Good human relations need to be practised by the management. In this connection, Clearance Francis says, “You can buy a man’s time; you can buy a man’s physical presence at a given place. You can even buy a measured number of skilled muscular motions per hour or day.
But you cannot buy enthusiasm; you cannot buy initiative; you cannot buy loyalty; you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls. You have to earn these things through constant practice… The co-operation of the employee in productive process must be won and deserved, it cannot be forced.”
A successful management is that which realises that the people working in an organisation are a valuable asset, which needs to be developed and utilised in the best interest of all. Employees work better not in obedience to compulsion, but on the basis of co-operation; not by force but by persuasion; and not by terror or the rule of fear, but by affection or the rule of the carrot.
Human Relations – 8 Important Characteristics
Human relations thought reveals the following characteristics:
Characteristic # 1. Coordinating Process:
Human relations thought is the process of coordinating the interests of employer and employees. Under this thought, all the best efforts are made to eliminate the mutual problems and misunderstandings between managers and workers. Emotional unity is developed in both the sections so that cordial relations may be established in the enterprise and both the sides may treat each other as friend.
Characteristic # 2. To Develop the Feeling of Voluntary Work among Workers:
Human relations thought brings the unity and equality in the objects of different workers and enterprise. As a result of it, the feeling of voluntary work develops among employees. They feel the interests of the enterprise as their own interests and they make their best efforts to fulfill these interests.
Characteristic # 3. Satisfaction of Different Needs of Employees:
The thought of human relations emphasises upon the satisfaction of maximum needs of the workers of the enterprise. Prof. Keith Oavis has divided the needs of a worker into the three parts-Economic, Psychological and Social. The economic needs of the employees are satisfied by the remuneration, which is paid to them.
For the satisfaction of psychological and social needs of the workers, they are given non-monetary incentives. The study of the effect of non-monetary incentives has proved that these incentives increase the morale of employees in a revolutionary manner which increases their productivity also.
Characteristic # 4. Stress on Human Aspect:
Management should stress do the human aspect of labour and workers should be treated as human being within and outside the workplace. Money is not the only thing, they want but they human treatment is also the main motto.
Characteristic # 5. Social Aspects:
Satisfaction of all types of needs of workers is an implied condition in Human Relations approach as classified in the definition of Keith Davis quoted above, i.e., economic, psychological and social needs.
Characteristic # 6. Willingness to Work:
The principal objective of integration should be to secure the willing cooperation of the employees. On the sincere efforts on the part of the management, the workmen may be motivated to offer their willing cooperation for achieving the target of greater, better and cheaper production. The environment may be created whereby the employees may voluntarily come forward to cooperate.
Characteristic # 7. A Process of Integration:
Integration means to unite, combine anti form a composite effective whole. There must be an integration of interests and attitudes of the employer and employees and there should be no diversity of interest of each person with the interest of all others in the organisation.
Characteristic # 8. Helpful in Increasing the Productivity:
The thought of human relations is helpful in reusing the productivity of the workers as well as of the enterprise also because in this approach, all the best efforts are made to satisfy the maximum needs of workers. They are given the best treatment. Their opinions and their suggestions are appraised it increases their morale and the direct effect of increase in their morale is the increase in their productivity.
Human Relations – Factors Responsible for the Origin and Progress of the Human Relations Movement
The origin and progress of the human relations movement has been due to certain social and cultural forces working there, such:
(i) Strong organisations of labour, at all levels, calling for higher skills in communication and participative behaviour on the part of the management.
(ii) Recognition of the dignity of the individual and his personality. The individual has a lot of freedom of choice and the idea of decision making by oneself is deep rooted in the national tradition.
(iii) Virtual disappearance of owner managers and the growth of professional managers capable of managing according to professional code.
(iv) Shortage of labour led to skilled labour being treated as nearly irreplaceable. Hence, much greater care in utilising this scarce and valuable resource had to be thought of in the form of “Human Relations”.
(v) A child is brought up to value independence and encouraged to think on his own and not to be dependent on parents.
(vi) The possible weakening of work ethics, requiring managers to develop new attitudes towards labour.
(vii) The changing work environment greater specialisation and a larger scope of operations which require a greater degree of managerial effectiveness in working with and through workers.
(viii) Higher standard of living of American labour. Since their physical and security needs were generally satisfied, increased participation alone could satisfy their emerging social and ego needs.
(ix) A significant increase in the general educational level of workers who, as a result, demanded more from their employers.
Human Relations – Human Relations in Industry
The human relations in industry can be justified on the following grounds:
1. Place of Human Relations in Industry:
The place of human relations in industry and business cannot be overemphasized. For better industrial relations, good human relations are necessary. Efficiency and ability of workers much depends upon the human relations. The will do work is something different from the capacity to work. Both ability and will do work are needed.
2. Wider Scope:
The importance of human relation is not only for the production units but other sphere of life require good human relations. It is not a technical problem, it is human, social or moral problem and humanity should be developed technically.
3. Human Engineering can Streamline Production:
Human relation is the most pervading force which needs for the success or failure of the organisation. Machines, adequate finance, better quality of raw materials are all necessary for accelerating production but human being, too, is necessary to process the materials, man the machines and control the methods. Industry is not composed of machines, finance or materials only. Without the efforts of human beings all are nothing.
4. Moral Justification:
Workers are human beings and therefore they must be given a humanly treatment. This justification, which is rather more fundamental, rests on moral grounds. Being a human being, he is, entitled to certain human rights. They should be treated with the same respect for their dignity that any other human being can claim.
Human Relations – 3 Basic Themes in Human Relations: Communication, Motivation and Empathy
The basic themes in human relation are related to communication, motivation and empathy.
Communication is the way in which information and understanding are transmitted. It unifies group behaviour, and it provides the basic for group cooperation. If management cannot communicate effectively with employees, they cannot motivate or lead them. On the other hand, if workers cannot communicate well with the management, they cannot perform their jobs properly, nor can they receive adequate recognition for their work. Lack of effective and good communication in organisation fails to satisfy people at work.
Empathy is the ability to put oneself in someone else’s place and to feel sympathy for that person’s motives and point of view, Lack of empathy is the primary cause of conflict in organisations, and a barrier to communication.
Motivation implies total response of individuals to various motivating forces. People in organisation relate to each other in the ways they do because they are driven by psychological, social and economic forces that have the power to motivate them to behave in particular ways. It is through proper motivation that productivity can be increased and conflicts avoided.
Human Relations – Hawthorne Experiment on Human Relation Programme
The human relations programme began when a group of researchers, from Harvard University, was invited to conduct studies at the Chicago Hawthorne Plant of Western Electric. The general progression of the research at Hawthorne can be grouped in four phases—each of the last three developed as an attempt on the part of the researchers to answer questions raised by the previous phase.
The four phases were:
1. Experiments to determine the effects of changes in illumination on productivity.
2. Conducting a plant-wide interview programme to determine worker attitudes and sentiments.
3. Experiments to determine the effects of changes in hours and other working conditions (such as rest periods, refreshments) on productivity. The Relay Assembly Test Room Experiment.
4. Determination and analysis of social organisation at work. (The Bank Wiring Observation Room Experiment)
The Hawthorne studies conclusively showed, by quantitative measurements that:
(i) Normal interactions of workers at work always create social network called the “informal organisation which exert tremendous influence over workers” behaviour patterns;
(ii) The informal organisation frequently countermanded official orders passed down through the formal organisation and consequently played a determining role in setting production rates;
(iii) The workers, are not to be viewed as mere ‘economic tools’ or as ‘isolated units’ in the production process; but they had to be seen as ‘complex human beings’ whose normal human interactions were bound to affect total production output, no matter how sophisticated the technological process employed were.
Mayo stressed importance for an understanding of the needs of both management and workers and of the social aspects of work performances, etc. The message was that interpersonal relationships should be fostered for the fullest realisation of the potential of individuals and groups.
His findings helped to develop the image of both workers and managers as ‘whole persons’, creatures of sentiment whose basic human desired and conflicting personal motives often resulted in complex outcomes to problems, outcomes which cannot be predicted in a purply technological, theoretical framework. One of the direct result of the Hawthorne experiments was the development of employee counseling as a technique of management problems of communication, non-financial incentives, participation, homogeneity of working groups, etc. started to assume greater importance with management.
The Hawthorne studies have, however, been widely criticized by behavioural scientists Slod Henry Landsberger observed that: “…a most spectacular academic battle has raged since then—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that a limited number of gunners has kept up a steady barrage, reusing the same ammunition… The beleaguered Mayo Garrison, however, has continued its existence behind the solid protection of factory walls.”
One writer found that the conclusions were almost entirely unsupported.
Some other criticisms have been:
1. The Hawthorne Studies look upon the worker as ‘a means to an end’, not as ‘as end in himself. The assume acceptance of management’s goals and look on the worker as someone to be stimulated by management.
2. The Hawthorne plant was not a typical plant because it was a thoroughly unpleasant place in which to work.
3. The Hawthorne researchers did not give sufficient attention to the attitudes that people bring with them to the work place. They did not recognise such forces as class consciousness, the role of unions and other extra plant forces on attitudes of workers.
In spite of these criticisms, the light shed by the Hawthorne studies will shines in the field of human relations.
Interest in human relations diminished in the 1930s during the early part of the Great Depression. The industrial expansion during World War II and the prosperous postwar period stimulated and encouraged a deeper understanding of the relationship between productivity on worker satisfaction.
Two important theories Mc Gregors Theory X as opposed to the humanistic approach to management called Theory Y and Abraham Maslow’s studies on the Hierarchy of Human Needs-were other milestones in human relations studies, which still exert considerable influence.
Human Relations – Human Relations Movement
A review of human relations’ movement will help us to understand the human resource management better. The human relations’ theory and the movement emphasized the human element. The beginning of this movement can be traced back to the famous Hawthorne factory of the Western Electric Company in the United States.
These studies were conducted by Elton Mayo and his associates from Harvard University in Boston. A detailed analysis of these studies shed some light on the human behavior in work situations. The powerful role played by the informal groups and interpersonal relations are recognized for the first time.
The human relations’ movement brought to the attention of management, the importance of individuals as human beings and not mere factors of production, and their role in determining the success or failure of an organization. Human relations’ deals with the creation and development of an environment in which individuals are motivated to accomplish organizational objectives because of the need satisfaction, such environment offers.
The human relations’ movement views the manager or supervisor as a leader and equates the managing function to leadership. The movement views organization as a social system in which individuals interact, function as a group and have different types of need satisfaction.
The human relations’ movement draws its strength from the field of Behavioural sciences in general and the field of Social Psychology in particular. Drawing a theoretical framework from these fields, concepts such as, leadership, motivation, change, conflict and communication were studied and researched in the context of the organization and provided to solve various industrial problems.
As a result of these studies, several prescriptions were offered to solve various industrial problems. The practitioners in the field of management learned how to overcome resistance to change, how to motivate employees with long-range effects, how to improve communication techniques and methods, how to provide good leadership and so on.
Human Relations – Difference between Human Relations and Industrial Relations
Although it is difficult to draw a definite line of demarcation between the concepts of ‘IR’ and ‘human relations’, a broad distinction can be made.
‘IR’ refer to relations between the employers and employees (as two distinct groups) in an organisation or industry. ‘Human relations’, on the other hand, refer to the direct relationships existing between the employer and his/her employees considered as ‘individual’, as distinct from ‘IR’ which is used to denote ‘collective’ relations.
IR are viewed at official level, whereas human relations are viewed at personal level. Human relations in industry refer to a policy which should be followed to make the workers feel involved in the organisation, boost their morale and treat the workers as human beings and equal partners in the industry and not merely as a factor of production. Problems of human relations are personal in character and are related to the behaviour of workers where morale and social elements predominate.
IR are viewed at a particular period of time, say, in a particular month. For example, IR may be good in January, but may be strained in February. Human relations, on the other hand, are built over a long period of time. They cannot be made good or bad in a month or so.
In case IR are bad, they may lead to strikes or lockouts. This may not be the case with poor human relations. On the other hand, if an organisation is successful in implementing its human relations policy effectively, it will also help in improving IR.
IR refer to the relations between the organisations of employers and the employees at a higher level of economy, whereas human relations are considered as the scientific investigation of the psychological and social interrelations produced in the collective performance of work.
The term ‘industrial relations’ is wider and comprehensive, and the term ‘human relations’ is a part of it. The human relations approach is a path leading to peaceful IR.
Human Relations – Factors for Ascertaining Good Human Relations
Development of good human relations is an important function of the management of an enterprise. For developing such relations, the management must develop the favourable conditions in the enterprise. The employees of the enterprise must be offered both the monetary and nonmonetary incentives. It must be made clear to the employees of the enterprise that the satisfaction of their interests is possible only through the achievement of the objectives of the organisation.
Whether there are good human relations in an enterprise or not, can be ascertained on the basis of following factors:
(i) Discipline in the enterprise.
(ii) The faith of employees in the impartiality and justice of managers.
(iii) Interest of employees in their work.
(iv) Atmosphere of work in enterprise.
(v) Satisfaction of employees in the enterprise.
(vi) Recognition of the suggestions of employees.
(vii) Team spirit among the employees.
(viii) Human behaviour with the employees of the enterprise.
The study of above factors can easily and clearly make it clear that whether there are cordial human relations in the enterprise or not. If above factors are positive in an enterprise, it will be assumed that there are friendly human relation. If the employees of an enterprise consider the interests of the enterprise as their own interests, it will prove the presence of cordial relations in the enterprise.
Human Relations – Contributions of Human Relations Approach
The following are some of the important contributions of this approach:
1. Economic and Good Production:
Maintenance of good human relations is the very basis of motivation. A highly motivated worker has an internal attitude to do more work. He/she tries to use his/her skill, ability and knowledge for more and more production. It lowers down the cost of production, improves its quality and increases the productivity of workers. Increased productivity brings economical and standard goods for the society.
2. Maximum Utilisation of Manpower:
Human resources are the most valuable sources of production and basis for development. Although adequate finance, better quality of raw materials, improved machines and other infrastructure facilities are necessary to accelerate production, industries are not composed of only these things.
They need human beings also who use these resources. This is only human factor which makes good and bad use of these resources. In the absence of trained and efficient personnel, the natural resources cannot do anything. It is only the human relation approach which motivates human beings to use these resources fully and efficiently.
3. Psychological and Moral Grounds:
A sound justification for managerial interest in human relations is based on the psychological and moral grounds. Employees are also human beings just as are the members of management or ownership and are, therefore, entitled to human treatment. They should be treated with the same respect for their dignity that any other human being can claim. Psychological satisfaction is more valuable than physiological satisfaction.
4. Development of Trade Unionism and Government Stress:
In modern times, the trade union movement is quite organised. Due to strong unionism and government’s interference in the field of IR, an industrialist cannot afford to ignore the workers, their needs and their grievances. Although it is a negative approach to the significance of human relations approach, it is quite true.
5. Development of Industrial Humanism:
The approach of human relations leads to the development of industrial humanism in industrial field. It focuses on job satisfaction rather than job remuneration. It makes the workers equally responsible for the growth of organisation. It prepares managers as true leaders. It is a study of group dynamics and interpersonal relationship which helps in understanding the behaviour of workers.
Human Relations – Fundamental Assumptions in the Human Relations Approach
There are certain fundamental assumptions in the human relations approach.
(i) People should be treated differently from the other factors of production because they are of a higher order. They should, therefore, be treated with respect, and nothing should be done to impair their dignity. At the same time, their aspirations should be respected and their abilities recognised.
(ii) People tend to do things that bring them satisfaction. The extent to which a given impulse moves a person to work depends on his or her condition or on how much that person is deprived of a particular need.
(iii) Human beings have not only physiological needs but have other needs too, which cannot be satisfied by money alone. For the fulfilment of these needs, and understanding of human behaviour is necessary.
(iv) People differ from each other, both emotionally and otherwise; therefore, their behaviour is modified on the basis of their individual differences.
(v) People belong to man organisations other than the organisation of their employer and they play a wide variety of roles outside their place of work. If the whole person can be improved, then advantages of this improvement will extend beyond the firm into the larger society in which each employee lives.
(vi) A business organisation is a social system and, therefore, its activities are governed by social as well as psychological laws. The behaviour of the people is influenced by their group as well as their individual drives. Consequently, two types of social systems exist side by side in an organisation the formal and the informal.
(vii) Employees have a variety of expectations to fulfil. For the satisfaction of these expectations, their role as workers and as members of a group should be recognised.
(viii) People feel satisfaction in work not only by getting money for it, but also prestige, status, independence, security, reward and respect. These must be given when due.
(ix) An organisation needs people, but people also need an organisation, i.e., organisations are formed and maintained on the basis of some mutuality of interest among their members. People perceive an organisation as a means which helps them to attain their goals. At the same time, an organisation needs people to help reach organisational goals.
Prof. Scott has listed the following assumptions:
(i) A good human relations practice is the product of the manager’s ability to use his experience, intuition, and inter-disciplinary generalisation to guide him in the action he takes.
(ii) The role assumption stems from a variety of demands; there may be a job-oriented role or an informal group-oriented role.
(iii) Employee participation is essential for higher production and greater human satisfaction.
(iv) Communication is the nervous system of an organisation. Anything which impairs the functioning of the communication system will limit organisational effectiveness in terms of the accomplishment of its goals.
(v) Man is diversely motivated. He has a n hierarchy of needs which change quite often.
(vi) A plant or an office is a social system. Viewing the work situation as a network of variable and interrelated elements is a major feature of modern human relations practice for an executive.
(vii) Team-work is an indispensable element of management practice for organisational survival.
(viii) Executive skills in human relations practice can be developed. An executive can be trained to be aware, sensitive and competent to cope with the human problems of an organisation.
Human Relations – 7 Major Criticisms
However, the concept of human relations has been criticised by some management authorities.
The criticism has been somewhat on these lines:
(i) Human relations teachings and principles create a group of “happiness boys” who make difficulties for management by putting forward excessive demands for the satisfaction of certain obscure human urges and aspirations.
(ii) Human relations techniques breed mass conformity with the working community and, thus, discourage individual development.
(iii) Human relations cannot be taught as a discipline. Its concepts can only be understood by a matured and experienced manager.
(iv) Human relations experts create situations which generate group dependency and tendency on the part of the management to manipulate the behaviour of their subordinates.
(v) Some other assumptions that have been challenged are- (a) that the leader who tries to get close to his men is a more effective leader; (b) that an effective leader is one who avoids hostile and aggressive attitude being directed toward him by his own men; and (c) that group operations attain greater efficiency if more attention is paid to the informal composition, aspirations, etc.
(vi) Human relations approach has ignored the external economic factor de-emphasizing of class struggle, ignoring the role of unions, supporting the status quo (e.g., in recommending the identification of the individual worker’s objectives with the company’s objectives).
(vii) The assumption that if one made one’s employees contended, they would remain on their jobs and be productive has been described by Daniel Ball as “Cow Sociology.” It has been said that “there should be more behavioural science-less human relations.”
Human Relations – Measures to Maintain Good Relations with Employees
Good human relations are necessary for the success of an enterprise. It brings integrity between the objects of enterprise, and of the employees. It motivates the employees of the enterprise to produce the best quality of goods and services at the minimum possible cost.
In our view, the management may adopt the following measures to maintain good relations with employees:
(i) Create a congenial work atmosphere and pleasing surroundings, arrange for better job facilities by having better tools and appliances and faultless raw materials. These will improve working capacity, develop enthusiasm and a sense of loyalty towards the organisation. Work satisfaction not only instills a sense of responsibility in an employee but also creates a feeling of belongingness, of being wanted, and gives them psychological satisfaction.
(ii) Provide abundant opportunities for, and better prospects of personal advancement through promotion and growth in abilities through training and development programmes, and various other methods of job satisfaction.
(iii) Delegate authority commensurate with responsibility and allow complete and active independence to employees. In other words, let them develop the feeling that they have a role to play in the total productive effort; that they have personal responsibility for the accomplishment of certain task; they are personally involved in their work; and that they are an important part of the organisation and not merely cogs in the machine which may be replaced at any time.
(iv) Recognise the worth of quality control, reduction in cost, full attendance at work, exemplary safety record, maintenance of discipline, and cooperation with the management in difficult times. Praise, appreciation and a word of thanks should be liberal when due.
(v) Foster a democratic and permissible climate, i.e., get the work done by consultation, suggestion and participation rather than by resorting to authoritarianism, dictatorship, autocracy, and coercion. Encourage participation in decision-making by giving your employees a “say” in the affairs of the organisation, so that they may have an opportunity to develop and grow, and thus improve their morale, skills and abilities. This participation, however, should be real and not a sham. A real participation may yield handsome dividends; a phony participation is apt to be more of a liability than an asset.
(vi) Give personal attention to the problems of your subordinate, whether they arise out of his job environment or are of a personal nature, by giving them sympathetic consideration, patient hearing, proper counsel, and suggesting alternative proposals for their solution.
(vii) Give an opportunity to employees to realise their need for status, position, prestige, for directing or ordering others as to what is to be done, for being admitted in the inner group. All these will satisfy their “ego” needs.
(viii) Keep the satisfaction of the common interests of the employees in mind and frame policies accordingly. This will ensure the smooth running of the organisation and make for the achievement of the desired goals. Eschew favouritism and nepotism, and avoid discrimination on grounds of caste, community, sex and religion, for these lower the employee’s interest in their work.
(ix) Have a well-planned communication system so that any changes in the organisation may be known to employees and their views and reactions assessed.
(x) Establish, implement and utilise a proper machinery for the speedy removal of the grievances, complaints and dissatisfaction of employees. Any neglect of this may lead to a sudden outburst which may seriously impair the value of the relationship between the employer and the employees. The importance of grievance redressal procedure should not be underrated in improving industrial relations.
(xi) Provide an enlightened leadership and set examples by your own actions, and do not preach. Action is far more significant than words, therefore, when a procedure, policy or practice is laid down, you should faithfully follow it, both in letter and spirit.
(xii) Develop a positive attitude towards life and the organisation. Change the old assumptions, for they might not suit the changing circumstances. Believe that workers can and do accept responsibility provided that a suitable environment is created for the purpose.
(xiii) To influence others and win their confidence, it is essential to cultivate the following qualities-
(a) Honesty (freedom from fraud);
(b) Integrity (moral soundness, i.e., reasonable harmony and consistency of motives);
(c) Broadmindedness (devoid of any desire to victimise, intimidate, coerce, terrorise or indulge in character assassination).
(d) Truthfulness (render reality accurately without the concealment of any material facts);
(e) Loyalty (develop a feeling which rouses and sustains allegiance);
(f) Fairness (freedom from partiality and a sense of fair play and justice);
(g) Firmness (not to be easily shaken or disturbed and having a strong will power);
(h) Tolerance (the disposition to allow the expression of beliefs, practices or habits differing from one’s own).
(xiv) Good employee morale and a fair and reasonable wage and salary are complementary to each other. So develop a sound “Wage and Salary Plan”, keeping in a view the “going rate in the market,” the nature of the job, the difficulty or ease in performing it, the capacity to pay and the contribution of the worker. Fair and just compensation will give employees a reasonable standard of living and ensure their loyalty and continued good work.