LO and performance LO25041

From: Swan, Steve R. SETA CONTR (SwanSR@ftknox5-emh3.army.mil)
Date: 07/06/00

Replying to LO24940 --

Sounds like a research effort for a dissertation. These are the open
questions for the LO approach. Or any approach. One area of concern,
somewhat like the Hawthorne Effect (see notes below), is the influence on
individual, group, team or oragnziation "refocused energy" broght about by
a new or different approach to operation, management, performance or
development. Resistance to change is a common "problem area" in management
or organization development, but on the balance, so is the synergistic
effect of teams when they take on the challenge of making something work.
Can a specific meansure of effectiveness be associated to the introduction
of a new or revised approach? If one studies the design and dvelopment of
research models that center on evaluation of programs, the answer is
simply, maybe. My dissertation will probably be centered on the LO and its
impact on organization effectiveness. That presumes effectiveness means
reaching desired outcomes.

I would love to review and provide feedback on any ontes you get from the
LO world.

Notes extracted from some references: While a review of the original
research and follow-ups seem to have identified that the observed
Hawthorne Effect was not a scientifically based observation, there is
plenty of anecdotal evidence that supports such effects. In an early
(1927-1933) productivity study in Western Electric's Hawthorne plant near
Chicago researchers discovered that their own presence affected the
outcome of the study. In this case, so long as the study was in progress
productivity increased. The term "Hawthorne Effect" was thus coined to
define the influence of the researcher's presence on the outcome of the
study. Or, put another way, attention increases productivity. The
Hawthorne Effect may not be actually proved. Gina Kolata de-bunked the
effect in the New York Times article titled "Scientific Myths that are too
good to die"(12/6/98). Apparently only five workers took part in the
original study, and two were replaced before the study was finished.
Adair, Sharpe, and Huynh (1989) examined 86 studies they believed are the
studies involving use of control groups to counteract the Hawthorne Effect
and concluded that there is no such artifact, and if there is it is too
small to be of importance, since 86 studies did not find it. A psychology
professor at the University of Michigan, Dr. Richard Nisbett has called
the Hawthorne effect "a glorified anecdote" going on to say, "Once you've
got the anecdote, you can throw away the data." However, the Hawthorne
Effect is one of those "facts" which certainly ought to be true, even if
it isn't. Indeed, if the Hawthorne Effect is disproved, the application
may be even better for preachers -- a believable illustration takes on a
life (and a truth) of its own.

>I am Karl, a student in Coventry working on a project about LO.
>I would like to know if introducing the LO concept within a company
>brings benefits and enhance performances? Which benefits are directly
>linked, which others are arising through an indirect way? Can we measure
>the performance and value-added to a company when introducing the LO
>concept ?
>Can we link LO to performance?


"Swan, Steve R. SETA CONTR" <SwanSR@ftknox5-emh3.army.mil>

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