People Innovation Excellence

The Social Person Era

Ami Fitri Utami, SE.,MSM

The idea of a social person era reflects more of an emerging philosophy than any settled criterion for managerial action. The very interesting point from this era was that people, more than ever, regarded as an important factors in the world of management. Before, it has always been a matter of measurement, methods, and techniques. But after the practice of Hawthorne Studies, people started to realize that interactions among people in organizations are just as important as the methods being used, that once believed as the sole crucial factors affecting productivity in organizations.

From The Hawthorne Studies, the interest of learning the impact of interactions among people within an organization continues. Another interesting point is that we can see how the studies conducted in this era were influencing one another both direct or indirectly. For example, the studies conducted by C. Barnard discovered the existence of informal group in an organization. Hence, it influenced the studies of W.F Whyte, George Homans, and E.W. Bakke which discussed about the way to integrate formal and informal group within an organization.

Furthermore, the formalists also come up in this era. One of their interest is the design of organizational structure. It is important in this era, since at that time America suffered from the economic crash so the principle of most companys’ focus on organizational structure was designed primarily on survival. Thus, the concern of organizational structure was important to make the organization design more efficient.

In conclusion, human relations is one of the most crucial factors being emphasized in this era. However if we try to compare it with the management practice in Indonesia today, we still can find that most of the businesses in Indonesia still have not consider human relations as the crucial factors in an organization. This is almost identical with the problems which arised before The Social Person Era in U.S. In Indonesia, for example the cases between labor and management. There are some cases that the labor are stop working since they assume that the management can not fulfil their needs. These happen since the human relations and trust between employee and employer are not built well within the organization.

Reference : Some of the material taken from Daniel A. Wren (2005)
“The History of Management Thought”, 5th Edition


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