Research was pioneered not in psychology but by engineers looking to boost industrial performance through application of scientific methods at the workplace (Arnold et al. At first the focus was mainly on scientific management, this emphasized efficient ways of performing tasks by employees to improve production. Although the scientists focused on production efficiency, their concepts included a lot of psychological perspectives. One of the pioneers of scientific management concepts in industry was Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor suggested the careful analysis of jobs to determine optimal ways of performing related tasks, hiring of employees based on their ability to perform tasks, training of employees, and rewarding of employees in proportion to their productivity as a motivation to higher performance. Psychologists started playing a larger role in occupational science during the First World War starting in 1914, notably in the armies. According to Cascio and Aguinis (2008), psychological influence was applied in the military particularly in determining recruitment and training methods. After the war this influence spread into the private business world as psychologists, engineers and managers came up with various theories for employee engagement.Between 1927 and 1932, Elton Mayo conducted the famous Hawthorne studies in an electrical company in Chicago. The most important outcome of these studies in that their findings revealed the psychological effect of work environment for the first time. The studies indicated that any workplace is a social system whereby relations between workers and their colleagues or the work environment cannot be predicted or determined. Employee ability and fit to task was highlighted as being important but the psychological ability to cope with the social environment of the workplace was of greater importance (Michie and West, 2004). According to the findings of the Hawthorne studies, social pressure and group characteristics had a significant impact on employee performance. The approach by Elton Mayo realigned researchers’ focus from scientific management to emphasis on human relations. The main focus of the human relations approach is on psychological attributes of employees and their managers such as attitudes, morals, values, and morale (Michie and West, 2004). Although work is commonly viewed at a means of meeting personal economic needs, the human relations approach pints out that employees work in
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