When Human Relations May Succeed and the Company Fail

by William Fox



The concept of human relations in industry, like many other worthwhile movements, has been subjected to oversimplification and perversion. Among the guilty are human relationists with an inadequate concept of human relations, who mistakenly preach participation, permissiveness, and democracy for all, and those employers who confuse popularity with managerial effectiveness and misinterpret the golden rule in dealing with their subordinates. According to the author, this article should not be construed as an attempt to discredit the findings of behavioral science. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that a problem arises when the concept of human relations is misunderstood and misapplied in business organizations. According to the author, positive motivation is based upon accurate perception of subordinate needs and upon effective interpersonal communications. It is difficult for a supervisor to perceive the needs of a subordinate or effectively to communicate with him if he cannot establish rapport with him, a relationship of mutual trust.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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