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Human Relations Theory of Organizations


Employee satisfaction; Informal networks; Social relations


Human relations theory: a school of organizational thought which focuses on worker satisfaction, informal workplace organizations, and a means of influencing employee productivity. Unlike scientism, human relations theory does not view workers as essentially interchangeable parts.


The human relations theory of organizations has three main components. First, the theory places an emphasis on the importance of the individual. A worker is not simply a cog in a machine but an idiosyncratic individual who responds to his or her environment. Maximizing the productivity of workers requires taking these individual characteristics into account. Second, human relations theory takes into account the informal organizations in the workplace. What is important to a worker – and what influences her productivity level – may not be the official organizational chart but her or his associations with other workers....


  • Informal Social Structure
  • Management Philosophy
  • Informal Social Network
  • Informal Organization
  • Organizational Thought

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Correspondence to Scott Cooley .

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Cooley, S. (2016). Human Relations Theory of Organizations. In: Farazmand, A. (eds) Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Springer, Cham.

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