Out of Site and Out of Mind: The Hawthorne Effect


Out of Site and Out of Mind: The Hawthorne Effect

Mobile Tracking and Consulting Services finds the Hawthorne Effect a very interesting phenomenon. One worth discussing here. Enjoy!

Why don’t Fleet Management Systems improve driving habits?

Because Fleet Management Systems are designed primarily for the Fleet Manager, not the driver. The Fleet Manager is typically interested in finding out about exceptions. Such as, excessive speeds, increased fuel consumption, longer than justified routes, improper dispatching, Geofence violations, overdue maintenance intervals, etc.

The Hawthorne Effect:

The Hawthorne Effect is a psychological phenomenon that produces an improvement in human behavior or performance as a result of increased attention from superiors, clients or colleagues.

In a collaborative effort, the effect can enhance results by creating a sense of teamwork and common purpose. In all cases, observed individuals behave or perform better than unsupervised individuals for a limited time if they suspect or know about the observation. The effect diminishes over time. And in the long term, performance reverts to previous levels unless another environmental change occurs. Fleet Management Systems are a great example of the Hawthorne Effect because the System is not visible to the driver. Therefore, the driver forgets the System is installed in their vehicle and soon reverts back to their old driving habits.

Driver Behavior Modification Systems:

Installing a Driver Behavior Modification System which is constantly visible to the driver at all times will permanently improve their driving habits. These devices are typically installed below the rear view mirror, and monitors sudden impacts (EVENTS) such as vehicle collisions, hard starts, hard stops, rapid turns, hitting speed bumps or curbs, and more. The technology continuously records video and audio information, including vehicle locations, speeds, and current time. ONLY when an EVENT occurs is all of this data captured onto a Compact Flash Disk or SD Card for playback. In some cases, the data can be downloaded via WIFI to a remote server. In all cases, the information is captured before, during, and after the EVENT.