Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Charles Nuckles

Reader (Advisor 2)

Thomas Gergen


This project report is an inquiry into the role of management in the facilitation of research at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in the early years of the twentieth century. The time frame examined concentrates on the years 1918 to 1932, which correspond to the period in which the research (the Hawthorne Studies) conducted by the Harvard Business School and the Industrial Relations Branch of Western Electric were undertaken. This period also saw the advent of research into modern process control (quality control) in manufacturing, an area of inquiry that continues to influence industry the world over to the present day. These various research efforts, along with the more normal efforts to improve the products manufactured by Western Electric, required unprecedented assistance from management in order to accomplish the intended result of expanding the knowledge base of industry. This brief overview will serve to introduce some of the staff of Western Electric and AT&T who so ably and enthusiastically embarked on a voyage of discovery regarding the human condition, its frailties and abilities, and the influence these discoveries have had in business and industry then and now.


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