Hawthorne Studies

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Fritz Jules Roethlisberger & The Hawthorne Studies

The purpose of this brief guide is to introduce you to the work of Roethlisberger and some of the resources by and about him that are available in the Western Libraries. Although most students of management are aware of the "Hawthorne effect", many of them are not familiar with one of the researchers who was heavily involved in the Hawthorne Project and who is also regarded as one of the founders of the modern "human relations movement".

For biographical material relating to Roethlisberger (1898-1974) a good place to begin is with a fairly rare study that exists in the collection of the Business Library: Fritz J. Roethlisberger's Contributions to Management Theory and Practice: A Panel Discussion (BUS oversize H59.R55F74 1975). The four brief essays contained in it are: "FJR and His Impact on Business Schools;" FJR and the Unfreezing of Human Potential in Organizations;" FJR's Place in the Development of Management Theory" and FJR: His Later Years". More up-to-date material is found in the excellent essay by Andrea Gabor - "Fritz Roethlisberger and Elton Mayo: Two Creative Misfits Who Invented 'Human Relations' (and put the Harvard Business School on the Map)". This essay is found in Gabor's The Capitalist Philosophers (BUS stack HD70.U5G33 2000).

There are many books and chapters in books that cover the studies that were conducted at AT&T's Hawthorne Works which was part of the Western Electric plant in Cicero, Illinois. For an early study see, for example, Hawthorne Revisited: Management and the Worker: Its Critics, and Developments in Human Relations in Industry, (BUS stack HF5500.R62L26 1958) by Henry Landsberger. More recent is Richard Gillespie's Manufacturing Knowledge: A History of the Hawthorne Experiments (BUS stack HD30.42.U5G55 1991). A list of additional articles is provided below.

Roethlisberger is often mentioned along with Elton Mayo who was a Harvard colleague. In addition to the essay by Gabor mentioned above and the books in our collection by and about Mayo see especially: "Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Experiments" in Sheldrake's Management Theory: From Taylorism to Japanization (BUS stack HD31.S442 1997) and "Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Investigations" in Pugh's Great Writers on Organizations (DBW stack HM131.P74 1993).

Books by Roethlisberger in the Western Libraries (in reverse chronological order)

The Elusive Phenomena: An Autobiographical Account of My Work in the Field of Organizational Behavior at the Harvard Business School (BUS stack HD58.7.R63 1977). Man-in-Organization: Essays of F.J. Roethlisberger

(BUS stack HD31.R64 1968).
1. "The Nature of Obsessive Thinking" (1928).
2. "Understanding: A Prerequisite of Leadership" (1936).
3. "The Foreman: Master and Victim of Doouble Talk" (1945).
4. "Human Relations: Rare, Medium, or Well-Done?" (1948).
5. "The Secret of Success" (1948)
6. "Efficiency and Cooperative Behavior" (1949)
7. "Problems in Applying What We Know" (1949)
8. "The Human Equation in Employee Productivity" (1950)
9. "Training Supervisors in Human Relations" (1951)
10. "The Role of the Administrator in Our Modern Society" (1952) 11. "Barriers to Communication Between Men" (1951)
12. "The Administrator's Skill: Communication" (1953)
13. "How to Delvelop Controllers" (1953)
14. "The Territory and Skill of the Administrator" (1954)
15. "Learning in and Training for a Muntidimensional World" (1954) 16. "A Revolution in Thought" (1956)
17. "Management's Mission in a New Society" (1958)
18. "Human Relations: Trends and Termites" (1959)
19. "On Elton Mayo" (1960)
20. "Elton Mayo's Thesis" (1962)
21. "The Impact of Psychiatry on Management" (1962)
22. "The Generalist and the Revolution" (1962)
23. "The Contributions of the Behavioral Sciences to a General Theory of Management" (1962) 24. "How a Functionalist Thinks and Acts" (1962)
25. "Twenty Years of Management Development...
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