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SERIES Identifier: Mss:583 1924-1961 W526

Series II. Group studies, 1927-1961

Scope and Contents

The series includes records pertaining to particular groups studied at Hawthorne in test rooms and as part of the interview program. The Bank Wiring Test Room (BWTR), Mica Splitting Test Room (MSTR), and Relay Assembly Test Room (RATR) subseries contain documentation of procedures, observations, interview summaries, arrangements of equipment, and data regarding habits and productivity of operators. An apparently complete set of perforated performance tapes from 1928 to 1933 records the minute-by-minute output of workers in the RATR.

Series II also includes interviews (divided into groups by division and type of job) and subseries on the Industrial Research Division, the Inspection Branch, and the Operating Branch. Project plans, notes, interview analyses, and interview transcripts (screened for personally-identifiable information) constitute the bulk of the materials in these subseries.

The series also contains plans, reports, and correspondence documenting the attempts by Western Electric in the late 1930s and 1940s to establish a personnel counseling program using the insights and lessons gleaned from the Hawthorne Study. The bulk dates in the series are 1927 to 1933. A few later files are also included, relating to the Hawthorne Study, but they were produced after its conclusion. Researchers should also consult Series III.

The series includes several folders of case histories and medical tests, from which personally-identifiable information could be removed without substantial difficulty. These files are all included on the microfiche, with the exception of “RATR BloodPressure Readings, 1928.” Also included are nine sample log books containing information recorded in test rooms. Personally-identifiable names of test subjects were covered up with white tape for the purpose of producing microfiche, but names are still visible to the naked eye. All nine volumes are contained on fiche in Series III.

Dates

  • 1924-1961

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Extent

8.6 linear feet (14 boxes, 12 flat boxes, 9 volumes)

Physical Location

MANU

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

Contact:
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