Western Libraries

Biography - Fritz Jules Roethlisberger & The Hawthorne Studies

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 (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, (DBW stack HF5500.R62L26 1958) by Henry Landsberger. More recent is Richard Gillespie's Manufacturing Knowledge: A History of the Hawthorne Experiments (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).

For more background see: The Human Relations Movement: Harvard Business School and the Hawthorne Experiments (1924-1933) (HBS)

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 (HD58.7.R63 1977).

Man-in-Organization: Essays of F.J. Roethlisberger
(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 (1963)
26. "Hawthorne Revisited" (1966)

Counseling in an Organization; A Sequel to the Hawthorne Researches (HUR/DBW stack HF5549.D53 1966)

Extending the Horizons of Personnel Administration (HF5549.A2P76 no.671 1966)

Training for Human Relations; An Interim Report of a Program for Advanced Training and Research in Human Relations, 1851-1954 (DBW stack BF636.H326 1954)

Management and the Worker; An Account of a Research Program Conducted by the Western Electric Company  
[electronic resource] 
(DBW stack HF5500.R62 multiple copies 1947 ed.)

Management and Morale (HUR/DBW stack HF5549.R6 1941)

Essays by Roethlisberger in Books in the Western Libraries

"Barriers and Gateways to Communication", in The Articulate Executive: Orchestrating Effective Communication
(HD30.3.A78 1993). co-authored with Carl Rogers.

"Human Relations and the Informal Organization", in Critical Studies in Organization and Bureaucracy, ed.by Frank Fischer & Carmen Sirianni. (DBW HD38.4.C74 1994).

"Management and the Worker: Technical vs. Social Organization in an Industrial Plant", in The Management of Workers: Selected Arguments, ed. by Leon Stein and Philip Taft. (DBW HD8072.S824 1971).

Selected Articles on the Hawthorne Studies

The most complete list of articles by the Hawthorne researchers is found in Manufacturing Knowledge... Additional articles can be found in the bibliographies in the articles and books noted in this guide, or by using a variety of electronic databases. For your convenience, some of the articles that are available electronically on JSTOR are listed below. Since access to JSTOR is restricted to members of the Western community, the call number and location of the print journals is provided as well.

Available via JSTOR

"Was There a Hawthorne Effect?", Stephen R. Jones, American Journal of Sociology, Vol.98, No.3, Nov. 1992, p.451-468. (DBW HM1.A7)

"Worker Interdependence and Output: The Hawthorne Studies Reevaluated", Stephen R. Jones, American Sociological Review, Vol.55, No.2, Apr. 1990, p.173-190. (DBW HMI.A75)

"Worker Productivity at Hawthorne", Richard Herbert Franke, American Sociological Review, Vol.45, No.6, Dec. 1980, p.1006-1027.

"Critique of a Recent Professional "Put-Down" of the Hawthorne Research", Walter I. Wardwell, American Sociological Review, Vol.44, No.5, Oct. 1979, p.858-861.

"The Hawthorne Experiments: Re-View", Richard Herbert Franke, American Sociological Review, Vol.55, No.5, Oct. 1979, p.861-867.

"The Hawthorne Experiments: First Statistical Interpretation", Richard Herbert Franke and James D. Kaul, American Sociological Review, Vol.43, No.5, Oct. 1978, p. 623-643.

"The Hawthorne Studies: A Radical Criticism", Alex Carey, American Sociological Review, Vol.32, No.3, Jun. 1967, p.403-416.

"Personnel Counseling: The Hawthorne Case", Jeanne L. Wlensky and Harold L. Wilensky, American Journal of Sociology, Vol.57, No.3, Nov. 1951, p. 265-280.