The world's greatest wagon works : a history of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, 1856 to 1966

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Fabyan, Emiel J.
Glenn, Elizabeth J.
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The purpose of the study was to provide a complete historical account of the events which led to the rise and fall of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company of South Bend, Indiana. The study also evaluated the impact upon the ethnic development of South Bend from the years 1856 to 1966.The applicability of the Kuhnian paradigmatic process of culture change to the South Bend-Studebaker interaction sphere was considered as well.Ninety-seven employees of the company were selected and interviewed in regard to their knowledge of the company and its impact upon the city. Primary and secondary archival materials were utilized to supplement worker interviews.FINDINGS1. The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company and the Studebaker Corporation acted as primary agents of ethnic development in the South Bend community.2.The interviewing process provided new data which supplemented and substantiated previous accounts.3. The Studebaker Company's success was founded upon intensive employer-employee involvement in the production process.4. The Studebaker Company's failure was brought about by the breakdown of the employer-employee relationship.CONCLUSIONS1. The study proved the significant impact of the Studebaker Company upon the American transportation industry.2. The Studebaker Company exerted a major influence upon the ethnic and cultural development of the city of South Bend.3. The "paradigmatic process of social change" model as postulated by Thomas Kuhn was appropriate to the Studebaker-South Bend situation.4. An ethnohistorical reconstruction technique proved successful in recounting the impact of the Studebaker Company.