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Women issues to Wonder Woman: Contributions made by the students of Hugo Munsterberg

Leon C. Prieto (College of Business Administration, Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 6 April 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to depict the pivotal role Hugo Munsterberg, the great pioneer in industrial psychology, played in the lives of his students, some of whom were feminists regardless of his own chauvinistic opinions. The article aims to examine the contributions made by Mary Calkins, Ethel Puffer, and William Marston, all former students of Munsterberg, who went on to make valuable contributions in psychology, women's issues, the polygraph, and the creation of the first and most famous comic book super heroine.

Design/methodology/approach

Synthesizing articles from history journals, writings about the figures of interest, published works by the figures themselves and other resources, this paper illustrates how Hugo Munsterberg impacted the scholarly careers of Calkins, Puffer, and Marston who all made valuable contributions to academia and popular culture.

Findings

This paper concludes that Munsterberg's influence was evident in the works of Calkins, Puffer, and Marston in areas as diverse as the psychology of beauty to the detection of deception. Despite his own chauvinistic views Munsterberg had an amicable and productive relationship with the aforementioned students, which sometimes extended beyond a professional relationship. Consequently, they initiated a research agenda that was greatly influenced by Dr Munsterberg.

Originality/value

This article highlights Dr Hugo Munsterberg's influence on Calkins, Puffer, and Marston, who made valuable contributions in women's issues, as well as the development of DISC theory, and the super‐heroine Wonder Woman.

Keywords

Citation

Prieto, L.C. (2012), "Women issues to Wonder Woman: Contributions made by the students of Hugo Munsterberg", Journal of Management History, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 166-177. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511341211206834

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited