2015 Winner Matthew J. Hoffarth
The 2015 Cheiron Young Scholar Award goes to Matthew J. Hoffarth, Doctoral Candidate in History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, for his paper, “Managing Bodies: David C. McClelland and Organized Motivation, 1963-1989.” Matthew argued that McClelland, a Harvard psychologist and former member of its Department of Social Relations, shaped the postwar climate of business management and organizational psychology with his belief in broad homologies: “that the motives, drives, and needs of any sort of ‘system,’ be it a personality, an individual, an organization, or a nation, could be trained after they were assessed.” Although McClelland’s tool of choice, the Thematic Apperception Test, has declined in use in recent decades, Matthew demonstrates how the procedures accompanying its administration continue to bolster the importance of leadership and self-management in corporate America. The Award Committee was impressed with how Matthew drew upon a wide variety of primary and secondary sources to make his argument. His dissertation, on the intertwined histories of personality testing and identity politics in corporate America, should be completed in late spring 2017.
The Award Committee thanks Matthew and also the four others who submitted their papers for our consideration. Those who have not already won this award remain eligible to compete in future competitions, including at the 2016 joint conference with ESHHS in Barcelona.
–2015 Cheiron Young Scholar Award Committee
Larry Stern (chair), Elissa Rodkey, and Courtney Thompson