Department or Program



This thesis examines one company, Michelin, and its relationship to the larger stories of corporate and labor history in twentieth-century France. While much of the larger interest in Michelin is rooted in the company’s activity in the first decades of the twentieth century, my thesis looks specifically at the moments in which Michelin and its labor came to play an important role in the broader economic and social contexts. Michelin and its workforce drew attention to the firm in an increasingly global context through labor disputes of the late 1930s, their behavior during World War II, their contributions to postwar economic recovery, and the centralization of the European economy. As France was struck by conflicts that included the Popular Front, Nazi occupation, and the battle for postwar recovery, Michelin’s corporate presence endured. Considering the relationship between labor and management before, during, and after World War II, we can see clear continuities in management’s program to avoid labor conflict through paternalism and in labor’s refusal of this program. Inflected by the collective memory of these traumatizing events, Michelin continued to establish a lasting identity in contemporary France, both as a corporation and in its relationship with its workforce that is recognized to this day.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Shaw, Caroline

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2016

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.