If you have ever wondered why the corporate world has remained relatively unexplored by oral historians then you are not alone. The personal accounts of employees offer insights into the day-to-day running of businesses that no other source can, yet it has largely been overlooked by business historians. Fortunately this is starting to change, with the likes of Ingrid Giertz-Martenson using oral history interviews of current and former employees in her analysis of the history of fashion retailer H&M in 2012. Similarly, Janis Thiessen used oral history extensively in her study of Canadian manufacturing firms in 2014.
While I do not compare myself to the thoroughness and detail of these two studies I have attempted a business oral history project of my own, delving into the oral histories of the internationally renowned pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
I have spent the past few months meeting and interviewing former employees of Beechams Group, which became part of the internationally renowned pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline. This experience has taught me a lot about conducting oral history for a corporation while affording me the opportunity to hear the stories of 6 very interesting women. If you are interested in hearing about my experience of running this project and the methodology behind it then you have come to the right place.
Meet the women I interviewed here.
On this site you can find out about my experiences interviewing these women and working for GSK via my blog posts which detail my approach to this project and some of the successes and challenges I encountered along the way.
You are also welcome to explore the interview extracts I have shared and to consider the comparisons I have made between these women’s stories.
Once you have explored the site please come back to this page and fill out my survey. It will really help with my masters, thank you!