Stakhanovite Movement

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stakhanovite Movement


a mass movement among innovators in socialist production in the USSR—leading production workers, kolkhoz members, and engineers and technicians—to raise labor productivity by mastering new equipment and techniques. The movement arose in 1935, during the second five-year plan, as a new stage in socialist emulation. The way for the movement had been paved by the course of socialist construction, by successes in industrialization, and by a rise in both the cultural and technical level of working people and their standard of living. Most of the Stakhanovites had been shock workers. The movement was named after its originator, A. G. Stakhanov, a cutter in the Tsentral’naia-Irmino Mine (Donbas), who extracted 102 tons of coal in a single shift, while the quota was 7 tons. Stak-hanov’s record was soon broken by his followers. The greatest output in the Donbas was attained by N. A. Izotov, who extracted 607 tons of coal in a single shift on Feb. 1,1936, at Koche-garka Mine No. 1, in Gorlovka.

Supported and led by the Communist Party, the Stakhanovite movement quickly encompassed all sectors of industry, transportation, construction, and agriculture and spread throughout the Soviet Union. Pioneers of the Stakhanovite movement included A. Kh. Busygin in the automotive industry, N. S. Smetanin in the footwear industry, E. V. Vinogradova and M. I. Vinogradova in the textile industry, I. I. Gudov in the machine-tool industry, V. S. Musinskii in the lumber industry, P. F. Krivonos in railroad transportation, and P. N. Angelina, K. A. Borin, and M. S. Demchenko in agriculture.

The first all-Union meeting of Stakhanovites, held Nov. 14–17, 1935, in the Kremlin, underlined the outstanding role of the Stakhanovite movement in socialist construction. In December 1935 a plenum of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) specifically discussed the development of industry and transportation in connection with the Stakhanovite movement. It was stressed in the plenum’s resolution that the “Stakhanovite movement means organizing labor in a new way, rationalizing technological processes, correctly dividing labor in production, liberating skilled workers from unimportant preliminary work, organizing the workplace in a better way, and ensuring a rapid rise in labor productivity and a significant increase in the wages of industrial and nonindustrial workers” (KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh, 8th ed, vol. 5, 1971, p. 232).

In conformity with the decisions of the December plenum of the Central Committee of the ACP(B), a training program was set up for production and technical workers, and courses were established for advanced workers (masters of socialist labor). The production-technical conferences held in different branches of industry in 1936 reviewed the planned capacities of enterprises, and output norms were raised. In 1936, Stakhanovite five-day, ten-day, and month-long work campaigns were conducted on the scale of whole enterprises. The Stakhanovite brigades, sections, and units that were formed achieved continuously high output levels.

As it developed, the Stakhanovite movement promoted a significant rise in labor productivity. Thus, while labor productivity in USSR industry rose 41 percent during the first five-year plan (1929–32), it rose 82 percent during the second (1933–37). The creative initiative of the innovators again manifested itself during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–15. Here, the Stakhanovite methods used included simultaneous operation of more than one machine by a worker, the combination of functions, and accelerated production and construction technology. The Stakhanovites initiated the movement of the “200 percenters” (200 percent of the norm and more per shift) and the “1,000 percenters” (1,000 percent of the norm); they also formed front brigades.

The experience of the Stakhanovite movement was also important in the postwar period, when new forms of socialist emulation emerged under conditions of steady economic and cultural growth. The movement for a communist attitude toward labor, which is characteristic of the developed socialist society in the USSR, uses the highly productive methods of the Stakhanovites to raise the efficiency of socialist production.


V. I. Lenin: KPSS o sotsialisticheskom sorevnovanii. Moscow, 1973. (Collection.)
Pervoe vsesoiuznoe soveshchanie rabochikh i rabotnits-stakhanovtsev, 14–17noiabria 1935 g: Stenograficheskiiotchet. Moscow, 1935.
“O dal’neishem uluchshenii organizatsii sotsialisticheskogo sorevnovaniia.” Postanovlenie Tsentral’nogo Komiteta KPSS. Moscow, 1972.
Sotsialisticheskoe sorevnovanie v SSSR, 1918–1964. Moscow, 1965.
Evstafev, G. N. Sotsialisticheskoe sorevnovanie—zakonomemost’ i dvizhushchaia sila ekonomicheskogo razvitiia sovetskogo obshchestva. Moscow, 1952.
Gershberg, S. R. Rukovodstvo Kommunisticheskoi partii dvizheniem novatorovpromyshlennosti (1935–1941). Moscow, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This contribution to the Stakhanovite movement inevitably placed great stress on the personnel at both stations; in each case the two men soon became seriously sleep-deprived, trying to handle the work of four men.
Stakhanov went on to become the titualar leader of the "Stakhanovite Movement" - a Kremlin campaign aimed at inspiring Soviet workers to increase industrial output.
The sniper movement constitutes quite a special category, which without a stretch can be likened to the Stakhanovite movement, and which apparently holds its own with the former in the degree of its padding.
It is difficult not to see this last development, its invocation of the brigade notwithstanding, as but an instance of what Kharkhordin and others have described as the extreme individualization of Soviet labor brought on by the shock-worker and Stakhanovite movements of the mid-'30s, in which individual workers were increasingly singled out for competitive achievement and productivity.