The work presented in this thesis involves the development of a new analytical method for predicting the transient behaviour of squirrel cage induction motors subjected to pulsating mechanical loads such as a reciprocating compressor. The objective of this project is to develop analysis that will better inform the subsequent design method for determining the rating of industrial induction motors driving an oscillatory load. The analytical approach used to determine the transient response of the motor is based upon the harmonic coupling inductance method which is capable of accommodating any stator winding arrangement used in industrial motor designs. The analytical work described in this thesis includes the response of an induction motor subjected to a general oscillating load in terms of the damping and synchronous torque components. These torque components can be used to determine the additional system inertia required to limit the motor speed and current oscillations to predetermined levels. The work further identifies the motor-load natural resonant frequency and demonstrates the potential issues when driving a general oscillatory load at or close to this frequency. The analytical model was cross-checked using software modelling in Matlab for an industrial squirrel cage induction motor driving a selection of compressor loads. The simulation results were finally correlated with a detailed experimental validation in the laboratory using a squirrel cage induction motor connected to a permanent magnet synchronous motor controlled electronically to simulate general oscillatory load.