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Adrian Furnham (born 1953) is a South African-born British organisational and applied psychologist, management expert and Professor of Psychology at University College London. In addition to his academic roles, he is a consultant on organizational behaviour and management, writer and broadcaster.
Association with academic organisations
Oxford University, 1979-1990
In 1979, Furnham was appointed as a Lecturer in Psychology at Pembroke College, Oxford, and served in this capacity until 1982. He was also made a part-time tutor in psychology in the Department of External Studies, teaching management science and psychology to groups of middle and senior managers and administrators.
University College London 1979 – present
From 1979, Furnham became a postgraduate study supervisor at University College London. In 1981, he was made a lecturer (1981–1987) and reader in 1988 (1988–1992). On 1 October 1992, he was appointed Professor in Psychology (ad hominem), and holding this position, he continues to teach applied / occupational psychology, as well as personality and social psychology to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. During this period he has supervised over 20 PhD and 50 MSc projects.
Furnham was a visiting professor to the University of Hong Kong's Business School (1995–1997), and a visiting professor to the Henley Management College (1999–2001). He is currently Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo. He is also Senior Fellow at the Civil Service College in Singapore
Publications (1985 to the present)
As of 2009, he has written over 1100 scientific papers and 75 books including The Protestant Work Ethic (1990), Culture Shock (1994), The New Economic Mind (1995), Personality at Work (1994), The Myths of Management (1996), The Psychology of Behaviour at Work (1997), The Psychology of Money (1998), The Psychology of Culture Shock (2001), The Incompetent Manager (2003), The Dark Side of Behaviour at Work (2004), The People Business (2005), Personality and Intellectual Competence (2005), Management Mumbo-Jumbo (2006), Head and Heart Management (2007), The Psychology of Physical Attraction (2007), The Body Beautiful (2007), Personality and Intelligence at Work (2008), Management Intelligence (2008), Dim Sum Management (2008), The Economic Socialisation of Children (2008), 50 Psychology Ideas you really need to know (2009), The Elephant in the Boardroom: The Psychology of Leadership Derailment (2009), People Management in Turbulent Times (2009), The Psychology of Personnel Selection (2010), Body Language in Business (2010),
He has written newspaper pieces (Financial Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times Higher Educational Supplement, Sunday Times), and contributed to such magazines as The Spectator, Personnel Management, New Scientist, Across the Board, and Spotlight, in both Europe and North America. He has been a columnist in various management magazines (Mastering Management and Human Resources). For the last three years he has written a weekly column in the Sunday Times. He also appears on radio and televisions regularly.
Personal life and education
Furnham was born in Port Shepstone, South Africa of British parents. In 1959 the family moved to the capital, Pietermaritzburg, where he received his primary, secondary and initial tertiary education. He attended Scottsville Primary School and then went on to Alexandra High School. In 1970, he was accepted as a student at the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg campus). He graduated in 1972 with a B.A. degree, and the following year with B.A. honours, obtaining a distinction in psychology. He continued at the University and completed an MA. In 1975 he was accepted as a masters student at the University of London and completed his Master of Science in 1976, obtaining a distinction in Economics. He completed another M.Sc. Degree at the University of Strathclyde and was then accepted as a doctoral student at the University of Oxford. He completed his D.Phil. degree there in 1981. Furnham later completed another two doctoral degrees, a D.Sc at the University of London in 1991, and a D.Litt at University of Natal in 1995.
In 1985, Furnham founded a management consultancy called Applied Behavioural Research Associates, and became its first director. The consultancy's specialty was research on corporate evaluation and design, performance appraisal, personnel and corporate assessment and selection, and literature reviews. Clients include the Foreign Office, BT, TWA, Lloyds Bank, Cathay Pacific Airways, Channel 4, Abbey Life, Boots, Hambros Bank, Ritz Hotel, British Rail, Air New Zealand, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Marks and Spencer, Careers Research Forum and Barclays Bank.. Furnham is also an associate of many other organisations and consultancies. He is a motivational speaker travelling to many countries each year
Furnham was recognized as a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Chartered Health Psychologist, by the British Psychological Society, of which he became a Fellow in 1988. He also belongs to the American Psychological Association.
Elected Fellow of the Leadership Trust 2010; Elected Academician of the Learned Society of the Social Sciences 2010; British Psychological Society Academic Contribution to Practice Award 2011
During his studies at Oxford, he met Allison Green, a psychologist known for her work on memory. The couple married in 1990, and have a son. They live in central London but have a cottage in the country. For the last 30 years he has rode to work on a bicycle and claims to be a well-adjusted workaholic.
- "Newsletter Spring 2007". People and Organizations@Work POW!. 2007. ISSN 1746-4188. [PDF file]
- Google (2009), “Books by Adrian Furnham”
- London Speaker Bureau, 2009, “Adrian Furnham” profile
- Psychology Department of University College London, 2009
- http://www.simple-talk.com/content/columnist.aspx?columnist=44 Simple Talk (2009)