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About the Author

Robert Spillane (B.Com. NSW, PhD, Macq) is a Professor and past Dean of the Macquarie University Graduate School of Management, Sydney Australia. He majored in clinical and industrial psychology and worked as a psychotherapist for more than 25 years. Robert has taught at the London Business School, the ABIN Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, in Singapore and Hong Kong and several Australian universities and he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Working Life in Stockholm, Sweden. He has written numerous journal articles and several books on philosophy, psychology and management. His recent books include: 'An Eye for An I: Philosophies of Personal Power', 'Questionable Behaviour: Psychology's Undermining of Personal Responsibility', 'The Rise of Psychomanagement in Australia' and 'Personality & Performance' (with John Martin) and a play 'Entertaining Executives' (2015).


This vibrant analysis of the growing role of psychology in Australian management starts at a most unutual reference point - Australian literature. Spillane quotes Miles Franklin recommending that visitors to Australia who want to understand Australian life must immerse themselves in its atmosphere before coming to hasty conclusions. The same can be said about the Australian management climate. In an effort to determine whether management should be practised by performance or by psychology, the author immerses the reader in a critical examination of a number of topics - Australian literature and the culture of mateship, postmodernist influences, the measurement of intelligence and leadership qualities. The role of occupational stress and conditions like RSI are also considered - these seen as crucial psychological developments....Spillane's credentials also permit him to write with a level of cynicism and authoritative questioning. He is highly sceptical of testing intelligence, as a means of determining managerial potential, stating that 'the field is a mess and a mass of propaganda. He is also critical of the measurement of leadership qualities. 'The search for stable and enduring personal qualities of leaders has failed, and must lfail, because leaders cannot be understood apart from the relationship with their followers.' This book attempts to unravel the relationships between leaders and followers, managers and employees and performance and psychology in the workplace. It does so effectively, with extensive research, meaningful arguments and a healthy dose of scepticism. ~Law Society Journal Finally a detailed exploration into the history of psychomangement along with the bonus of an understanding of the Australian psyche like never before. Why are there more managers in Australia (as % or workforce) than almost anywhere else in the developed world, yet there is little respect for management and authority from the general Australian worker? ~P. Frensemeyer This is an unusual book. It is semi-autobiographical in that Spillane discusses a range of topics from levels of cortisol in the saliva of Qantas flight crews to Popper's theory of science. However is there is a core message from this book it is that personality tests as method of predicting the performance of managers are useless... On the other hand there is much to enjoy in this book and it is thought-provoking. Spillane contends that too few management groups argue and discuss issues, and there is too much emphasis on consensus particularly emotional consensus. I was reminded of the scene in The Iron Lady where Thatcher realises that people "spend too much time feeling and not thinking." And too many leaders, "want to be something rather than do something." Although Spillane would probably be horrified at being compared to Thatcher, there is in both the desire for logic and rational thinking which in our current world is becoming less prevalent. ~EQ Expert, Amazon

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