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Laugh And The World Complains To HR: Humour At Work

But it was just “workplace banter”! Another pale, stale, frail male attempts to defend himself against a range of accusations of “inappropriateness” in the workplace. Do you dare to tell a joke, make a pun, offer a witty observation in the office? You have to know the company you keep well before offering a clever witticism or topical joke these days.

People Assessment in the Digital Age

ow have technical, social, economic and legal forces influenced the business of people assessment? New technologies used in assessment include smartphone and mobile sensing, ambulatory assessment and ecological momentary sampling, text mining, sensors and wearables, as well as virtual and augmented reality. Gone are the old days of application form, interview and references. Exploiting and scraping the web are in.

Can You Teach Leadership?

Leaders – Born or Made? Or a bit of Both?
Can you turn a brilliant technical person (accountant, engineer, lawyer) into a manager and a competent, even inspirational, leader of that function?

The Psychology of Queuing

For many organisations customer disgruntlement at waiting times is a serious issue that demands solutions. It leads to “queue rage” which is physical and verbal abuse as a function of even minor delays.

Culture Shock: A Review of the Literature for Practitioners

The aim of this paper is the explore, review and critique the multi-disciplinary literature on the concept of culture shock which is the unexpected and often negative reaction of people to new environments.

Trust, Treason and Treachery: The Psychology of Spying

What exactly do spies do? What attributes and skills are they selected and trained for? How accurate is the popular “James Bond” description of what spies and spying are all about? How psychological is the spying business?

The Quagmire of Ethics

Ethical investing – defined here in the broadest terms – is more popular than ever. This focuses on investing in companies whose beliefs and practices align with an investor’s values as they pertain to the company’s impact on society. The popularity of this investment approach appears to be growing significantly. Thirty years ago it seemed…

The Psychology of Gossip and the Grapevine

However smart and smooth the “internal communications department” gossip thrives in organisations;   particularly those  in trouble. Glossy in-house (staff) magazines, a monthly video talk from the CEO, regular email communication can neither prevent nor even inhibit the work of the grapevine. Often the attempt to formalise, control and sanitise all communication within an organisation really…

Cults and Mind Control

Why do people join the Masons, the Rotarians or the Labour Party?  Because of what they offer: friendship, connections, identity, an opportunity to make a contribution.  Are the motives the same as joining the Order of the Solar Temple, the Branch Davidians, the Taliban, Hamas, or the Al Qua-eda?  How are acceptable social groups and…


They are often an odd group of people, adult work-related trainers.  They are not consultants, though many aspire to be because the daily rate is higher.  They are not teachers, because that sounds patronising to their clients.

Current Development in Psychometric Tests

Finding the right person who is well suited for a job position is vital for any organisation’s success. There are numbers of factors in which employers base their judgments and decisions; some of which are the personality, attitude and knowledge of the applicants.

The Psychology of Disenchantment

Justice has always been a major issue among people. Especially in an organisational context, where many employees with different values, interests, and problems have to act in concert, a fair treatment is of huge importance.

Savvy and Skillful: A New Look at Office Politics

Until recently the concept of office politics was exclusively associated with dirty tricks and Machiavellian manipulation. But recently psychologists using the concept of political savvy and political skill have noted that managers can be politically aware and astute as well as behave ethically to achieve goals.

When the Sun Never Set

I am, give or take a few months, the same age as the British Prime Minister. I was born at the start of the New Elizabethan age in England, at the time of the Festival of Britain, which was a period of rejuvenation and renewal, a 20th century Renaissance, after a long and economically disastrous war.

Natural Born Leader

Not every seed will grow into a plant, despite having the richest soil, plenty of sunshine and sufficient water. By the same token, not all people are born to lead. Individuals need the right influence, inspiration, determination and self-discipline to turn themselves into leaders.

One on One

One person who inspired me:

Actually three: Bruce Faulds who introduced me to psychometrics at the University of Natal; Michael Argyle my D.Phil supervisor at Oxford; Hans Eysenck for his brilliance and bravery.