Professor Alex Haslam

Exeter psychologist pens one of UK’s top 25 management books

A book by University of Exeter psychologist Professor Alex Haslam has made it onto the shortlist for the coveted title of CMI Management Book of the Year.

The New Psychology of Leadership by Professor Alex Haslam, Stephen Reicher (University of St. Andrews) and Michael Platow (Australian National University) is one of 25 books to be shortlisted for this prestigious award.

The CMI Management Book of the Year competition, run by CMI in association with the British Library, aims to uncover the UK’s best books on management and leadership and raise the profile of the great management writing in the UK. The shortlisted books are those that, in the opinion of the expert panel of competition judges, will help transform the working practices of managers and help to raise awareness of how management theories and thinking can be better applied in practice.

With £5,000 at stake for the winning author, the shortlisted books will now undergo an intense review process, where the judges will whittle down the entries to find the winners. One winner will be chosen in each of the five categories – most practical management book, best book for innovation and entrepreneurship, best eBook, best commuters’ read and the most outstanding management and leadership textbook. An overall winner will also be chosen from the five category winners and will be announced on 6 February 2012.

Shortlisted in the ‘Most outstanding management leadership and textbook’ category, The New Psychology of Leadership is published by Psychology Press. Written to appeal to academics, practitioners and students as well as anyone interested in leadership, influence and power, the book presents a new psychology of leadership built around a sense of ‘we’, rather than ‘I’.

While psychological analyses of leadership typically focus on the leader as an individual, the authors argue that to succeed, leaders need to create, champion and embed a group identity in their organisations. It also shows how, by doing this, they can make a real difference to the people and organisations they lead.  

Professor Alex Haslam of the University Exeter's Psychology department said: "This book was a collaborative effort that benefitted immensely from the input of colleagues not just in Psychology, but also in the Business School, Politics, History and Theology. Moreover, because we knew that the book had a big and important message, it took us six years to complete and we completely rewrote it three times. So at the end of all that it is good to know that the final product is something that readers are responding positively to."

The Management Book of the Year competition, which is now in its second year, was created in response to research that showed employees are unwilling to turn to their bosses for help when they need it at work and struggle to find useful, practical books to help them develop professionally. CMI and the British Library want to identify and publicise the books that all managers and leaders should be reading if they are to get ahead in their careers and help the organisations they work for recover and succeed.

Piers Cain, knowledge manager at CMI, said: “Unfortunately, the UK is, yet again, teetering on the edge of recession. We need highly-skilled managers if organisations are to succeed and recover. We believe reading to learn to be an important part of this. To revitalise and professionalise management, we need to expose our managers to good ideas and innovative thinking. This is what the Management Book of the Year competition seeks to do. We want to encourage all the UK’s managers and leaders to commit to reading to aid their professional development and have a positive impact on the performance of their organisations.

“It is thrilling to see who, out of the huge number of entries we received, has made it on to the shortlist. I wish all of the finalists every success as they near the closing stages of the competition.”

Date: 31 October 2011

Read more University News