The American Psychological Association* recently published a list of the 200 most eminent psychologists of the modern era. GOHWP member and original Global Task Force member Prof. Adrian Furnham was included in this list, as one of very few organizational scholars. We asked Prof. Furnham a few questions in the hope that some of his success will rub off on the rest of us!
Q: How did you feel upon learning of this list, and your inclusion on the list?
A: Surprised, delighted, honoured.
Q: How do you operationalize “influence”?
A: Difficult…The extent to which your ideas shape those of others in many areas of life.
Q: Is there a piece of work, or a particular contribution, that you are especially proud of? One that you’d like others to know about?
A: Again difficult…My book on culture shock was very well received but that was 30 years ago.
Q: Looking back, can you think of a memorable event that contributed to your success?
A: My PhD supervisor gave me both confidence and wise advice. Also I recall the very true mantra “publish or perish.”
Q: Why do you think there are relatively few organizational psychologists represented on this list?
A: First, there are few of them; second, applied work is often light on theory and derivative with respect to methodology.
Q: What advice can you offer to GOHWP members about how to be influential in their work?
A: SPREAD IT ABOUT. I can never predict whether a paper will be published or quoted. Some of my best work has “disappeared” while other, rather “thin” papers have succeeded. Don’t be obsessed with journal impact factor. The top journals are conservative and often methodologically fetishistic. Do what you enjoy doing, scribble a lot 🙂
*Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Park, J. (2014). An incomplete list of eminent psychologists of the modern era. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 2(1), 20-31. doi:10.1037/arc0000006