Neuroscience & Psychology Unite For Productivity

EDITOR’S NOTE: During the APS Coordinators Seminar recently held in Bangkok with IMPAC being a major sponsor, Dr. Victor Vroom of Yale University was one of the speakers. Dr. Vroom was interviewed by “The Nation” newspaper during the seminar, and we thought you might like to see the article which appeared in Thailand’s largest business newspaper — The Nation.

Looking to brain science to retain, develop human assets
Published on June 7, 2008

Professor Victor Vroom of Yale University, the long-standing authority on management, leadership and workers’ motivation, told me that advances in neuroscience were having a great impact on psychology.

For instance, the latest brain-imaging technology has allowed scientists to observe what is actually happening in specific parts of the brain in real time. Such observations are expected to have significant consequences on the study of the human mind and behaviour in future.

Back in the 1960’s, when Vroom, who earned his PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan, authored “Worker and Motivation” (1964), which is still in print today, neuroscience and psychology were still distant cousins, given the absence of imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging and computerised tomography.

Today, neuro-psychology gains prominence as scientists have these sophisticated tools to better study the mind and behaviour.

In this context, increased knowledge about workers’ motivation and other aspects of life will likely emerge to help managers and organisational leaders boost productivity and efficiency in the workplace. According to Vroom, who also authored “Leadership” and “New Leadership” in the 1970s and 1980s, the forces of globalisation, technological advancement and increased competition in the market-place have resulted in more complex issues for management.

Hence the decision-making process to resolve these problems needs to be more organic or adaptive and participatory, since today’s knowledge is more specialised and managers alone do not have enough knowledge to tackle the problems.

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