Professor Derek S Pugh (31 August 1930- 29 January 2015)

Derek had an international reputation as a writer, researcher, teacher, and consultant in the fields of organizational behaviour, international management and doctoral education. He inaugurated and led the Aston Research Programme, a major series of studies on the structure, functioning and performance of organizations, and the effects on the attitudes and behaviour of groups and individuals within them. This began at the University of Aston and later continued at the London Business School and other centres throughout the world.

Derek contributed to the conceptual development of the discipline of Organizational Behaviour in business schools and was appointed the first British Professor of the subject at the London Business School in 1970. In 1988 he was appointed as Professor of International Management at the Open University Business School with his research focusing on international cultural differences in management. He became Emeritus Professor in 2000 until his death in 2015. He was joint author of a book on the processes involved in getting a PhD and regularly consulted on the design of doctoral programmes and the training of research supervisors.

He was the first British invited contributor to Management Laureates, the US series of autobiographical essays by leading academics in the field of management. In 1999, he was the recipient of a Festschrift 'Advances in Organizational Behaviour: Essays in Honour of Derek S. Pugh',  containing research papers dedicated to him by colleagues and former students.

Derek was elected Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 1959; of the British Psychological Society in 1971; of the Italian Academy of Business Administration in 1981; and of the International Academy of Management in 1987. In 1995 the Open University Business School initiated in his honour the Professor Derek Pugh Award that is presented annually to the most outstanding student on the OU’s Professional Certificate in Management Programme. In 2000 he was one of the first three professors in the field of Business and Management Studies to be elected an Academician of the UK Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences. In 2001 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Northampton. In 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt) of Aston University, and received the Richard Whipp Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Academy of Management. 

Derek published 15 books and over 100 papers on management topics for both academic and management audiences. Add link to publications list. His work has been translated into the following languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, and Spanish.  His final book, the sixth edition of ‘How to get a PhD’, was published posthumously in August 2015.

In recognition of Derek’s achievements, in September 2015 the British Academy of Management (BAM) held an Open Fellows Session to remember his work and to celebrate his contribution to the Academy (Derek was the BAM Newsletter editor from 1987-1991). BAM provided a space for “many leading management academics in the UK and abroad to testify to [Derek’s] significant formative influence on their early careers. His influence permeated many areas ranging from his seminal contribution to the field of organizational studies to the generous encouragement and guidance he offered to doctoral students and early career researchers.”

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