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Dr Grant Freedman

Dr Grant Freedman

Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology

Industrial Psychologist registered with the HPCSA

E-mail:  G.Freedman@ru.ac.za

Phone:  +27(0)46 603 8820


Career Overview

In the course of a 33-year career in industry, I have worked in various Line and Human Resources Management roles and as an Industrial Psychologist in Independent Practice.

I began my career in 1986 in the Telecommunications Industry, doing Commercial Contracts work, while studying toward a B.Com in Economics and Industrial Psychology.  In 1992, I was selected for the AngloAmerican Corporation (AAC) Gold & Uranium Division’s Graduate Human Resources Management Trainee Scheme and trained in Labour Relations, Staffing, Training, HR Administration and Community Services on a gold mine of 11,000 people.  Following this, I worked in operational roles as a Human Resources Officer, Senior Human Resources Officer, Training Superintendent and was appointed as a Human Resources Manager in 1996. 

Having decided to pursue a career as an Organisational Psychologist, I completed an Honours degree in Industrial Psychology and a 2-year part-time directed Master’s degree in Industrial & Organisational Psychology through the University of South Africa.  I completed my internship as a psychologist in 2000.  At the time, I worked as a Divisional Human Resources Manager at AAC with global staffing, talent management and training & development accountabilities.

I went into private practice in 2000 and consulted to clients in Southern, Central and West Africa in the Financial Services, Manufacturing, Military Aviation, Mining, Managed Healthcare Telecommunications and Tertiary Education industries.  Key areas of practice related to facilitating leadership and team development, business & people strategy and organisational change.  I obtained a doctorate in Industrial & Organisational Psychology from the University of South Africa in 2006, with a thesis on a Gestalt Approach to Consulting Psychology based on this work.

In 2013, I took up a corporate role to manage a Learning & Development business unit of 230 people, providing a full range of education, training and development services to more than 80,000 learners annually.  This provided me the opportunity to experience organisational life with the accountabilities of a Line Manager once again.

I joined Rhodes University’s Department of Psychology in 2018 to continue learning, conduct research and to teach Organisational Psychology.

Current Teaching Areas

In 2019, I am teaching:

  • Organisational Effectiveness (Third Year)
  • Psychological Assessment in Industry (Honours)
  • Seminars on Quantitative Research Design (Honours & Master’s)

I am also the Co-ordinator for our Master’s Programme in Organisational Psychology, which is under development.  We are planning to offer it for the first time in 2020.

Research Interests

In keeping with my general business, Human Resources Management and Industrial & Organisational Psychology background, I am interested in a wide array of topics relating to bringing specialised knowledge from the discipline of Psychology to bear on relevant individual, group and organisational challenges, including:

  • Effective leadership
  • Strategy formulation, development and implementation
  • Organisational design, culture and transformation
  • Integrated talent management and succession planning
  • Performance management and improvement

I am particularly interested in researching the integration of elements of all the above, together with other aspects of sociotechnical systems, to create sustainable, healthy and contextually relevant organisations.

Organisational Psychology-related practice

I have completed, amongst others, the following projects:

  • Design, development and implementation of Business, People and HRD Strategies
  • Executive Team planning and alignment interventions
  • Post-merger culture integration and transformation
  • Managing talent in a rapidly downscaling organisation
  • Design and implementation of Talent Management strategies, processes and systems
  • Development and presentation of in-house training courses, such as Managing Sustainable Relationships, Proactive Agility, The Effective Leader and Facilitating Effective Strategy Development
  • Design, administration of, and reporting on, many types of organisational diagnostic surveys, including Leadership Effectiveness, Change Readiness, Organisational Health, Employee Engagement and Strategic Capability
  • Design and facilitation of high performance culture and productivity improvement programmes 

Publications & presentations

Freedman, G., & Chicksen, B. (2009, April). Anatomy and Physiology of an Organisational Turnaround. Paper presented at the 17th Annual Conference of the Association of Internal Management Consultants, Orlando, Florida.

Freedman, G.  (2008, May). The String Model: A Gestalt Approach to Consulting Psychology.  Paper presented at the 15th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology, Pretoria: CSIR. 

Freedman, G. (2009, June). Life in 2025:  Implications for the Continued Relevance, Growth and Contribution of Psychology.  Presentation at the 12th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology, Pretoria: CSIR. 

Van Vuuren, L., Thatcher, A., Freedman, G., & Geldenhuys, D.  (2011, July). Industrial/Organisational Psychology’s response to global climate change and sustainability.  Presentation at the 15th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa, Pretoria: CSIR.

Freedman, G., & Davis, L. (2014).  Essential components of an effective Talent Management Framework.  Human Capital Review.  Extracted 9 April 2018 from the World Wide Web, http://www.humancapitalreview.org/content/default.asp?Article_ID=1084

Last Modified: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 14:31:44 SAST