Professor Robert Spillane

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Robert Spillane

Professor in Management


Contact Details

Tel: +61 2 9850 8995



Management Philosophy & Psychology


About Professor Robert Spillane

Professor in Management

BCom (Applied Psychology) (UNSW), PhD (Psychology) (Macq)

Teaching Areas

  • People & Organisations
  • Foundations of Management Thought
  • Leadership and Motivation
  • Managerial Psychology

Research Area Affiliations

  • Management Philosophy & Psychology

Research statement

Professor Spillane teaches and writes on philosophy and psychology and their application to management. He is interested in the history of Western ideas and argues that the field of management, which is of recent origin, necessarily draws on a wide range of ancient philosophies. He also examines theories of personality, motivation, managerial values, group dynamics, leadership, occupational stress and counselling and their relevance for, and application to, management.

Contribution to management practice

In the 1970s Professor Spillane trained with American psychologist, Dr. Albert Ellis, and since the 1980s he has worked with psychiatrist, Professor Thomas Szasz. He practiced psychotherapy in Sydney for 25 years, working especially on occupational stress, RSI and ADHD. He has written more than 130 professional articles, sixteen books and a play – “Entertaining Executives” – which was first performed at the Mermaid Theatre, London in May, 2006.

Media topics

  • Philosophies of Management
  • Psychology and its Misapplication to Management
  • Australian Managerial Values
  • Leadership and Management
  • History of Western Ideas


Journal articles

  • Joullié, J-E., Spillane, R. (2015). Heroic Drucker. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(1), 95-105.
  • Spillane, R. (2008). Medicalising Work Behaviour: The Case of Repetition Strain Injury. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 46(1), 85-98.
  • Spillane, R. (2007). Personality Testing: Undermining Management. Australian Career Practitioner, 18(3), 18-21.


  • Spillane, R. (2017). Psychomanagement: an Australian Affair (2nd Ed). Sydney: Goko Publishing.
  • Joullié, J-E., & Spillane, R. (2015). The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought. Maryland, USA: Lexington Books.
  • Spillane, R., & Joullié, J-E.. (2015). Philosophy of Leadership: The Power of Authority. New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Spillane, R. (2015). An Eye for an I: Philosophies of Personal Power. Sydney, Australia: Goko Publishing.
  • Spillane, R. (2015). Entertaining Executives. Sydney, Australia: Goko Publishing.
  • Spillane, R., Joullié, J-E., & Martin, J. (2015). Personnalité ou Performance? Repenser la Psychologie du Management. Nice, France: Leseditionsovadia.
  • Spillane, R. (2011). The Rise of Psychomanagement in Australia, Melbourne. Australia: Michelle Anderson Publishing.
  • Spillane, R. (2010). Enlightened Eccentrics: Philosophers in the Age of Reason. Melbourne, Australia: Michelle Anderson Publishing.
  • Spillane, R., & Martin, J. (2010). Personality and Performance: Foundations for Managerial Psychology (Chinese translation).Beijing, China: China Machine Press.
  • Spillane, R. (2009). Questionable Behaviour: Psychology's Undermining of Personal Responsibility. Melbourne, Australia: Michelle Anderson Publishing.
  • Spillane, R. (2008). An Eye for an I: Living Philosophy. Melbourne, Australia: Michelle Anderson Publishing.
  • Marks, B., Marks, R., & Spillane, R. (2006). The Management Contradictory. Melbourne, Australia: Michelle Anderson Publishing.
  • Spillane, R., & Martin, J. (2005). Personality and Performance: Foundations for Managerial Psychology. Sydney, Australia: UNSW Press.

Book chapters

  • Spillane, R. (2012). “Leaders in academia, art and culture, not for profit organisations, politics and sport”, In A. Henry (Ed.), Leadership revelations. II: how Australians lead in crises (pp. 261-261). Sydney, Australia: Avril Henry Pty Ltd.
  • Spillane, R. (2006). "Gardner on Leadership", In J. A. Schaler (Ed.), Howard Gardner Under Fire (pp. 183-202). Chicago: Open Court Publishing.

Conference papers

  • Spillane, R. (2006). The Mind and Mental Illness: A Tale of Two Myths. Mind and Its Potential: Conference of the Vajaranya Institute.
  • Spillane, R. (2005). Personality Testing at the Workplace: Arguments For and Against. NSW Mining Industry Conference. Australia.
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