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Remembering Arthur ...

Remembering Arthur Freedman

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Arthur has been a familiar and highly influential figure in organizational psychology for many decades. He served as President of the division and has presented at conferences since the 1960s. He began offering sessions for APA and our division in 1986 on change management, OD consultation, dispute resolution, diversity (1991), organizational transformation, international consulting, transcultural consultation, action learning, and many other topics. His thought leadership was unequaled with over 120 publications and more than 130 presentations and his leadership has been recognized with multiple awards and honors. In 2007 he was recognized by the Levinson Award for Exceptional Contributions to Consulting, but even earlier (1999) he was awarded the RHR International Award for Excellence in Consulting Psychology. The National Hispanic Institute placed him in the Hall of Fame and the Society of Psychologists in Management (SPIM) acknowledged him as a Distinguished Psychologist in Management, among others


He took an MBA from Boston University in 1963 and completed his PhD at the University of Chicago in 1971. He was always involved with mentoring and supporting students (he held many faculty appointments). In later years his work in action learning and organizational change was prominent in the workshops he led for us. He remained active in his own consulting and in organizations like the World Institute for Action Learning. In 2017 his book Leading Radical Change in Organizations was published. I remember Arthur for his refusal to dilute his power and his commitment to courageous communications. He was not patient with psychologists who underplayed the importance of our work and continued to be an inspiration to us throughout his life.


The bequest from his estate, while substantial, is overshadowed by his huge and continuing impact on our discipline. We owe him a significant debt of gratitude for the vision he held of what we can contribute to a more humane and effective organizational life.