Ugwuegbu, Denis Chima E. 1942–
Ugwuegbu, Denis Chima E. 1942–
PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced "u-guay-bu"; born November 2, 1942, in Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria; son of Ugwuegbu Osuoha Uzoechi Nwaoha (a farmer) and Margaret Nwannediya (a trader and farmer; maiden name, Nwaobire) Ugwuegbu; married Frances Cash, August 27, 1969 (divorced); married Elizabeth Toyin Fayose (a social worker), August 31, 1998; children: Ngozidiulenna Ugwuegbu Wilkins, Nijdeka Ugwuegbu Harry, Nnema Ugwuegbu Byrd, Chima Okpara, Obinna, Obiageri. Ethnicity: "Igbo." Education: Wayne State University, B.A., 1966, M.A., 1968; Kent State University, Ph.D., 1973. Politics: Independent. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, lawn tennis, cooking, soccer.
CAREER: University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, lecturer, 1973–77, senior lecturer, 1978–82, professor of psychology and department chair, 1982–2004. University of Waterloo, visiting professor, 1982–83; University of Michigan, visiting professor, 1999–2003. Owerri Digital Village, board chair, 1980–90; Examination Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, co-coordinator.
MEMBER: American Psychological Association, African Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (founder; president), Nigerian Psychological Society, Nigerian Association for the Gifted and Talented (president, 1985), Igbo Community Development Association (executive member).
AWARDS, HONORS: Institute of Administrative Management of Nigeria, fellowship, and named African father of management and administration, both 1998; Owa N'di Igbo Ji Ahuzo, Eze Ndi Igbo N'Ala Ibadan, 2003, for civic contributions.
(With Geder Siann) Educational Psychology in a Changing World, Allen & Unwin (London, England), 1980, 5th edition, 1989.
(Editor, with S.O. Onwumere) Social Research and Information Gathering, Federal Government Press (Lagos, Nigeria), 1987.
(Editor) Youth and Pornography, Federal Government Press (Lagos, Nigeria), 1991.
(With Ben U. Eke) The Psychology of Management in African Organizations, Quorum Books (Westport, CT), 2001.
The Shifting Tides of Value Orientation: A Case for National Development, Vantage Publishers (Ibadan, Nigeria), 2004.
Contributor to books, including Proceedings of the First Conference on Cross-Cultural Leadership and Management Studies, edited by J.R. Meindl and M. Shin; Sex Role Attitudes and Cultural Change, Holland D. Reidel Publishing; and Justice in Nigerian Courts, edited by J.O. Anifalaje, University of Ibadan Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 2001. Contributor of more than 150 articles to academic journals, including Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, International Journal of Psychology, Applied Psychology and African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Social Psychology in Social Change in Nigeria, on the contributions of social psychology to the social and economic development of Africa, with examples from Nigeria.
SIDELIGHTS: Denis Chima E. Ugwuegbu told CA: "It is said that the Dead Sea is dead because everything flows into it, but nothing flows out of it. As an educationalist, it is not only important to read what others have written; one has a duty to contribute to the world knowledge pool. Knowledge is power. The powerful people and nations are powerful because they have a monopoly of scientific and technological knowledge. I write because I wish to disseminate knowledge and the best practices in psychology, education, and organizational management. The knowledge that I disseminate comes from the part of the world that is, often, least remembered or covered: the world of Africa. I believe that African people should allow their dynamic imagination and creative ability to penetrate every discipline so as to mobilize scientific and technological knowledge for the rapid development of the continent of Africa.
"For example, in my defense of the need for The Psychology of Management in African Organizations, I indicated that most managers in African organizations receive considerable training in technical aspects of their jobs and others gain knowledge through long, on-the-job experience, but practically no one receives any training on managing people. The lack of knowledge of human behavior in the work environment, problems of leadership, the role of motivators in African workers, the causes of conflict, development of efficient human resources in organizations, and performance monitoring and measurement were responsible for the writing of this book.
"Another motivating factor for my writing is the promotion of employees' civil rights. African workers have a right to be understood by those who manage African organizations, where these employees work. Their psychological and physical needs cannot be met satisfactorily unless those who manage the workplace can understand, explain, and predict workers' behavior.
"The inspiration to write on the subject of management is to expose the predominant grip that colonial management practices had on African management approaches. The area lacked theories and resources. There was a beckoning need to understand African systems of work so as to develop and adopt effective contemporary management models that embody labor democracy. African organizations will be effectively and efficiently managed when there is a comprehensive understanding of African systems of work, when the behavior of African employees is understood, and when there is awareness by managers that industrial organizations are physical and psychological entities that are characterized by interactions, perceptions, and expectations.
"The objective of my work in progress, Social Psychology in Social Change in Nigeria, is to share what we learned from experience with others who are interested in the application of social psychology to problems of underdevelopment. Partnership with decision-makers at different government levels shows social psychology in Nigeria as an effective agent of social transformation and change. Social psychology has just demonstrated its potential in Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa. The second objective is to document the journey so far with the hope that younger social psychologists in Nigeria and other African countries will emulate the footprints on these sands of time and continue to exploit the science of social psychology for the benefit of underdeveloped countries.
"My present research focus includes cross-cultural leadership management; law, juries, and justice in multiracial societies; life, values, and social economic development; interpersonal, intergroup relationships and in-group extension; and affirmative action in other societies.
"I have always been interested in writing. The influence came from my early exposure to English language novels, plays, and poems. By the time I finished high school, I was familiar with a good number of the works of many great English and American authors. English Literature was also one of the subjects I took at my General Certificate of Education Advanced Level. While in high school, I wrote novels and poetry. My education in the social sciences expanded my capacity to write. I learned how to do research and how to prepare research reports for local and interna-tional journals and publishers. I would not say that my work has been influenced by any particular individual or event. My writing is engineered by the need to fill a void in the African environment and to give Africa a voice in the science of psychology. My writing is empirical and research based. It is more applied than theoretical. The conclusions have high internal and external validity.
"What has surprised me as an author is the level of positive response to my writings, especially to my books. While Educational Psychology in a Changing World is in its 5th edition, The Psychology of Management in African Organizations can be found in almost every library in the United States and Europe. The book was also reviewed in France. I would say that these two books are my favorite because of the impact they have made in clarifying the conditions in Africa as well as in pointing out the direction African people should be moving in if they are to develop their continent. Generally, my writing will make an impact on education, management, development, and specifically on the behavior of Africans and non-Africans."
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