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HERMANN SPANGENBERG

Hermann established the Assessment Centre Study Group in 1981 under the auspices of the Institute of Personnel Management. One of the features of the Study Group – particularly during its formative years – was to bring out top assessment centre experts from the USA for the annual conference.

Hermann Spangenberg started working as a teacher-psychologist at Queens College, Queenstown. After obtaining his Master’s degree in Psychology, he became a lecturer in Psychology at the University of the Western Cape. While at UWC he obtained his doctorate in Psychology at the University of Stellenbosch. He then joined Personnel Consultants, an HR consultancy firm affiliated to Sanlam. Thereafter he practised as an industrial psychologist and career consultant, where- after he served as Human Resource Director of Alwarvo, a furniture company.

Hermann probably made his most important career decision in 1977 when he became part of the HR Development team of Stellenbosch Farmers Winery (SFW). His first major project was the implementation of Performance Management country wide. While at SFW, he undertook regular extensive study visits to the USA where he became acquainted with top leadership assessment and development researchers and practitioners. With leadership and management development being the real challenge of human resource practitioners in South Africa at the beginning of the 80’s, the need to share ideas became stronger and gradually the idea of a study group emerged.

Hermann established the Assessment Centre Study Group in 1981 under the auspices of the Institute of Personnel Management. One of the features of the Study Group – particularly during its formative years – was to bring out top assessment centre experts from the USA for the annual conference. He still has great appreciation for North American experts who made invaluable contributions at a time when South Africa was not a popular destination internationally.

In view of the importance of assessment in a wider sense Hermann, with the assistance of Ben Steenberg of Eskom, established the Psychometric Congress in 1989 under the auspices of the Institute of Industrial Psychology. The Psychometric Congress was later merged with a training conference to become the present annual SIOPSA Conference. In 1990 he became professor in Organisational Behaviour and Development at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) where he established the Centre for Leadership Studies. His research focused on leadership, Performance Management, and organisational performance. Since his retirement, he is still involved with updating of leadership and organisational assessment inventories in collaboration with professor Callie Theron of the Industrial Psychology Department at the University of Stellenbosch, his co-researcher for more than a decade. Hermann holds honorary membership from the Institute of Personnel Management, the ACSG, and the Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa.

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