robert lawson

Robert B. Lawson, PhD

Areas of Expertise:

organizational culture, leadership, learning, and justice

Contact Information

Robert Lawson is a long-standing faculty member associated with the MPA program at UVM, having founded the program along with Frank Bryan in the 1980s. Dr. Lawson is a distinguished professor of Psychology at the University of Vermont and is recipient of many honors including having a named, endowed position in Psychology- the Robert B. Lawson Green & Gold Professor of Psychology. He has also received the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award in 2003.

Sample of Courses Taught

Robert Lawson's courses by semester available here.

PA 334 Organizational Behavior and Culture (with E. Doris Anderson)
This course examines the influences that shape organizational culture and systems development. Students attain competency in evidence-based practices at macro(organizational) and micro(individual) levels. Focus on inclusive decision-making and conflict resolution for maximizing quality outcomes.Credits: 3 View/download SAMPLE syllabus (PDF). >>
PA 302 Organizational Theory and Behavior (with E. Doris Anderson)
This course uses organizational culture, leadership, motivation, and learning to generate innovative practices by a competent and diverse work force. Specific skill sets are included for each topic, as well as outcomes assessment. Credits: 3 View/download sample syllabus (PDF). >>

Recent Publications

Psychology and Systems at Work (2013).

By Robert B. Lawson, E. Doris Anderson & Lawrence P. Rudiger

Organizations matter. Most people spend a third to a half of their lives working in organizations. Given the high rates of unemployment people also spend more time looking for work. In addition, globalization and technological innovation continues to profoundly shape organizational culture, leadership, demography, and structure. For these and many other reasons, it is important for individuals to understand the nature of contemporary organizations. "Psychology and Systems at Work" provides know-how for retaining commitment to collective goals while taping the knowledge of a diverse workforce for riding the waves of change, utilizing mistakes to perfect systems, and insuring quality production. 21st Century theory, empirical findings, systemic intervention processes, and tool sets are thoroughly treated.

Organizational life goes through times of relative harmony disrupted by periods of stress and uncertainty. However, in our own many decades of experience, we've been pleasantly surprised at how well people face challenges, defy the odds, and triumph. Success is the result of many factors including good luck. But we have noticed, as Louis Pasteur observed long ago, that chance favors the prepared mind and resilient work habits.