Charles Hampden Turner Biography, Theory and Books

Charles Hampden Turner - Toolshero

Charles Hampden Turner (19 September 1934) is a British management consultant. Together with Fons Trompenaars, Charles Hampden Turner co-founded Trompenaars Hampden-Turner Consulting. The company has recently been taken over for 50 percent by KPMG, but together with Fons Trompenaars, he co-authored and authored various books on business culture such as ’21 Leader for the 21st century’ and ‘Managing People Across Cultures.’

Charles Hampden Turner biography

Charles Hampden Turner was born in the United Kingdom and spent his childhood in Cambridge. He studied at Wellington College, an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps. He followed his father’s footstep by providing his national service in the Suffolk Regiment, an infantry regiment of the line in the British Army with a history dating back to 1685.

At the end of his service, Charles went to Trinity College in Cambridge. It often happened that he spoke in the Cambridge Union Society, a debating and free speech society, because of his debating skills.

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After college, Charles began his career as working at an advertising agency. He soon continued his studies by attending an MBA at Harvard Business School. During his study, he identified his interest in Organizational Behavior, and because of this, he was able to obtain a solid intellectual background that he could use in Cambridge politics.

After this study, he worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Organizational Behavior at Harvard’s faculty. At the same time, Charles Hampden Turner decided to combine his position with a Ph.D., in that time a ‘DBA,’ at Harvard Business School.

In 1969, as a result of his Doctorate, Charles Hampden Turner was awarded the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award for his doctoral thesis ‘Radical Man,’ as well as the Columbia University Prize for the Study of the Corporation. His thesis ‘Radical Man’ has been copied for thousands of times and it is translated into three languages.

During his graduation, Charles Hampden Turner participated an inter-disciplinary Harvard program with the focus on human rights. Even when Harvard’s president eventually mentioned that they should not focus on social problems anymore, Charles Hampden Turner continued his work on social issues.

Charles Hampden Turner joined policy institute ‘The Cambridge Institute,’ an education management and consulting firm that increases international participation in United States high schools and strengthens the ability of those institutions to educate international students.

In that time, the members thought freely to identify new solutions for social issues. Charles Hampden Turner mainly worked in the ghettoes and other poor communities in the United States. His work continued for approximately three years.

In 1974, Charles Hampden Turner was elected President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology. He authored ‘Maps of the Mind’ and was sold over 100.000 times in the United States at ‘The Book of the Month Club for Science,’ a subscription-based e-commerce service that offers a selection of five new hardcover books each month to its members.

In 1981, Charles Hampden Turner returned to the United Kingdom to work for Royal Dutch Shell for Group Planning. During his career at Shell, he was one of the members offered to create Alternative Scenarios of the Future. He created the Dilemma Theory, and consequently, Royal Dutch Shell endowed him the Royal Dutch Shell Senior Research Fellowship at the London Business School.

During his position at Royal Dutch Shell, he met Fons Trompenaars with who he founded Trompenaars Hampden-Turner, an Amsterdam-based consulting company. The company provides training and consulting services with the focus on globalization, sustainability, mergers and acquisitions, corporate identity, and developing cultural awareness. They have already consulted large organizations such as Motorola, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, IBM, General Motors, McKinsey, and many others, also your their famous theory: the Cultural Dimensions.

Charles Hampden Turner additionally worked as a Visiting Scientist at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations, a non-profit organization which applies social sciences to the contemporary issues and problems. By 1987, he was named as a ‘Remarkable Person’ by The Global Business Network.

In 1991, Charles Hamden-Turner started to work as a Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Judge Business School. In that time, he supervised 14 Ph.D. students and a few Master students of philosophy. Some of his students were even awarded the Best Thesis of the Year Prize, by Cambridge Judge Business School.

Charles Hampden Turner also worked as a visiting scholar and he provided lectures at various universities around the globe such as Nanyang Technological University, where he became the Goh Tjoe Kok Distinguished Visiting Professor. He also taught at Erasmus University, International Institute for Management Development, University of California, and many more universities.

In 2005, Charles Hampden Turner worked as a Consulting Supervisor at the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

He is a fellow of the Cybernetics Society, a learning society that exists to promote the understanding of cybernetics. Charles Hampden Turner additionally was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Arts judges to have made outstanding achievements related to Arts, Manufacture, and Commerce.

Charles Hampden Turner made many achievements, and his work has various times been honored. As a consequence, he was awarded the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundation Fellowships.

His research that has been conducted throughout Europe and the United States are published in the books he authored, including Maps of the Mind and Corporate Culture: Vicious and Virtuous Circles.

He additionally co-authored several other books, including The Seven Cultures of Capitalism, Nine Visions of Capitalism, Mastering the Infinite Game, and Building Cross-Cultural Competence.

He currently is the Director of Research and Development for the Trompenaars Hampden-Turner Group in Amsterdam and he works as a Research Associate at Cambridge Judge Business School. In addition, Charles Hampden Turner is still a fellow of the Cybernetics Society.

Charles Hampden Turner quotes

  1. “It is in vain that we search for an essential difference between good and evil, for their constituents are the same. The crucial distinction lies in their structure, i.e., the manner in which the pieces are assembled. Evil is disintegration, an angry juxtaposition of alienated opposites, with parts always striving to repress other parts. Good is the syntheses and reconciliation of the same pieces.”
  2. “What if the book (of Genesis) is describing a dawning awareness of the world? The anthropologist Edmund Leach has argued that the ‘bit’ or binary digit is the basic unit of pre-logical communication. Genesis is a sprouting of ‘bits’, ie elementary binary distinctions…”
  3. “If an instrument similar to a geiger-counter could be invented that counted moral judgement instead, we would learn to duck as people became increasingly ‘moral’, since lethal force is usually imminent. So far from moral fervour being alternative to force, it is frequently the overture, the accompaniment, and the memorial to it.”

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Publications and Books

  • 2015. Nine visions of capitalism: unlocking the meanings of wealth creation. Infinite Ideas.
  • 2014. Cross-cultural management textbook.
  • 2014. Focusing on dilemmas challenging reputation management in higher education. International Journal of Educational Management 28(4), 461-478.
  • 2011. Riding the waves of culture: Understanding diversity in global business. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
  • 2010. Riding the waves of innovation. McGraw Hill Professional.
  • 2010. Dilemmas of diversity: a new paradigm of integrating diversity. World futures, 66(3-4), 192-218.
  • 2009. Teaching innovation and entrepreneurship: Building on the Singapore experiment. Cambridge University Press.
  • 2009. Innovating in a global crisis: Riding the whirlwind of recession. Infinite Ideas Ltd.
  • 2008. Building cross – cultural competence: How to create wealth from conflicting values. Yale University Press.
  • 2006. Cultural intelligence: is such a capacity credible?. Group & Organization Management, 31(1), 56-63.
  • 2005. The titans of Saturn. London: Cyan Communications.
  • 2004. Managing people acros scultures. Chichester: Capstone.
  • 2003. I0 Culture and management in Singapore. Culture and management in Asia, 171.
  • 2002. A mirror-image world: doing business in Asia. Managing across cultures: Issues and perspectives, 284.
  • 2002. 21 leaders for the 21st century: how innovative leaders manage in the digital age. McGraw-Hill Companies.
  • 1999. Is there a new paradigm? The tree in the garden. Business Ethics: A European Review, 8(3), 177-185.
  • 1999. Control, chaos, control: A cybernetic view of creativity. Social creativity 2, 17-32.
  • 1998. Riding the waves of culture. The McGraw Hill Companies.
  • 1997. The seven cultures of capitalism: Value system for creating wealth in the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. London: Piatkus.
  • 1997. Response to Geert Hofstede. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 21(1), 149-159.
  • 1997. Mastering the infinite game: How East Asian values are transforming business practices. Capstone Ltd.
  • 1995. The seven cultures of capitalism: Value systems for creating wealth in Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands. London: Judy Piatkus Publishers Ltd.
  • 1994. Corporate Culture: How to Generate Organisational Strength and Lasting Commercial Advantage. London. Piatkus.
  • 1993. Riding the wave of culture. London: Breatley.
  • 1993. Dilemmas of strategic learning loops. Strategic Thinking: Leadership and the Management of Change, 327-346.
  • 1992. Charting the dilemmas of Hanover Insurance. Planning Review, 20(1), 22-28.
  • 1990. Creating corporate culture: from discord to harmony.
  • 1990. Corporate culture: From vicious to virtuous circles.
  • 1990. Charting the corporate mind: graphic solutions to business conflicts. The Free Press.
  • 1983. Gentlemen and Tradesmen. Routledge.
  • 1982. Maps of the Mind. Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • 1977. Comment On” Maslow’s Other Child”. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 17(2), 25-31.
  • 1976. Sane Asylum: Inside the Delancey Street Foundation. San Francisco Book Company.
  • 1974. From poverty to dignity; a strategy for poor Americans.
  • 1973. The factory as an oppressive and non-emancipatory environment. Workers<‘ Control.
  • 1971. Radical man. Duckworth.
  • 1970. Synergy as the optimization of differentiation and integration by the human personality. Studies in Organizational Design, 187-196.
  • 1970. Radical man: The process of psycho-social development.
  • 1970. A proposal for political marketing. Yale Rev. L. &Soc. Action, 1, 93.
  • 1966. An existential” learning theory” and the integration of t-group research. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 2(4), 367-386.

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Alexander Zeeman
Article by:

Alexander Zeeman

Alexander Zeeman is Content Manager at ToolsHero where he focuses on Content production, Content management and marketing. He is also an International Business student at Rotterdam Business school. Currently, in his study, working on the development of various management competencies and improving operational business processes.


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