Professor Mark van Vugt offers advice, consulting and training in leadership and management, team conflict and negotiations and integroup relations for both companies, local and national governments and NGO's.

Much of this consultancy work is done through NIMEP, the Netherlands Institute for Management and Evolutionary Psychology.

Mark van Vugt has done consultancy jobs with a number of private and public organizations including, for example, LTP, Mandev, TNO, De Brauw, the Dutch national government, the Singapore national government, the British government, FNV, English Nature, UK National Health Services, Southern Water, and Southampton Football Club.

He gives regular public lectures on issues related to leadership, management, sustainability and evolutioanry psychology.

Mark van Vugt offers advice on a range of applied problems with social and psychological aspects such as environmental sustainability, charity giving, transport, anti-social behaviour, and social exclusion. All of the work is done with the use of rigorous psychological theory and research.  The objective is to improve the welfare of individuals, communities, organizations and societies through improving leadership, trust, and cooperative skills.

 

I have been involved in various field research projects studying how individuals and groups manage social dilemmas and foster prosocial behaviour in the real-world, specifically with regard to environmental problems like transportation, water conservation, and recycling. Recently, I have also looked at topics such as charity support, philanthropy, organ donation, and community cohesion in Britain an the Netherlands. In this research I apply insights from evolutionary and social psychology to understand these issues and offer suggestions for interventions.

My research, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Traffic and Waterways, was among the first to recognize that the decision between different modes of transport can be framed as a social dilemma , a conflict between private and public interests. My research showed that there are systematic personality differences underlying transport mode preferences. How difficult it is to change travel mode decisions was demonstrated in evaluation research we carried out in the Netherlands on the effects of a field-experiment,, the carpool lane (Van Vugt, Van Lange, Meertens, & Joireman, 1996).
We have also carried out comparative studies in the UK and US (Seattle) to determine public support for government plans to reduce car use.
How can residents be persuaded to use less water when there is an eminent water shortage? This was the main question of a research programme on social dilemmas that I started in the UK (with financial aid from a water company). Of primary interest was the comparison between two different incentive schemes for water conservation: a fixed tariff vs. a variable (metered) tariff. We hypothesized and showed that, overall, people who pay a variable tariff for water are more likely to restrain themselves during a shortage than residents who pay a fixed tariff.
I have worked with environmental researchers (like Dr. Pete Shaw, University of Southampton) on various research projects on domestic waste recycling in London (with financial support from a trust). In several surveys we studied the effects of attitudes on residents willingness to participate in recycling scheme. Furthermore, we looked at various interventions to promote recycling.
Why are some people more willing to give to charities than others? What motivates some people to register as organ donors. What are the actual or perceived obstacles for organ donor registration? In these research projects we have looked at what motivates people to act altruistically.
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