Turner obtained his B.Eng from the University of Auckland in 1973, his DPhil in Engineering Science and MSc in mathematics from in Worcester College, Oxford in 1977, and another Msc from Brasenose College, Oxford in 1979.
Turner started his academic career as IBM Post-doctoral Research Fellow in 1977 at Oxford University in its Department of Engineering Science and at Brasenose College. After his graduation in 1979 he moved into industry, starting as mechanical engineer at Imperial Chemical Industries. The next six years he worked in management positions in process development, project management, machine design, construction and maintenance. In 1985 he moved into consultancy branch and was management consultant for Coopers & Lybrand Associates in the fields of manufacturing and project management. There for three years he worked in the areas of shipbuilding, manufacturing, telecommunications, computing, finance, and government.
In 1989 he moved back to the academic world to the Henley Business School at the University of Reading as Director of Project Management, appointed Professor in 1994. In 1997 he moved to the Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he served as Professor of Project Management until 2005. In those days he was also Operations Director in the process plant industry at the European Construction Institute. Since 2004 he is Professor of Project Management at the Skema Business School. From 2005 to 2009 he was also Professor of Project Management at Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick, at since 2013 Professor of Project Management at the Kingston Business School.
Rodney served as chairman of the Association for Project Management, and as chairman of the International Project Management Association from 1998-2000.
Turners research areas cover "project management in small to medium-enterprises, the management of complex projects, the governance of project management, including ethics and trust, project leadership and Human Resource Management in the project-oriented firm."
A summary of achievements
Activity as researcher and author
Professor Turner’s extensive research has a particularly strong recent focus on leadership styles appropriate to project management. Rodney Turner is the author or editor of some fifteen books, including The Handbook of Project-based Management, the best selling book published by McGraw-Hill, and the Gower Handbook of Project Management. He has written many articles for journals and conferences, including IPMA Congresses.
His magazine contributions include Project Management Today which has recently benefited from an extended series of introductory articles to the profession, for example. He lectures on and teaches project management worldwide, from China to Canada, from Australia to Austria. He serves as International Editorial Advisor for PM World Journal
It is perhaps Professor Turner’s Editorship since May 1993 of the International Journal of Project Management (IJoPM), the leading academic research journal in the field, which best defines his contribution to the profession, both nationally and internationally. The publisher Elsevier is the world’s leading publisher of academic research journals, publishing some 40% of all those published.
It is highly appropriate that during 2009, IJoPM received a unique accolade by being admitted to the Thompson World of Science Social Science Citation Index (formerly known as ISI).
IJoPM’s admission into ISI now gives recognition of project management as a proper academic discipline and provides academics in the field of project management with an outlet for their research papers which will be recognized in the achievement of their annual performance objectives and their career progression. This is a defining moment for the profession, as it is universally recognized that a strong academic community is important to the development of project management as a profession, As Dr Young Hoon Kwak, Associate Professor of Project Management at The George Washington University’s School of Business put it: “This is one small step for IJoPM; one giant step for project management”. The achievement of admission into ISI was compounded in July 2012 by IJoPM’s Impact Factor being confirmed as 1.532, a highly creditable outcome.