Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook
Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook is chairman of the Nairobi-based African Management Initiative (AMI), a social enterprise focused on developing scalable approaches to support African managers in excellent performance, and adjunct faculty member and professional associate of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) of the University of Pretoria.


After qualifying as a counselling psychologist he spent ten years with the National Institute for Personnel Research in Johannesburg, finally as head of assessment and counselling. His next fifteen years were spent as a faculty member at the Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits Business School), where he founded the Management Development Unit and later became director of academic programmes.


In 2004 he joined GIBS as senior lecturer and in 2011 was appointed as director, a position he held until December 2013. He still teaches part-time at GIBS in the areas of leadership and personal development, including the MBA core course human behaviour and performance in SA and an MBA elective called The Moral Leader.


He left GIBS to take on the role of founding chairman of the AMI and to continue his consutling practice through Thornhill Associates, a company that provides online multirater feedback systems to organisations.


He is chairman of AMI and Thornhill Associates, past chairman of the Association of African Business Schools, and currently serves as chairman of the AABS Agribusiness Management Project and community organisations Tomorrow Trust and Bizschool.


Adjunct faculty and professional associate

Published Research
Refereed journal articles

Donald, C., Veldsman, T., Donald, F., Chemel, C. Cook, J. Taylor, T. 1990. Turning fairness in selection and placement into practical company policy. South African Journal of Labour Relations. 14 (4) December, 52-77.

Maloon, D. Cook, J. 1993. Union Views on Women as Management Negotiators. SA Journal of Labour Relations, 17(3), 12-30.

Cook, J., Adonisi, M., Viedge, C. 1993. Partners in Learning: Redefining Mentorship for a Learning Organisation. SA Journal of Business Management, 25(3), 110-117.

Cook, J., Muller, M. and Cutler, I. 2005. The learning assessment centre and organisational transformation. South African Journal of Psychology, 35(4), 810-830.

Hofmeyr, Karl, Richardson, A., Cook, J. 2011. How leaders generate hope in their followers. South African Journal of Labour Relations, 35(2), 47-66.

Books and chapters in books

Cook, J. 1993. Empowering People for Sustainable Development. In P. Fitzgerald, A. McLennan B. Munslow (Eds.) Managing Sustainable Development in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford Press.

Cook, J. 2003. Current Trends in Leadership Thinking. In Leadership in the 21st Century: A Blueprint. Johannesburg: Dictum Press.

Nkomo, S.M. Cook, J.T. 2006. Leadership in Africa, in J. Luiz (Ed.) Managing Business in Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

Published full-length conference papers

Cook. J. 1990. Critical issues in fair selection. Proceedings of the Industry Seminar on Fairness in Personnel Selection, Chamber of Mines Research Organisation, 16 February.

Donald, C., Veldsman, T., Donald, F., Chemel, C., Cook, J. Taylor, T. 1990. Turning fairness in selection and placement into practical company policy. Proceedings of the Congress on Psychometrics. Institute of Industrial Psychology of South Africa. (with)

Cook, J. 1997. Knowledge Management: Enhancing Individual Learning. In Leveraging Knowledge for Business Performance, Proceedings of the First Southern African Knowledge Management Conference. Johannesburg: Wits Business School.

Technical reports

Cook, J. 1994. Selection procedures at the University of the Witwatersran​d. Report to the Vice-Chancellor, July. This was read as a paper at various university seminars.

Cook, J. 1997. Code of Practice for Psychological Assessment for the Work Place in South Africa. Society for Industrial Psychology and the Psychological Assessment Initiative.

Cook, J. 2004. Teaching the Teachers: A Proposal for Enabling Faculty from African Business Schools to Teach using the Discussion Method, Based on Practices at the Harvard Business School. Unpublished report for the International Finance Commission and Wits Business School, Johannesburg, October.

Unpublished conference papers

Cook, J. 1987. Academic Support of Minority MBA Students. Paper read at the 11th Congress of the International Association of Cross Cultural Psychology, held in Liege, Belgium, July 1992.

Cook, J. 1989. Factors affecting the success of disadvantaged students in South Africa. Paper read at the International Counselling Institute held at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, July.

Cook, J. 1989. Towards a concept of academic empowerment. Paper read at the International Counselling Institute held at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, July.

Cook, J., Meyer, T., Viedge, C. 1995. Organisational Transformation - Lessons from South Africa. Paper read at the Asian Regional Training and Development Organisations 22nd International Conference in Training and Development, Melbourne, 2-4 July.

Cook, J. Meyer, T. 1995. Creating Competitive Advantage through Managerial Competency Enhancement. Paper read at the Competency Based Human Resource Development Conference, Kempton Park, October.

Cook, J. 1996. The Learning Assessment Centre as the foundation for a management development course. Paper presented at the International Organisation Behaviour Teaching Conference, Cape Town, December.

Cook, J. 2004. Case studies in African leadership. Presentation at the African Leadership Forum, Sandton, October.

Cook, J. 2005. How institutions can create an environment for entrepreneurs to flourish. Eskom African Business Leaders Forum, Sandton. 1 November.

Cook, J. 2008. What Africa Can Teach the World. Invited presentation as Gildersleeve Visiting Professor at an academic symposium celebrating the inauguration of Prof Spar as President of Barnard College, New York, 24 October.

Cook, J. and Reid, A. 2010. Coaching Assessment. Paper read at Coaching Mentoring conference, Johannesburg, March.

Williams, C. Cook, J. 2011. “Cultural differences between South African, onshore Indian and offshore Indian IT teams”. Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychology of SA Annual Conference, Pretoria, 28 July.

Cook, J. Viedge, C. 2011. Teaching and Coaching: The nexus between knowing and doing. Paper presented at the First International Congress of Coaching Psychology (ICCP) Southern Hemisphere Event, Pretoria 26 May.

Cook, J. 2012. The courage to see reality the way it is. Contribution to the panel Innovations in Leadership Development: Learning from Outside Comfort Zones: Arts, Nature, History, Science, Community, Context at the Academy of International Business conference, Washington, 3 July



Consulting Involvement

Jonathan is chairman and chief consultant of Thornhill Associates, where he creates and applies online multi-rater feedback questionnaires. Has worked with over fifty companies and other organisations.

Contact Details
  • MA (Cape Town)
  • MA Counselling Psychology (Unisa)
Fields of Interest
  • Self-assessment and peer feedback in leadership
  • Management development
Professional Memberships
  • Society of Industrial Psychology of SA
  • Health Professions Council of SA

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