Monthly Newsletter | April 2016 | View Online
AHRD Digest

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About the Digest


From the Board

By Holly Hutchins, Board Member

The Power of Connection

I am most aware of the beauty of being a member of the Academy of HRD community during our annual conference gatherings (in the Americas, in Asia and in Europe). Despite the craziness of meetings, presentations and informal chats, the exhaustion I feel at the end is both rejuvenating and enlightening. That is, while I may be low on energy, I am high on ideas and connections from our time together.

It is within AHRD that I have grown as a scholar and practitioner, a teacher, and a colleague. While my learning and development occurs within our annual conferences, it also happens in the spaces between these meetings. That is one of the reasons I am so excited that we are ushering in the second cohort to our Faculty Mentoring Partner Project. Research supports the importance of having multiple mentors, or “mentoring constellations”, that occur within and outside of faculty members’ institutions. This is especially true for under-represented faculty groups, faculty who do not have a discipline-specific mentor, or faculty at institutions that do not have a mentoring program.

The Faculty Mentoring Partner Project (FMP) is not a traditional mentoring project as some may have experienced. By “partners”, we mean that each dyad provides developmental support for each other in targeted areas of research, teaching and service. Inspired by current mentoring research and led by a dynamic team of faculty leaders (Rajashi Ghosh, Linda Hite, Kevin Rose, Matt Bergman), we are supporting the professional development of our faculty by leveraging the expertise that each brings to the relationship. We frame our approach in a more inclusive and participative model of developmental support, which assumes each person has something to give (rather than a traditional and hierarchical approach that recognizes that only one person has relevant experience to share). For example, we paired an associate professor interested in learning more about using social media in teaching with an assistant professor interested in structural equation modelling. Many of our dyads have developed dynamic research partnerships, some have offered support around promotion and tenure issues, and others have shared best practices concerning instruction.

As a follow-up to our first cohort in 2015, we conducted a focus group at our recent AHRD conference in Jacksonville. I was moved by the comments shared from the faculty pairs. Comments like, “it helped me feel more connected to AHRD”, “I was able to move my work forward by getting perspectives about my research from outside of my department”, and “I felt more energized as a developing scholar based on our conversations” helped us know we are on the right track with this program.

The FMP is radical in another way: the reciprocal relationship forces those of us who are used to giving feedback to also ask for our own support and development. I recently had a wonderful mentoring experience with a colleague that I’ve gotten to know more while on the AHRD Board. I needed some perspective on qualitative methods for a paper, and asked her for a friendly review given her expertise in this area. She was more than gracious and incredibly helpful with her comments. I have to admit that I did feel vulnerable when asking her for the review (Would she question my expertise since I am asking for feedback? Would she be offended that I am asking for time that I am sure is in short supply?). However, I took faith in knowing that asking and giving support is what community is for, it’s what we do as AHRD members, and that is how we (as the organization leading the HRD profession) support our community development. So, who is in your community? How are you providing and asking for support as a community member? Tell us about your own experiences on the AHRD Facebook page and include #AHRDconnect in your comments.


2nd International Symposium:
Meaningful Work Prospects for the 21st Century
1-2 December, 2016 Auckland, New Zealand

We envision an environment that is open to different perspectives on Meaningful Work: appreciative, positive, critical, sociological and psychological. Rather than having short paper presentations, participants will choose different interest groups over two days, briefly introduce their papers followed by time for discussion and connection. Toward the end, we aim to share and integrate the learnings from the different interest groups.

The concept of meaningful work is experiencing a renaissance at a time when many are also questioning the future of work: how it is organized, towards what purpose, who benefits from work and how engagement in work affects who we are becoming as human beings.

The purpose of this symposium is to develop a more integrated perspective on Meaningful Work, drawing on the strengths of various contributions and perspectives. Developing such an approach requires participants to embrace other theories and their interactions. In so doing, we can generate richer insights on the practices and processes that can sustain Meaningful Work organizations.

We invite papers on the following Meaningful Work themes:

  • Meaningful Work, age, gender and diversity.
  • Meaningful Work in different ownership and governance contexts (e.g. employee owned firms, social enterprises, NGOs, volunteering).
  • Meaningful Work and integrative frameworks from multiple disciplines. These may include moral philosophy, corporate responsibility, critical social theory, political economy, or psychology.
  • Meaningful Work and blue-, pink- and white collar occupations.
  • Meaningful Work and organizational interventions such as HRM policies and practices, leadership styles or organizational contexts.
  • Meaningful Work and employee engagement in organizational ethics, corporate responsibility and/or sustainability.
  • Meaningful Work, workplace spirituality, callings, job-crafting and concepts of purpose, passion and engagement.
  • Studies that explore meaningfulness in relation to wellbeing — both inside and outside work — including the negative effects of Meaningful Work and the role of suffering in relation to meaning.
  • Meaningful Work and the changing structure, process and context of work such as low wage and skills, instability/insecurity, intensity, and vulnerability.
  • Papers that address the question of how institutional environments and public policy influences the quality and meaningfulness of work (e.g. Good Work Indices).
  • Meaningful Work within a framework of rights, dignity, self-determination and values and ethics and that consider the normative value of meaningful work.
  • Meaningful Work in relation to concepts such as identity and professionalism.
  • Meaningful Work and fresh insights into research methodologies.
  • Papers that address the extent to which Meaningful Work is and is not elitist or overly romantic.

Submission deadline for papers: 1 June 2016. Visit for updates.

The conference is linked to a Special Issue of the Journal of Management Studies. For further information on this issue:

The Conference conveners look forward to seeing you in Auckland, New Zealand.

Catherine Bailey, University of Sussex; Adrian Madden, University of Greenwich; Ruth Yeoman, Oxford University; Marc Thompson, Oxford University; Neal Chalofsky, George Washington University; Marjolein Lips-Wiersma, Auckland University of Technology.

IFTDO - AHRD Joint Conference

conference logo

Two prominent global professional organizations are joining together to sponsor the first conference focusing on human resource development research and practice in Africa.

The International Federation of Training and Development Organizations was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1972 to develop and maintain a worldwide network committed to improving human performance in the workplace, organizational productivity, and sustainable development.

The Academy of Human Resource Development was founded in the U.S.A. in 1993 to encourage the dissemination of scholarly research by scholars and informed practitioners from multiple disciplines across the globe.

The Conference will feature expert presenters representing diverse settings, including:

  • Regional and global scholars presenting their latest research
  • Policy makers from African, European, and Asian nations reporting on lessons learned from their respective countries
  • Skilled practitioners and consultants sharing best practices from regional and global organizations
  • Business leaders in the region sharing their experiences

Conference presentations will be separated into four tracks:

  • HRD and Workforce Development Policy
  • Workplace Learning, Performance, and Strategy
  • Knowledge and Technology Transfer
  • Learning and Performance in Africa

View More Details on the Conference Homepage »

Call for Authors for Japanese Women in Leadership

We are working on a book proposal on Japanese Women in Leadership (Co-Editors: Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura, Mayuko Horimoto, and Gary N. McLean) with the publisher, Palgrave Macmillan. It is a part of the Asian Women in Leadership book series (co-editors: Yonjoo Cho, Rajashi Ghosh, Judy Sun, and Gary N. McLean), with the support of three Asian HRD SIGs (Special Interest Group): Korea, China, and India of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD). Based on the Japan chapter in the first book in the series, and presented in the AHRD International Research Conference in Asian and MENA held in Seoul, Korea, the book will provide a comprehensive understanding of authors’ perspectives, including current status, and barriers, challenges, and opportunities women leaders are facing in Japan. Additionally, we will cover sector and international perspectives, and discuss convergence and divergence in practice, sector, and international perspectives (see the detailed outline below).

This book has critical implications for the development of women leaders in Japan, providing insights into developing the potential of highly qualified and talented women in organizational settings in this rapidly changing nation where traditional cultural expectations and modernized values co-exist. Our discussion will provide the possibility to see what has not been exposed from a dominant western perspective on women in leadership and will identify lessons learned from Japanese perspectives. Each chapter will present a comprehensive perspective of the topic that will include a literature review, including indigenous and Japanese-language references, and authors’ observations.  

We are inviting you to express your interest in participating in this book project. Please email any or all of us by May 13 (Friday), midnight EST time, at,, and, and provide us a paragraph of no more than 150 words to indicate your expertise and, in rank order, your top 3 interests in which you wish to participate. Based on the book outline below.

Note that the outlined chapter titles are temporary ones, indicating the content and book structure, not the actual title. You are welcome to submit your chapter title based on your interest, and, if selected, you are free to change this, with our input, as we move forward. Also, expressing interest for 3 chapters does not imply that you would be expected to write 3 chapters. We will allocate chapters in a manner that balances your interest with our need of finding an author or authors for every chapter noted in the outline. Our preference is to have each chapter co-authored to represent varied perspectives. If you are willing to co-author a chapter and have a preferred partner, please indicate who the team will be and provide the 150-word description of your backgrounds for each of you.  If you do not have a partner in mind, but you are willing to co-author, please let us know, as there will be others in a similar situation, and we will help match co-authors, with the approval of both parties.

Additionally, please forward this information to people who might be interested in the book topic. We welcome perspectives from scholars and practitioners, male and female, and Japanese and non-Japanese who know the Japanese situation well. No abstracts are required at this time. We will make a decision no later than June 10 (Friday) about the participating authors and their chapters. At that point, we will invite you to submit a short abstract that we can include in our proposal to the publisher.

The deadline for the submission of the first draft of the book chapters is February 2017. You may contact any of us if you would like more information. We are so excited to be working on this project and look forward to working with many of you in the successful completion of the book project!

Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura
Director of Organizational Learning & Research
Graduate School of Business
Columbia University

Mayuko Horimoto
Associate Professor
Center for Liberal Arts
Tokai University

Gary N. McLean
McLean Global Consulting, Inc.
Professor Emeritus
University of Minnesota

Japanese Women in Leadership
Book Chapter Outline

Co-Editors: Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura, Mayuko Horimoto, and Gary N. McLean
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan


Chapter 1: The Status of Women Leaders in Japan: Challenges and Opportunities (Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura and Mayuko Horimoto)


Chapter 2: Roles of Women in a Cultural Context
Chapter 3: Challenges from Employment Systems Perspectives
Chapter 4: Career Development and Educational Opportunities


Chapter 5: Government-Led Initiatives in Response to Demographic Changes in the Workforce
Chapter 6: Communities of Practice: Local Community-Led Initiatives in Developing Women Leaders
Chapter 7: Leading Self: Motivation and Leader Identity


Chapter 8: Corporate Sector: Traditional Japanese Companies
Chapter 9: Corporate Sector: Foreign-Affiliated Companies
Chapter 10: Small Business: Family-owned Businesses and Start-ups
Chapter 11: Government Sector
Chapter 12: Education Sector
Chapter 13: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
Chapter 14: Not-for-Profit Sector and Non-Governmental Organizations  


Chapter 15: Japan in an Asian Context
Chapter 16: Japan in a Non-Asian Context


Chapter 17: SYNTHESIS – Convergence and Divergence: Practice, Sector, and International Perspectives (Gary N.McLean, Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura, & Mayuko Horimoto)



HRDQ spring 2016 cover

The Spring, 2016 Issue of HRDQ (Volume 27, Issue 1) is available online, with open access to all articles in this issue:

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Did you know… that the Wiley Online Library now includes an Altmetric score for every article published in HRDQ?

Article has an altmetric score of 3

This number indicates how many times each article has been cited in social media websites, such as Twitter. The above Am score of 3 means that, as of this writing, Andrea Ellinger’s editorial in the Spring, 2016 has been cited three times. If you click on this box online, you can see that there are three Tweets to date from North America. Check it out!


Our March 2016 issue is out and features the following work by our HRD scholars:

Integrative Literature Reviews

On Critical Reflection: A Review of Mezirow’s Theory and Its Operationalization
Henriette Lundgren and Rob F. Poell
Work Engagement and Career: Proposing Research Agendas Through a Review of Literature
Woocheol Kim, Yunsoo Lee, Kibum Kwon, and Daeyeon Cho
The Persistence of Working Poor Families in a Changing U.S. Job Market: An Integrative Review of the Literature
Richard Torraco

Theory and Conceptual Articles

Capacity and Capability Building for National HRD: A Multi-Level Conceptual Framework
Meera Alagaraja and Rod Githens

Instructor’s Corner

Using HRD to Support Repatriates: A Framework for Creating an Organizational Development Strategy for Repatriation
Tomika Greer & Alexandra C. Stiles

Debate and Dialogue

From Methodology to Imagination: Reflections on Philosophy and Theory Building in Applied Disciplines
Russell Korte

Stay in touch with HRDR!

Learn more about HRDR’s announcements, table of contents, and updates! Sign up for e-alerts from HRDR at e-Alerts.

You can also join the conversation on Facebook @HRDRjournal and Twitter @hrdrjournal.

UFHRD logo

HRDR is proud to sponsor the Doctoral Colloquium at UFHRD in Manchester! For more information and to register for the colloquium, visit UFHRD2016.


A celebration of the 20th anniversary of Human Resource Development International

2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of Human Resource Development International. To celebrate this occasion, the current editorial team has decided to dedicate a special issue of the journal to invited contributions. This will be published in November 2017. We invite contributors to write short pieces (no more than 4,000 words) on the broad theme of ‘the past, present and future challenges of international Human Resource Development’.

Because the articles will not be standard peer-reviewed pieces, our hope is that contributors will feel free to engage in ideas about our field that are thought provoking, challenging and to act as the foundation for future research conversations.

If you would like to contribute an article to this special issue, please send an 800-1,000 word outline, by 27 May 2016, to Carole Elliott, editor-in-chief, at: The outline will then be reviewed by the editors, and you will be informed of our decision by 17 June 2016.


By Robin Grenier, Digest Editor

This month, Holly Hutchin’s column reminded me of a quotation from Maya Angelou: “I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” Ask yourself, are you throwing something back — to your community, your profession, your family? Find ways to volunteer, share your knowledge and experience with others, and contribute in even small ways.


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Director of Talent

New York, NY - USA

Global Health Strategies (GHS) is an international consulting company that works to ensure development and worldwide delivery of health products, technologies and information. We specialize in communications, advocacy, research and strategy, focusing on international public health issues that impact developing nations and emerging markets.

The Director, Talent Development, is a newly created role that will serve as a key partner in leading the identification and development of exceptional talent from many diverse backgrounds. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, he or she will deliver a high-touch and amazing experience for potential candidates, staff and alumni throughout GHS’s global offices. Read More

Assistant or Associate Professor of Education

Sacramento, CA - USA

We are looking for a colleague with an entrepreneurial spirit to provide a vital role in helping us fulfill our vision to be a center of innovation and creativity to foster learning, leadership, and change in Northern California.

We seek someone with a deep commitment to facilitating student work in real-world practice. To fulfill that commitment, our courses use a project-based curriculum. Our program provides a strong orientation toward fostering a community of learners within an intimate private university atmosphere. The successful candidate will demonstrate evidence of or potential for research, leadership, and the ability to work collaboratively with students, colleagues, and stakeholders. Read More

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About the Digest

Contributors to this Issue

  • Robin Grenier, Editor
  • Holly Hutchins, Board Member

The editors reserve the right to select and edit articles submitted.

The AHRD Digest is published electronically the second week of each month. Please submit ideas and content that would be valuable to members to by the 10th day of the month previous.

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