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On Questioning in HRD

Heeyoung Han By Heeyoung Han, Chair of AHRD Fundraising Committee

A brief hallway conversation with Dr. Peter Kuchinke was one of my fondest memories about the AHRD 2020 conference in Atlanta. We debriefed about our panel session and exchanged some updates about our lives. At the end of our talk, he recommended a book titled Liquid Modernity. Immediately after the conference, I traveled internationally and returned home to the pandemic chaos. While dealing with new norms and duties at work and in life, I slowly started reading the book. It is not easy reading. I am still reading and reflecting about it. But, I have come across a significant message to myself, my work, and the field, especially given this time where norms are being revisited and recreated. Here is a quote from the book.

“What is wrong with the society we live in, said Cornelius Castoriadis, is that it stopped questioning itself. This is a kind of society which no longer recognizes any alternative to itself and thereby feels absolved from the duty to examine, demonstrate, justify (let alone prove) the validity of its outspoken and tacit assumptions.”

We are all being forced to stop and question everything due to COVID-19. But when was the last time that the HRD field questioned itself? What assumptions have we revisited and justified?

Here are a few of my thoughts for reflection:

I have several mentees, medical students as well as HRD students. With the stay-at-home order, I worried about their studies due to mandated 100% online learning. Surprisingly, they unanimously said they were just fine. I was glad. However, these experiences made me stop and question our assumptions about the place of students’ learning. In my opinion, there is not a strong justification for why students should be on campus to learn about HRD while paying significant residential costs. Questioning assumptions about where learning occurs can make space for introducing the topic of place-based education in HRD. A place (or a community) can provide a complex social learning environment where learners can experience and grow as HRD practitioners and scholars. But, have we narrowed learning to achieve objectivity, decoupling learning from community while excluding the complexity that ought to be part of the curriculum in HRD?

Social accountability is a term rarely discussed in HRD. AHRD has progressed its scholarly contribution through multiple journals and academic programs. However, how shall we think about the field’s contribution to societal and community needs? How have we proactively translated research for practical significance for a practitioner community? For example, what has HRD done in dealing with this pandemic crisis? Small- and medium-sized businesses are facing tremendous operational and financial struggles due to COVID-19 in all of our communities. What has HRD done to help them? How about gun violence, opioid abuse, and financial inequality? Those are not unique problems in an isolated city area but prevalent everywhere, even small rural towns in the U.S. Why do these kinds of community needs not become the main focus of HRD practice and curriculum? What have we taught future HRD scholars and practitioners about this social accountability?

You may have noticed that I posed questions not easily answered. I do not have answers to them. However, questioning is a healthy scholarly practice. We should not treat the field of HRD as infallible and complete. I encourage colleagues and friends to join me in this kind of reflection on our traditional assumptions and HRD practices that we take for granted. Exploring our assumptions can help us collectively grow and evolve.

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Announcing Incoming Editor-in-Chief of Human Resource Development Review

Yonjoo ChoThe AHRD Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Dr. Yonjoo Cho as the next Editor-In-Chief of the Human Resource Development Review. AHRD President Dr. Laura Bierema thanked the outgoing Editor, Dr. Jia Wang, for her leadership of the journal for the past three years. Under Dr. Wang’s leadership, the Journal saw significant growth and achieved an Impact Factor of 2.487. Dr. Cho’s term will start on July 1, 2020.

Dr. Yonjoo Cho is an associate professor of Instructional Systems Technology focusing on HRD at Indiana University (IU). Before joining IU, she worked in diverse organizations including for-profit, non-profit, and academic sectors in South Korea. Her latest position was MBA Director/Visiting Professor of the KAIST Business School. Her research interests include action learning in organizations, international HRD, and women in leadership. She has published three books: Trends and Issues in Action Learning Practice: Lessons from South Korea (Cho & Bong, 2013) with Routledge, Current Perspectives on Asian Women in Leadership: A Cross-Cultural Analysis (Cho, Ghosh, Sun, & McLean, 2017), and Korean Women in Leadership (Cho & McLean, 2018) with Palgrave Macmillan. She has served as an associate editor of Human Resource Development Review (2017-2020) and a board member of the AHRD (2016-2018) and serves on the editorial board of Human Resource Development Quarterly, Human Resource Development International, European Journal of Training and Development, and Action Learning: Research and Practice. She also serves with the Korean Action Learning Association and Korean Association for Educational Technology. She received her Ph.D. in instructional technology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Congratulations, Yonjoo!

News for Members

Call for Papers: Adult and Continuing Education’s Response to the Global COVID-19 Pandemic

Submitted by M Cecil Smith and Jeremy Bohonos

The COVID-19 global pandemic has quickly become a catastrophe that threatens millions of lives and the livelihoods and well-being of people throughout the world. As our scholarly and professional communities are developing and testing ways to respond to the present challenges, we have a great need to share emerging effective practices. For this reason, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development is announcing a Call for Papers in an upcoming themed issue. Among the concepts that we would like to see explored in this issue are:

  • What are the potential strengths of and challenges for adult and continuing education during times of national crises?
  • In what ways is the field of adult and continuing education contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and in other countries around the world?
  • How have your institutions, agencies, programs, and staff responded? What strategies have been implemented to continue delivery of adult education programs to serve student needs?
  • How is adult and continuing education likely to be affected over both the long- and short-term by the COVID-19 pandemic? What steps should be taken to mitigate the damage so that the field can continue to provide education and training to meet adult learners’ needs in the post-pandemic world?
  • What can we learn about the purpose and value of adult and continuing education as an enterprise and a resource for responding to a global pandemic? How has adult and continuing education assisted adult learning during this time?
  • How will the field need to adapt and change to prepare for the next inevitable pandemic or other global or national crisis?

Taking a broad view of our field we encourage submissions on a variety of topics, not limited to:

  • Case-study descriptions of how institutions are responding to COVID-19;
  • Our fields’ roles in providing education and training related to COVID-19;
  • Reviews of literature exploring the connections between our field and public health or other medical sciences;
  • Historical analysis of past pan/epidemic events and their effect on education and the workforce;
  • Emerging communities of practice focus on fighting COVID-19;
  • Social movement organizing in an age of social distancing;
  • Artistic and musical responses to COVID-19;
  • New applications of learning technologies;
  • Social justice, equity and equality issues emerging as a result of COVID-19 including labor organizing of frontline workers and differentiated death rates of historically marginalized groups.

Given the need for timely and relevant dissemination of this research, we are welcoming manuscripts ranging in length from 2500-7500 words. We are also inviting relevant perspectives papers of between 1000 and 3000 words. All submissions will be peer reviewed.

Deadline for submissions of papers for this themed issue is June 15, 2020. While submitted papers need to make this deadline for full consideration for this themed issue, any papers on these topics received after the deadline will be considered for future editions of the journal.

Click here to view the full call for papers.

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Call for Abstracts: Management Consulting in the Era of the Digital Organization

Submitted by David B. Szabla

The transforming world of the 2020s is marked by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. This new environment requires organizational leaders, more than ever, to explore strategies that enhance their adaptive capacity to respond to events such as COVID-19 and the consequential economic crises that follow.

Given the confluence of dramatic changes in organizational life and emerging technology breakthroughs such as robotics, the internet of things, biotechnology, materials science, data science and big data, and quantum computing, this volume of the Research in Management Consulting series explores how research and practice of management consulting unfold in a new era of profound shifts in the way researchers and consultants sense, think, and act.

We seek chapters on a wide range of topics that focus on how management consulting concepts, methods, processes, theory, research, and practice are shifting as a result of new ways of human interaction and emerging technologies. Abstracts may be submitted by faculty, graduate students, or post-doctoral fellows working in traditional university settings, think tanks and other research institutes, and practitioners working in consulting firms.

Abstracts due no later than August 30, 2020.

Complete details available here.

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Resources for Effective Virtual Teams

Submitted by Michael Beyerlein

At Texas A&M University, we formed a group called the Catalyst Team to study student design teams. Working from home and coping with Zoom fatigue, we experienced empathy for all the employees who had to shift from corporate offices to home offices. That led to developing a series of brief papers with tips about how to lead virtual teams from home:

Are you trying to cope with the challenge of moving your work from the office to your home? You will find a series of practical tips for virtual teams that help you succeed with that transition and even excel with the development of a more efficient and effective team.

We are archiving the series on our team members Dr. Crystal Han’s Team Mindset Lab website at Boise State University and Dr. Miranda Walichowski’s MiraNous website.

Visit our resource page containing practical tips for virtual teams. Find additional content at

We plan to post several dozen papers and some YouTube videos this summer. Perhaps some of the papers will interest you or your students. We invite your comments or questions about the series.

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AAACE Membership Discount Code

AHRD members are eligible for a 10% discount off AAACE membership with this Promo Code: “AHRDMemberPartner”

Visit the AAACE membership page here:

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Journal News

Human Resource Development International (HRDI)

Jessica Li, Editor

Human Resource Development International (HRDI)

Special Issue Call for Papers

Engagement at 30: A Retrospective and Look Forward through an International Cross-Cultural Context
Guest Editors: Dr. Brad Shuck, Woocheol Kim, and Luke Fletcher

We are excited to address the application of engagement—whether employee, work, job, or organizational—across cultural contexts and we encourage situating engagement within cultural boundaries that remain underrepresented throughout the world, such as developing and emerging economies, identities, and professions.

We welcome contributing papers that are:

  • Grounded in evidence, including research studies and workplace case-studies (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method); and/or
  • Theoretical or conceptual papers that make meaning of the existing literature in novel ways; and/or
  • Thought leader pieces that align with, or challenge, the status quo of engagement.

Deadline: August 1, 2020 for full complete papers due to HRDI for Special Issue.

View the full call for papers and submission instructions here.

Announcing the latest Issue of HRDI currently available on online

The latest issue of HRDI, Volume 23, Issue 3 is available here.

Currently Available online:

  • Jessica Li, Rajashi Ghosh & Stefanos Nachmias (2020). In a time of COVID-19 pandemic, stay healthy, connected, productive, and learning: words from the editorial team of HRDI, Human Resource Development International, 23:3, 199-207, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2020.1752493
  • Valerie Anderson, Jonny Gifford & Janet Wildman (2020). An evaluation of social learning and learner outcomes in a massive open online course (MOOC): a healthcare sector case study, Human Resource Development International, 23:3, 208-237, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2020.1721982
  • Young-Sun Lee & Christopher J. Rees (2020). Perceptions of organization development in South Korea: the use of a sensemaking approach, Human Resource Development International, 23:3, 238-258, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1693826
  • Robert G. Hamlin & Taran Patel (2020). Toward an emergent Asian behavioural model of perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness: a cross-nation comparative analysis of effective and ineffective managerial behaviour of private sector managers in India and South Korea, Human Resource Development International, 23:3, 259-282, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1700076
  • Ridhi Arora (2020). Mediating role of mentoring functions on linking personality and occupational commitment in Indian organizations, Human Resource Development International, 23:3, 283-308, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2020.1727218
  • Andreas Gegenfurtner (2020). Testing the gender similarities hypothesis: Differences in subjective task value and motivation to transfer training, Human Resource Development International, 23:3, 309-320, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2018.1449547
  • Fotios V. Mitsakis (2020). Human resource development (HRD) resilience: a new ‘success element’ of organizational resilience?, Human Resource Development International, 23:3, 321-328, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2019.1669385


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Human Resource Development Review (HRDR)

Jia Wang, Editor-in-Chief


Open Call for Associate Editors for Human Resource Development Review

Human Resource Development Review (HRDR) is seeking nominations for three Associate Editors serving a three-year term, effective on July 1, 2020.

About the Journal

HRDR publishes peer-reviewed articles quarterly in collaboration with the AHRD and Sage Publications. It is a theory-based journal for scholars and scholar-practitioners of HRD and related disciplines. HRDR publishes non-empirical articles that make contributions to theory development, foundations of HRD, approaches to theory, and integrative/systematic reviews of the literature. It also publishes articles that focus on philosophies of HRD, historical foundations, definitions of the field, and ethical principles of the field. In the latest Journal Citation Reports, HRDR’s 2019 Impact Factor was 2.487 in the highly competitive Management category.

Job Description

The primary responsibilities of Associate Editor include:

  • Review assigned manuscripts and associated peer reviews
  • Draft recommendation letters with feedback for each manuscript within an agreed-upon timeframe
  • Assist in selecting reviewers
  • Evaluate review quality for each reviewer
  • Manage the Elwood F. Holton, III Outstanding Journal Article of the Year Award selection process and identify the winner
  • Participate in the selection of the Outstanding Reviewer of the Year Award winner
  • Guide authors through the manuscript revision process
  • Promote the journal at national and international conferences and other events
  • Participate in Editorial Board meetings

In addition, Associate Editors are expected to provide support to the Editor-in-Chief for ad hoc tasks such as writing editorials or thought pieces when needed, presenting journal-sponsored workshops/events in the absence of the Editor, and recruiting quality manuscripts, outstanding reviewers and editorial board members.


The appointment to the Associate Editor position is a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2020 when the position is filled. Associate Editors are eligible to apply for the incoming Editor position as part of the succession plan for the journal. Successful candidates should expect that training and immersion into the role will commence immediately upon appointment.


Applicants should possess a notable record of scholarly publications within the HRD community and related fields of study, have interest and previous experience in diverse content domains relevant to HRD, and have a record of service as a reviewer and/or track chair, special issue editor, or editorial board member for one or more major journals. We prefer candidates who have ample experience with integrative/systematic literature reviews and a solid understanding of theoretical development and/or meta analysis as a quantitative approach to literature review.

Application Process

Self-nominations are encouraged. The nomination packet should include:

  • A cover letter that describes in detail the candidate’s capabilities, experience, and commitment to serve as an Associate Editor based upon the position requirements
  • A full updated curriculum vita

The submission deadline is June 15, 2020. The final decision will be announced by the end of June. Please submit all applications to the incoming editor-in-chief, Yonjoo Cho at

Additional News

Job Postings

Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) seeks an experienced, mission-focused, and strategic leader for the position of Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (AVP). The next AVP will work collaboratively across campus to integrate the office throughout all facets of the university as a trusted resource and proactive partner on all matters related to human resources (HR). The HR staff at RIT is strong and dedicated, so to build upon this solid foundation this leader must have a roll-up-one’s-sleeves attitude while focusing on creating a strategic, unified, and ambitious vision for HR at RIT.

Read More

Human Resources Business Partner, R20030

Bellevue College, Bellevue, Washington

The Human Resource Business Partner will provide guidance and consultation in any, some or all of the following: recruitment, classification, compensation, collective bargaining, employee/labor relations, grievances, affirmative action, training and development, performance management, program and policy development, organizational analysis, interpretation and application of laws, rules, policies, or other functions relating to human resources management.

Read More

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Final Thought

By Tomika W. Greer, AHRD Board Member and Digest Editor

Tomika GreerAs people across the globe grow weary of the physical distance caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, it has become paramount for all to consider the needs of others in addition to maintaining their own health, safety, and sanity. Throughout this month’s AHRD Digest, there are several attempts to make sense of the COVID-19 environment and the impact that HRD can have as we help people and organizations adjust. I hope that each of you will see your role and offer your insights to solving new and old problems illuminated by COVID-19, including the shifts in the way that people live, learn, and work; and disparities in access to education, healthcare, and dignity.

To keep up with the happenings, please like our page on Facebook (@AcademyHRD) and follow our Twitter feed (@AcademyHRD).

Be safe. Take care.

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About the Digest


Be sure to let us know if you move or if you change email addresses. You can sign in to your profile or email us at

Contributors to this Issue

  • Tomika W. Greer, AHRD Board Member and Digest Editor
  • Heeyoung Han
  • M Cecil Smith
  • Jeremy Bohonos
  • David B. Szabla
  • Michael Beyerlein

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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