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May 2014 AHRD Digest

From the Board
by Ellen Scully-Russ, VP Journal and Awards

More From the Board
by Holly Hutchins, AHRD Board Member

AHRD Website: A Great Resource for AHRD Members

Journal News

Member Spotlight
Michael Leimbach, Ph.D.

Gary S. Becker – In Memoriam


Job Openings

News and Notes

Final Thoughts


From the Board

By Ellen Scully-Russ, VP Journal and Awards

As a new member of the Board, I was honored when Ron Jacobs asked me to serve as the VP for Journals and Awards. In considering the responsibilities of this role, I was moved to reflect on what the AHRD Journals and “The Academy Awards” (as they are fondly called) have in common. Yes, each of the four journals presents an award for outstanding work and research excellence, yet there is more to the journals than the awards. In addition, the Academy sponsors nine other awards (13 in all) to recognize our members who have made significant contributions to AHRD’s mission of leading the profession through research.

As I thought about what these two AHRD activities have in common, the metaphor of a conversation came to my mind. A conversation, to me, denotes a lively and extremely social dialogue, which in the case of the Academy occurs within a community of peers who seek to cultivate HRD theories, practice, and values. Yes, our journals and awards pivot on peer review of our ideas and peer recognition of our contributions to the field. I am somewhat daunted by the responsibility to help promote these generative relationships within our community.

Yet, I realize that this is a shared responsibility and we each have a valuable role to play. Certainly the journal Editors and Editorial Boards and the Award Committees are key — however, the process only works when the entire community participates by writing articles, conducting reviews, and nominating others for awards.

For my part, I have set the goal to promote openness and improve access to the peer conversations that uphold our community. How, for example, can we use the AHRD website and interactive media to share content across journals, or to engage scholars in conversations about their work? How can we make the research in the journals more accessible to practitioners and more applicable in practice? Should we evaluate the Awards to consider whether the processes are open, the criteria are fair and relevant, and the decisions transparent? Can we get more members involved in the Award committees, or ask them to nominate a broader range of deserving candidates? These are just a few “conversation starters” I have in mind. What conversations would you like to start?

All AHRD members can access each of the four AHRD journals via the AHRD website (

You can see a list and description of the 13 AHRD Academy Awards on the AHRD website (

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More From the Board

Confessions, Distractions, Being “Crazy Busy”

By Holly Hutchins, AHRD Board Member

I have a confession to make. The April Board column was my same column from 2013, and some of you may already know as much. I misnamed the file after I saved the original (thoroughly engaging) article that ended up being, well, lost in transmission. Gone. Forever. I realized the error when the Digest went live to 500+ members, and emailed my fellow Board colleagues explaining the situation while offering condolences and advocating that I was not at all being lazy. AHRD President Ron Jacobs quickly replied, “Lazy, never; distracted, perhaps.” Ah, yes, I was perhaps distracted. Tending to too many things around me (with a cat, or two) crossing my laptop during the compiling of my (thoroughly engaging) prose. Consequence? Back-to-back columns. Behaviorism at its best.

Instead of trying to recreate that column, which I will again offer up in some form, I thought I would hone in on the “distraction” bit since it is/was where my energy is this time of semester. I realize that one-third of our members are not faculty or students, and so the semester cycle is not relevant to all, but I offer up the change of seasons as a fitting way to mark the space between the beginning and the end of a period.

For faculty, it is indeed a time of many work distractions: grading, advising, committee work, planning of summer projects, budgeting, paper reviews, submissions, etc. The forward-looking list goes on and on; add some family and pet obligations in the mix, and you have indeed a lot of items requiring your attention. I imagine the same for my practitioner colleagues, in numerous meetings, with multiple reports, discussions and projects bending their time. In the throes of the distractions, I realized that I would often answer the “How are you doing?” question with the same response: “Fine, but just crazy busy.” In my circle of colleagues, the crazy busy language is common, with each of us describing just how much more we have to do these days to keep up. As I contemplate this, I wonder where the time is to be intentional in our reflections, earnest in our creative processes, and observant of the people and events around us. As social scientists, it is our business—our call, actually—to be observant and questioning, in our attempts to describe, understand and predict the social complexities of interactions. The perennial tension does seem to be finding that quiet time where distractions are at bay enough to do the work that matters. We seem to be all too consumed with the future that this forward-looking agenda may inherently stunt our own progress.

In a recent New York Times article, columnist David Brooks describes the musician Sting’s recent appearance at the TED2014 conference ( In his remarks, which were part commentary and part song, Sting describes the musical drought that he experienced mid-career. He described losing the muse, where the time between writing music extended over weeks, then years. Sting became inspired when returning to his childhood home in the south of England, a small port town where large ships would dock and resupply. Sting tells these stories in his musical The Last Ship (set to be released on Broadway later this year), but the pearl of the story for us busy folks is that he indeed found his space and inspiration by looking back, and not necessarily forward. Hmm, says my distracted mind. Going back? Looking around? Standing still? I don’t have time for that. Yet, that line from Miss Potter’s Lullaby (Counting Crows), “If you've never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame”, continues to circle in my head.

My question for you and myself, now, is where will you find your creative muse? It is not likely in the distractions, but in the time spent revisiting and remembering what inspires you. I have the privilege of doing the work I dearly love, but do recognize how the busyness can quickly lead to the distractions which cut into my creativity. As we approach the end of the semester/season, where will you find the time and space to cultivate your passion? Will it be in the form of a sabbatical, embarking on a new research direction, engaging in new learning (paddle boarding, anyone?), leading a new initiative, or perhaps turning off all technology to hear nature—and not your iPhone—buzz. I am in no way an expert on creating a distraction-free zone, but I can recognize what happens when I am less distracted, and it is a good thing.

My wish for you is to find that space and time for inspiration, and consider how that might parlay into what you put forth to the AHRD community. Ron is correct when he says that someone out there is waiting for your research, your ideas, and your message. Will AHRD be the place where these ideas show up next? While the 2014 conference feels just a few weeks behind us, our team is already gearing up for 2015. How will looking back at what inspires you help you bring something new and innovative forward? I hope it is not in the form of republishing a column.

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AHRD Website: A Great Resource for AHRD Members

AHRD Website Features Overview

Make sure you are getting the most of your AHRD membership — check out the Member Central area to access your benefits: Plus, we’ve added directions on the new features of the website here:

There are many new features on the AHRD website — including members-only online community tools similar to those featured in public online communities/social networks of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The value of a private social network is the ability to share ideas, network, connect and collaborate online with other members to enhance the value of your membership investment.

If you have forgotten your user name or password, please go here Once you log into the website, you will land on the “Manage Profile” page. On the right side of the page are quick links to access the new community features on the website that are also accessible on the Manage Profile Page.

Once you are logged into your member portal, please take a moment to update your information in the “Manage Profile” section under Information & Settings, click on Edit Bio. You can now control the privacy settings for all your data. We set a default, so when you are in edit bio, select what is private, members-only or public. Simply click on the icon to the left of the data field and select the proper level.

AHRD Online Access to All Four Journals:
You must be logged in to the website to access the journals online; after logging in, you can go here:

Special Interest Groups Now Have Online Groups
Upon joining and renewal, AHRD members can choose two Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Additional SIGs can be added at $25 per SIG. If you want to change your two SIG affiliations during the year prior to member renewal, you need to email to make changes. The SIG Chairs have been trained on the new group functionality and will work on building pages so members can share files, search for other members in the SIG, email each other and so much more.

The SIG lists in the group are updated weekly — so this will be the most current roster of SIG members. You can export the member list or email from the groups area. SIG listservs are updated monthly, and we would like to eventually phase out the listservs once members are using the website tools.

Current SIG Numbers:
China HRD – 21
Critical HRD & Social Justice Perspective – 54
Faculty Learning & Development – 66
HRD Theory – 86
India HRD – 20
International HRD – 93
Korea HRD – 17
Leadership – 148
Qualitative Inquiry – 59
Quantitative Research Methods – 53
Scholar-Practitioner – 122
Virtual HRD – 59
Workforce Diversity & Inclusion – 45

After you log in, there’s a group link on the right side to get to the SIG group of which you are a member. You are also an administrator, which is indicated by the blue “person” icon. Under Manage Profile, you can also update your bio, contact information, user name and password. Contact the AHRD office at if you have any problems or questions.

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Journal News

Human Resource Development Quarterly News:

The Human Resource Development Quarterly editorial team is pleased to present a preview of the content of 25(2), which will be published on June 16, 2014. We hope that you will look forward to receiving your electronic or print copies of this issue. With our best wishes — Andrea D. Ellinger, Editor; Mary Lynn Lunn, Managing Editor; Valerie Anderson, Claire Gubbins, Kim F. Nimon, Maura Sheehan, and Jon M. Werner, Associate Editors.


Human Resource Development / Human Resource Management: So What Is It?
Jon M. Werner, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
This editorial describes the fields of human resource management (HRM) and human resource development (HRD), including brief histories of both areas. Distinctions between the fields are made, as well as overlap between them. Ideas are presented concerning ways that manuscripts submitted to this journal can be best positioned for successful outcomes. A framework from Mankin (2001) is used to depict overlap between organizational strategy and structure, organizational culture, HRM, and HRD. As these topics converge in greater alignment, the need for and centrality of strong HRD principles and practices should increase.

Invited Feature Articles:

Appreciating Organization Development: A Comparative Essay on Divergent Perspectives
Thomas G. Cummings, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
Chailin Cummings, California State University, Long Beach

Organization Development applies social science knowledge to help organizations change and improve themselves. From its beginnings over 70 years ago in group dynamics, action research, and humanistic psychology, the field has expanded enormously to include a diversity of theories and practices aimed at developing organizations at different levels, from jobs, teams, and organizations to inter-organization alliances and societal change. Along with this expansive evolution, however, has come increasing confusion and disagreement in defining the field’s conceptual boundaries, change interventions, and underlying values. This raises fundamental questions about the nature and consequences of organization development, which can impede the field’s further progress conceptually, empirically, and practically. We clarify some of the major ambiguities and differences in the field today and suggest solutions for moving forward by comparing four pair of divergent perspectives: 1) development vs. change; 2) episodic vs. continuous change; 3) planned vs. emergent change; and 4) diagnostic vs. dialogic OD.

What Do We Really Know About Employee Engagement?
Alan Saks, University of Toronto
Jamie Gruman, University of Guelph

Employee engagement has become one of the most popular topics in management. In less than ten years, there have been dozens of studies published on employee engagement as well as several meta-analyses. However, there continue to be concerns about the meaning, measurement, and theory of employee engagement. In this paper, we review these concerns as well as research in an attempt to determine what we have learned about employee engagement. We then offer a theory of employee engagement that reconciles and integrates Kahn’s (1990) theory of engagement and the Job-Demands Resources model (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007). We conclude that there continues to be a lack of consensus on the meaning of employee engagement as well as concerns about the validity of the most popular measure of employee engagement. Furthermore, it is difficult to make causal conclusions about the antecedents and consequences of employee engagement due to a number of research limitations. Thus, there remain many unanswered questions and much more to do if we are to develop a science and theory of employee engagement.


Servant Leadership and Work Engagement: The Contingency Effects of Leader-Follower Social Capital
Dirk De Clercq, Goodman School of Business at Brock University (Canada)
Dave Bouckenooghe, Goodman School of Business at Brock University
Usman Raja, Goodman School of Business at Brock University
Ganna Matsyborska, HR consultant for Odessa Provincial Government

Drawing from research on work engagement, contingent leadership, and social capital, the authors investigate the relationship between servant leadership and work engagement, as well as how this relationship might be moderated by leader-follower social capital. Data captured from 263 employees of four IT companies show that servant leadership enhances work engagement, especially at higher levels of goal congruence and social interaction. In addition, a significant three-way interaction effect shows that, in conditions marked by high social interaction, goal congruence more strongly enables the conversion of servant leadership into enhanced work engagement. These findings have significant implications for HRD research and practice.

Job Resources as Antecedents of Engagement at Work: Evidence from a Long-Term Care Setting
Daria Sarti, University of Florence, Italy

How to improve employees’ work engagement currently represents one of the most important areas of concern for organizations. Within the broader research field on work engagement and its antecedents, this study analyzes one specific aspect: the role of job resources in determining employees’ engagement at work. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was performed, along with a basic descriptive analysis, to examine a sample of 167 caregivers (registered nurses, nurse managers, home helpers, nurses aides and certified nursing assistants) in nine long-term care (LTC) facilities in Italy. The results suggest that work engagement among caregivers in the LTC sector is significantly influenced by job resources. In particular, greater learning opportunities have direct effects on increasing work engagement among health-care service employees. Furthermore, co-worker support and supervisor support also play a statistically significant positive role in stimulating work engagement.

Human Resource Development Practices and Employee Engagement: Examining the Connections with Employee Turnover Intentions
Brad Shuck, University of Louisville
Devon Twyford, University of Louisville
Thomas G. Reio, Jr., Florida International University
Angie Shuck, M.S. in Education from Florida International University and a certified healthcare professional in the field of Child Life

The relation between how an employee perceives support for participation in HRD practices, engagement, and turnover intent has been under-represented in the literature. Using social exchange theory as a guiding framework, this research sought to better understand the possible linkages of HRD practices and employee engagement to turnover intentions. An internet-based self-report survey battery utilizing a four-stage preparation method was used as the primary data collection tool in this research conducted in the healthcare industry (N = 207). Linear, simultaneous, and mediated regression analyses were used to examine the variables of interest. Results suggested that participation in HRD practices and cognitive, emotional and behavioral engagement were negatively related to turnover intent. Mediated regression analyses indicated that engagement partially mediated the relation between HRD practices and turnover intent. The findings support the utility of supporting employee participation in HRD practices to improve employee engagement and reduce turnover intent.

Human Resource Development International News:

HRDI is publishing virtual special issues (VSI) online. The current VSI, on Workplace Learning, is available with free access at the Taylor and Francis website: Virtual Special Issue on Workplace Learning

HRDI Country Briefings

The Editorial Team of HRDI plans to publish a series of Perspectives (non-peer-reviewed) articles with briefings on HRD in various countries of the world. Ideally, we will include one such briefing in each issue of HRDI. While we would like to give the authors of the articles significant freedom in deciding on the content and structure of their briefings, the following guidelines should be taken into consideration:

  1. Each briefing should be between 5000 and 6000 words long.
  2. Before developing a full manuscript, authors should contact the Editor (send emails to with a brief description of the proposed articles (country of focus; emphasis).
  3. Most briefings will be focused on individual countries. However, in some cases briefings on groups of countries sharing geo-political, economic, and/or cultural legacies would be acceptable (e.g., an overview of HRD in Baltic States, in Arab Gulf States, in Mekong Delta countries).
  4. Suggested content of an article:
    1. Definition of HRD in country/region and how this definition is different from HRD definitions found in other countries;
    2. The status of HRD as a separate discipline and area of practice (e.g., as opposed to being incorporated under the umbrella of HRM);
    3. National HRD: programs, government policies, and initiatives; existence of centralized government ministry/agency, focused on HRD;
    4. HRD in organizations (in business, government, and non-profits);
    5. The status of HRD academic programs; who prepares HRD professionals;
    6. Future of HRD in the country/region.
  5. Submitted manuscripts will be reviewed by two or three members of the editorial team and changes will be requested at that time.

Human Resource Development Review News:

The Executive Board of Human Resource Development Review recently announced two new Associate Editors — Julie Gedro, Empire State College and Jia Wang, Texas A&M University. Their three-year term will begin in July 2014.

Advances in Developing Human Resources News:

Check out the Sage blog, Management INC ( which features Advances in Developing Human Resources’ special issue on coaching and HRD today, edited by Andrea D. Ellinger, Toby Egan, and Sewon Kim. The issue includes articles on the theoretical tradition of coaching, literature reviews on executive coaching, managerial coaching, action learning coaching, and coaching and HRD, plus others. The issue is available to read online for free during the month of May.

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Member Spotlight

LeimbachMichael Leimbach, Ph.D., is our featured member for May. Michael received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota and currently works for Wilson Learning Worldwide as Vice President of Research and Development. His practice and research center on maximizing the impact of learning transfer through instructional design processes, impact evaluation, and leadership development processes.

Michael is a long-time member of the Academy, and has attended every conference since the first in San Antonio, Texas. His commitment to AHRD began with a need to maintain a balance between the practical-oriented research he conducted for clients and his need to continue to grow from a rigorous and theory-oriented research process. Michael has been involved in helping to support the vision of the Academy as a reviewer for HRDQ and HRI, and as an editorial board member and currently an Associate Editor of ADHR. Additionally, he served most recently on the Journal Task Force for the AHRD Board and is active in the Leadership and Scholar-Practitioner SIGs.

With attending all the AHRD conferences in the last 20 years, as well as serving as a track chair, session moderator, or presenter at most of those, it is not surprising that Michael had trouble choosing an AHRD memory to share. He settled on one from the early days of the International conference when the town hall forum was a debate format. He recalled, “I remember fondly the two opportunities I had to participate in the debate, one with Gary McLean and one with Cathy Sleazer. The mutual respect we have for each other created a wonderful experience where we were really able to dig deep into the topic, focus on the facts, and remain true friends throughout the process. I think we all, as well as the audience, learned a great deal from these experiences” and noted that he would enjoy seeing the debates return.

As busy as he is, Michael still finds time to steal away to read a good book. Currently, he is reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, about the origins of the HeLa cells that have become one of the most important tools in medical research and the person behind those cells. He is also working on The Signal and The Noise: Why so many predictions fail – but some don’t by Nate Silver and, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. He also just completed Quit: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. He describes it as a “great book focusing on how we have become a culture of extroverts and the contributions of introverts and the need to have a better balance in how we value the two types in our society”.

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Gary S. Becker – In Memoriam

By Richard A. Swanson, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota

Gary S. BeckerGary S. Becker, Nobel Prize-winning economist and member of the Academy of Human Resource Development Scholar Hall of Fame, died on May 3, 2014, at age 84. He spent the bulk of his career at the University of Chicago.

Becker was inducted in the AHRD Scholar Hall of Fame in 1999 for his trove of research applying economic analysis to gains in knowledge and expertise and for his advancement of human capital theory. Becker started publishing in the realm of human capital theory in 1964. His classic book — Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education — has had several editions published since it first appeared in 1975.

One of the great ironies within the human resource development profession revolves around economics and human capital theory. The profession almost universally believes that knowledge and expertise are fundamentally valuable to the individual and the organizations in which they work. Simultaneously, the profession remains largely incapable or resistant to expressing its human resource development contributions in economic terms. A fitting tribute to Becker would be to read Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education. An even greater tribute would be to fully recognize economic theory as foundational to the HRD discipline.

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Job Openings

  1. Assistant Professor/Director of the Academy for Scholarship in Education
    The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Department of Medical Education is seeking applicants for the position of Director of the Academy for Scholarship in Education. This is a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor position. The Academy for Scholarship in Education promotes teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning at SIUSOM: A primary goal is to support, recognize and reward faculty and staff in their roles as medical teachers and as investigators who study the teaching and learning process. We believe that a medical school should treat itself and its teaching and learning programs as proper subjects for study.

  2. Director, Adult Undergraduate Programming
    Augsburg College invites applications for a full-time staff position, Director of Undergraduate Programming, to begin August 1, 2014. The person in this position provides campus leadership of, as well as program development and operational oversight for, Augsburg’s adult undergraduate programs and continuing studies, while collaborating with all divisions of the College, the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, Rochester Campus staff, staff directors, department chairs, and program directors to enhance the adult student experience and ensure college-wide effectiveness in meeting the needs of undergraduate adult students.

For additional information about job openings, check out the Career Opportunities page on the AHRD website.

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Job ads are posted for 90 days and are available to all members and non-members visiting the AHRD website.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Cost of posting:

Members - $25.00
Non-members - $100.00
PEN Members - FREE

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News and Notes

Congratulations, Holly!
Dr. Holly M. Hutchins, AHRD Board Member and Associate Professor of Human Resource Development, in the University of Houston, College of Technology has been awarded the University of North Texas 2013-2014 College of Information, Department of Learning Technologies Outstanding Alumni award. Read the whole story at

Well Done, Gary!
Dr. Gary N. McLean has been appointed “Renowned Scholar” by the Graduate School of Business in the International Islamic University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, from mid-June to mid-December. He will teach courses in the MBA program and assist doctoral students and faculty with their research.

Scholarship Made Easier: Best Practices for Writing and Pubishing
Live Workshop by Wiley Learning Institute
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:00pm (EDT)
Register »
(no fee)

In this workshop, participants will learn concrete, step-by-step strategies for maximizing the production and publication (or acceptance for presentation) of manuscripts in an appropriate outlet. These strategies address all phases of the scholarly writing process, including identifying easily-publishable topics; preparing emotionally and organizing yourself for writing; following a formula; controlling your writing time; writing to communicate; and requesting and receiving feedback. In addition, we’ll address the publication and presentation phases, including: identifying the best publication outlets; querying journal editors; making your presentations more attractive to editors and reviewers; monitoring your submissions, and interpreting and responding constructively to the reviews.

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Final Thoughts

The AHRD European Conference 2014, the 15th UFHRD in Edinburgh, Scotland will be upon us in just a couple of weeks. We hope to see many of you there!

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