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In late May, 13 graduate students traveled to Portugal as part of a course in the Human and Organizational Learning Program. Through visits to organizations, interactions with local people; and observations of life and culture in the city of Lisbon and the smaller towns of Famalicão and Santo Thyrso in the Braga district, students examined models and conceptual frameworks of culture to understand the nature of learning, change, and leadership across cultures. While in Portugal, the group also participated in the International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice Across Europe and one of the presentations received one of the conference’s five Best Paper Awards.
While in Portugal, the group visited the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of Portugal through fostering cooperation between Portuguese and American civil society; the Institute of Economics and Management (ISEG) at the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, one of the biggest Portuguese universities; and Belmiro Martins & CA., a family-owned textile business, enriching the understanding of organizational practices in the Portuguese context.
At the 13th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice Across Europe the group made significant contributions to the discussions on “The Future of HRD: 2020 and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities,” which was the theme of the conference. Participation at the conference provided a platform for students to meet with scholars and professionals from different countries and develop cross-cultural relationships with conference participants. Daily debriefing meetings provided them opportunities to share reflections on conference sessions and discuss emerging issues facing scholars and practitioners and the future of human resource development.
Dr. Maria Cseh, Smita Kumar and Elizabeth Cavallaro received one of the five Best Paper Awards by the Emerald Group's European Journal of Training and Development for their paper: “Learning within and across Cultures: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the New Age of Organizing.”
Other presentations by the group included:
“The Future of Human Resource Development: Shaping National Human Resource Development Policies in the Global Context” by Dr. Cseh and Nisha Manikoth
“Self-Directed Learning in the Workplace: A Future of Theory in Action, or Just More Rhetoric?” by Joe Follman and Julia Omotade
“Shared Leadership Opportunities for Tomorrow: What HRD Can Learn from the Occupy Wall Street Movement” by Adina Lav
Dr. Maria Cseh also served as the Stream Leader for the Comparative and Cross-Cultural Dimensions of HRD stream of the conference and was responsible of organizing the peer-reviewed process of the manuscripts submitted for this stream and making recommendations for their acceptance for the proceeding publication and conference presentation.