School of Education assistant professor honored with award at international conference

Student writer Andrea Day contributed to this story.

Assistant Professor Dae Seok Chai was recently granted the 2018 Cutting Edge Award at the Academy of Human Resource Development conference for his paper, “The Multi-Level Effects of HR Practices and Paternalistic Leadership on Organizational Commitment.”

Chai is a faculty member in the School of Education’s Organizational Learning, Performance and Change program at Colorado State University, where his research focuses on expatriation effectiveness, human resource development in an international context, and leadership in diverse cultural contexts.

Recognizing cutting edge faculty

The AHRD conference is the main academic conference for those in the human resource development field. Chai has attended the annual conference nearly every year since 2007, to meet and interact with advisers, friends, colleagues, and those who have similar research interests to his own.

Chai presented two papers at the conference. First, he presented “The Neuroscience of Workplace Learning: An Integrative Review and Implications for HRD,” which focuses on an integrative literature review of what research has been found and will look like in the future regarding neuroscience and human resource development. Then, he presented his award-winning paper, which delves into quantitative research that identifies the impact of groups’ perceptions regarding paternalistic leadership and organizational commitment.

Throughout the entire conference, Chai was one of six to be awarded the Cutting Edge Award. While he had also been granted the award in 2013 as a Ph.D. student and third author, this was his first time to earn the honor as a first author.

“It was excellent to be recognized for this award,” Chai said. “It was really fascinating for me this time, especially as a first author.”

Filling multiple roles

While presenting and winning awards, Chai also worked as a track chair for the AHRD Global and Cross Cultural Issues track. As track chair, Chai had multiple responsibilities. In the months prior to the conference, he recruited authors and reviewers, and ensured that the paper-reviewing process went smoothly.

“I had to communicate with about 40-50 authors and around 80-100 reviewers, and it all happened within a two- or three-month period. I maintained all the records, all while making sure the submissions were correct,” said Chai. “It’s time-consuming but, at the same time, it’s rewarding because I can interact with a lot of international scholars, and American scholars who are interested in the international context.”

Chai began as an associate track chair for the conference as a Ph.D. student in 2015. The following year, he became an official track chair and has been one ever since. He looks forward to advancing to overall program chair for the Global and Cross Cultural Issues track in the future.

Support from peers and students

As a new assistant professor at CSU, this was Chai’s first time representing the University, along with colleagues Jill Zarestky and Sue Lynham, and students VA Barber, Christina Grant, and Lauren Hartig.

“It was really fascinating for me, because at my previous institution we had only two faculty members in HRD, and I was the only one really representing the institution at AHRD conferences,” said Chai. “Now, I have other faculty members and the students, so we can actually represent CSU, the School of Education, and the OLPC program. I feel like I have my colleagues and students supporting me, so it’s a great opportunity.”

With this support, Chai was able to find new opportunities, new connections, and new highlights at the AHRD conference. He looks forward to further conferences in the future.

“It was a first time for me to go to the conference with students,” he said. “It was the most interesting, dynamic, and interactive conference that I’ve ever had.”

The School of Education is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.