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Professor Jacobs presented in the 33rd lecture of Beihang Lecture Series of Economics and Business: Understanding knowledge work

Publish Date: 2019/11/12 08:22:36    Hits:

Professor Ronald L. Jacobs, from human resource development at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the United States, presented on “Understanding knowledge work: New challenge for developing human capital in the digital economy” for the 33rdlecture of Beihang Lecture Series of Economics and Business. The presentation focused on understanding how work is becoming more complex, requiring employees to use their cognitive abilities more than ever before. Many observers refer to this phenomenon as knowledge work, following the early predictions of the management theorist, Peter Drucker, in 1957. The field of human resource development (HRD) is uniquely suited to helping to understand knowledge work because of its general emphasis on work, learning, and performance. The presentation provided a recent definition of the HRD field and suggested how HRD research might advance the needs of societies through more engaged research approaches such as partnership research.

A total of about 40 faculty members and students from the School of Economics and Management, faculty from other schools and another university, and industrial leaders attended this lecture. The presentation provoked much thoughtful questions and discussion.

The attendees discussed in depth with Professor Jacobs on points including practical scope of the new definition, the urgency of improving HRD in China, and how relatively young faculty might balance scholarship and practical impact. After the lecture, the attendees stated that the lecture was quite informative and inspiring. The international students who attended the lecture made special notes that this lecture was the only foreign expert lecture centered on human resources within a relatively long period and that they learned a lot from it. Some professors expressed deep interest in follow-up collaboration opportunities.