Salas Wins SHRM Foundation Research Award

By Nancy Davis and Kathy Gurchiek October 10, 2012
 Salas Wins SHRM Foundation Research Award
Eduardo Salas, Ph.D., center, receives the 2012 Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award. Photo by Steven Purcell.

PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.—Eduardo Salas, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2012 Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award, for his extensive research into team competencies, team mental models and team training during his nearly 30-year career.

The announcement of the award, which consists of a plaque and $50,000, came during the general session of the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2012 Strategy Conference here Oct. 4, 2012.

The award recognizes significant contributions by a researcher that have an impact on the HR management field, said Henry G. “Hank” Jackson, SHRM president and CEO.

Howard J. Klein, HR professor at The Ohio State University and chairman of the SHRM Foundation Board, recognized Salas as an international expert in the field of team dynamics whose thinking has helped bridge academic fields such as organizational psychology and human resources.

“As important as his body of work is, his equal contribution is the insistence that students be able to translate their research in practical terms,” Klein said.

Gardiner Hempel Jr., CPA, GPHR, chairman of the HR Certification Institute Board, called Salas a “prolific researcher” and lauded him for having “shaped the thinking of leaders” throughout the nation’s public and private sectors, the military, and educational institutions. Hempel is a partner in the Global Employer Services practice of Deloitte Tax LLP.

“I wanted to be an organizational psychologist and use science to help the practice,” Salas told conference attendees, who later gave him a standing ovation. “I never thought I’d get such recognition.”

He was nominated for the award by two former students, one of whom was in the audience.

“It’s a good lesson,” Salas joked. “Always be good to your students.”

He teaches in the psychology department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he conducts research; is Pegasus Professor and University Trustee Chair; and is responsible for teaching graduate courses in personnel and organizational psychology, training, and human factors. Additionally, he is program director and professor for the university’s Institute for Simulation & Training and has received numerous awards and citations for his research.

He has served as management consultant to numerous corporations, businesses and government agencies, including working as senior research psychologist and head of the Training Technology Development Branch of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando for 15 years.

His international management research and applications experience includes serving as organizational consultant for the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile.

Salas received his bachelor’s degree in general psychology at Florida International University in Miami, his master’s degree in industrial psychology at the University of Central Florida and his doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

The boards of directors for SHRM, the SHRM Foundation and the HR Certification Institute established the award to recognize the lifetime achievement in HR of Michael R. Losey, who retired as president and CEO of SHRM in 2000.

Past Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award Winners

Nancy Davis is editor of HR Magazine, and Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor of HR News.


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