Beyond the bio: Rick Hackett

| Hamilton, Ontario
Contributed by Rick Hackett, Professor of Human Resources & Management

361r-rick-hackett-2012_ppRick Hackett, a professor of Human Resources and Management and Canadian Research Chair in Organizational Behaviour and Human Performance, Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association is the featured speaker at this month’s Research@DeGroote seminar at the Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington.

In a few sentences, please summarize your academic/business career leading up to you joining DeGroote.

I started at DeGroote right after receiving my doctoral degree from Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Ohio in 1986. During my time at BGSU I was involved in a leadership assessment center servicing leaders in the Regional Health Care sector, which provided a foundation for my research in executive assessment and leadership.

What is the most interesting place/event/moment that your research/career has led you to?

I remember most vividly doing a project for the RCMP, an audit, with recommendations, of their internal promotion policies and practices. This project had me flying across northern Canada on the Commissioner’s private jet, visiting remote RCMP detachments (throughout NWT and Yukon) where I held several focus group sessions and went on patrol to observe first hand officers performing.

Why academia? What led you to teach?

Academia provides considerable autonomy, and the infrastructure, platform and support systems to satisfy my thirst for acquiring and generating knowledge. Teaching reinforces and extends knowledge, as preparing for classes and responding to student inquiries pushes you to a broader and deeper understanding. There is also a symbiotic relationship between my research and helping organizations, so in a way, I have one foot in academia and another in the applied workplace (best of both worlds). Finally, academia provides abundant opportunity to travel the world to share knowledge and engage in collaborative projects. So, for example, my family and I spent two years in Hong Kong (2001-03), at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, from which several collaborative research projects on leadership developed.

What is your ‘bold prediction’ for your field?

Harnessing data analytics to inform and direct several aspects of human resources management (recruitment, selection, classification, development, performance management) will become commonplace and advances in technology will fundamentally change the world of work in myriad ways – too many to explicate here.

What is the first thing your students learn about you that isn’t in your academic bio?

I suppose you would have to ask my students. My hope is that they see me as passionate in what I do, caring, approachable and authentic.

What excites you about your current research interests?

What excites me is the opportunity to build knowledge about leaders, their followers, and their interactions with one another. I am especially keen to know how heuristics and biases play out in the judgments and decisions made by each party; and in particular, within the moral, ethical and political realm. I also thrive on the challenge to apply any newly acquired knowledge here to the benefit of organizations and their employees.

Rick Hackett will be speaking on the topic of “Leader virtues: building trust, engagement and organizational success.” at Research @ DeGroote on Friday, April 25, 2014. There is no charge to attend this event. Please note that space is limited; therefore your registration is kindly requested.

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