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How a Project Came to Life

Monday, April 3, 2006
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The Turning Points feature and timeline are the end results of a great deal of coordination and cooperation.

In order to create a list of the key historical events that forever affected or altered the human resource profession, we assembled a prestigious group of experts from the HR and academic communities. Based on input from this panel of eight, our editorial board was able to produce a list of 40 important events. Our experts were asked to select the 10 events they considered to be the most significant.

From those votes, 20 turning points were established as the panel's collective choices, ranging from the American Industrial Revolution to today's end-to-end HR outsourcing trend.

Richard Stolz, who was assigned to write our cover story, Turning Points in HR, then interviewed the experts for their insights and analyses.

We wish to thank our panelists for making this important and challenging story possible, for helping us interpret for the reader each moment's significance and for offering predictions of turning points to come.

The panelists were:

John Boudreau, professor and research director at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business and Center for Effective Organizations. A prolific author, he is recognized worldwide for breakthrough research on the bridge between superior human capital, talent and sustainable competitive advantage. He also consults and conducts executive development with companies worldwide, including Boeing, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Citigroup, Corning, Dell, Frito-Lay, GE, The Hartford, Merck and others.

Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management and director of the Center for Human Resource Management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is co-director of the U.S. Department of Education National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research and editor of the Academy of Management Executive. He has received numerous teaching awards and has served as senior adviser to the Kingdom of Bahrain. He is also a prolific author.

Lee Dyer, professor of human resource studies in the Department of Human Resource Studies and the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations. His teaching and research interests focus on organizational agility, human resource strategy and especially the interaction between the two. He received the Academy of Management's Herbert G. Heneman Jr. Career Achievement Award in 2003 and the Society of Human Resource Management's Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award in 2004.

Fred Foulkes, director of the Human Resources Policy Institute at Boston University's School of Management and a respected HR professional as well. He is a consultant to several large companies, and leads and participates in many company executive-development programs. Foulkes received an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and M.B.A. and D.B.A. degrees from Harvard University. He was a member of the Harvard Business School faculty prior to joining the faculty of Boston University, where he teaches courses in human resource management, strategic management and labor and personnel relations. He is program director of the Northeast Human Resources Association's Senior Executive Forum and a senior adviser to the board.

Michael R. Losey, past president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. He served 30 years in management and executive-level positions with two Fortune 500 organizations. He has been active in international human resources and is a past president of the North American Human Resource Management Association. He also served on the SHRM Board of Directors and boards of the Human Resource Certification Institute, the SHRM Foundation, and the National Academy of Human Resources, which he helped establishe and where he is currently a fellow. Losey is a frequent speaker to groups in the United States and abroad, and has written numerous books.

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Daniel Quinn Mills, Albert J. Weatherhead Jr. Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and a consultant with major corporations and government agencies. He is a prolific and well-respected author on business and HR issues and is a member of the Panel of Thought Leaders of the Peter Drucker Foundation.

Daniel J.B. Mitchell, Ho-su Wu professor at the Anderson Graduate School of Management and the School of Public Affairs at UCLA. He is a renowned speaker and author who has served on the executive boards of the Industrial Relations Research Association, the North American Economics and Finance Association and the Institute of Industrial Relations Association. He has also served as a consultant to the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Reserve Board, the President's Council on Wage and Price Stability, the U.S. Department of Labor and the International Labour Organisation.

Sheila Wellington, former president of Catalyst, the nation's premier, nonprofit research and advisory organization on women's private-sector leadership, and now clinical professor of management at New York University's Stern School of Business. She is the author of Be Your Own Mentor and a trustee of the Nuveen Select Portfolios, and has served on presidential, federal and state commissions. She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Yale School of Public Health in 2002, was inducted into the National Academy of Human Resources and serves on the Board of the United Way of America.

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