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Toby Egan Receives Best Journal Article Award: Third Since Joining UMD

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Toby Egan

For the third time since joining the University of Maryland School of Public Policy just over three years ago, Associate Professor Toby Egan has again been honored with a best journal article of the year award. Recently, Human Resource Development Quarterly (HRDQ), an interdisciplinary journal focusing on cross-sector workplace learning and performance, recognized Egan’s co-authored research as the outstanding article of the year. This was Egan’s (and co-authors’) second recognition by HRDQ; Egan was also honored with the Best Article Award by the Review of Public Personnel Administration (ROPPA), the top human capital focused journal in public administration and policy.

Egan has a faculty appointment in both the School of Public Policy and the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and as the faculty director of the Do Good Institute. His work spans sectors (government, for-profit and nonprofit), and his research is providing insight into frequently utilized yet understudied workplace development practices, is multinational in scope and involves his former doctoral advisees and mentees as co-authors. Egan has also been named as a top contributor in workplace-related learning and development.

Growing Workplace Investments, Limited Evidence on Efficacy

A differentiator across private organizations and government agencies is the effectiveness of their workforces. To advance manager and employee impact and increase overall performance, leaders seek promising performance interventions with little insight into their efficacy. In his most recent HRDQ article, Egan examined the use of lean strategy in U.S. firms seeking to make the most of their resources while advancing employee performance and productivity. The study findings elaborate on key elements of strategic alignment between operations and human capital toward major advances in organizational performance. His other article, also recognized by HRDQ, found significant impact of organizational support for action learning practices on firm performance overall. Egan’s ROPPA article featured findings from a comparative study examining the impact of managerial coaching behaviors on government employee performance. This research is informed by Egan’s extensive leadership, practice and consulting experience to inform evidence-based research-to-practice approaches to organizational effectiveness.

Multiple Approaches to Multi-National Research

Another unique aspect of these articles is that each utilized a different research methodology. The most recent winning article utilized qualitative methods that included individual interviews, focus groups, systematic observation and validity checks with the executive teams from each U.S. organization. A second article utilized quantitative survey results to compare managerial practices between Korean and U.S. governmental agencies. The third used a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative data collection resulting in more nuanced elaboration of practices across 28 Asian multinational organizations.

Mentoring Students and Faculty

Each of these three studies were not only recognized internationally, but represent a mentoring relationship between Egan and his co-authors. In two cases, collaborators were Egan’s doctoral advisees who are now tenured faculty members at the University of Louisville and the State University of New York. A third has been a mentee for more than 10 years and is now a tenured associate professor at Indiana University. In all, Egan’s 20 graduated doctoral advisees are faculty and/or administrators at 12 U.S. universities and internationally, and have been awarded 14 best dissertation awards from scholarly research associations and their home universities and seven best journal article awards.

Links to Egan’s awarding winning articles:

“Towards an Understanding of HRD Lean Strategy Linkages: A Multicase Study of Four U.S. Based Firms”

“Managerial Coaching Efficacy, Work Related Attitudes and Performance in Public Organizations”

“Organizational Support for Action Learning in South Korean Organizations”

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Megan Campbell
Senior Director of Strategic Communications
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