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Lee honored for career achievement by Academy of Management HR Division

Thomas LeeThomas W. Lee, the Hughes M. Blake Professor of Management at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has received the 2015 Herbert Heneman Jr. Award for Career Achievement from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management. The award is presented annually to a most distinguished scholar in the field of human resources management.

“The Heneman Award is the HR Division’s highest scholarly career award, with winners having made multiple and substantive contributions to the field of Human Resource Management over the course of their careers,” says Fred Morgeson, chair of the academy’s HR Division. “Tom certainly exemplifies all the best qualities of a high-impact HR scholar and is highly deserving of this award.”

Publishing powerhouse

Since joining the Foster School in 1983, Lee has been a publishing powerhouse. He has co-authored more than 85 papers that have appeared in his discipline’s top peer-reviewed journals, and profoundly shaped the way that scholars and managers understand employee turnover and retention.

That scholarly work has earned a long list of accolades, most recently the HR Division’s 2013 Scholarly Achievement Award for his 2012 study, “When employees are out of step with coworkers: how job satisfaction trajectories and dispersion influence individual- and unit-level voluntary turnover.” The article—finding that job satisfaction, over time and in context, is the best predictor of voluntary turnover—is co-authored by Lee’s former students Dong Liu and Brooks Holtom, frequent collaborator Terence Mitchell, the Edward E. Carlson Distinguished Professor in Business Administration at Foster, by Timothy Hinkin.

Lee’s 2006 paper, “Increasing human and social capital by applying job embeddedness theory” (with Holtom and Mitchell), was named the Outstanding Practitioner Oriented Publication in Organizational Behavior for 2006.

And he won the 2001 Outstanding Organizational Behavior Publication award from the OB Division of the Academy of Management for “The unfolding model of voluntary turnover and job embeddedness: foundations for a comprehensive theory of attachment” (with Mitchell).

Lee’s recent publications include findings that a work environment empowering autonomy is key to retaining high-value employees, and that local college basketball recruits tend to be better performers, provided there’s stability in the coaching staff.

Academic triathlete

More than simply a remarkable scholar, Lee is a complete academic. In a recent Journal of Management Inquiry article, author Sarah Kovoor-Misra offered Lee as an exemplar of the “academic triathlete” who excels at research, teaching and service—often concurrently, in his case.

While building his prolific track record of publication, Lee has also served as editor of the Academy of Management Journal and on the editorial boards of eight other journals. He’s a fellow of the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

He has taught every level of student at the Foster School—undergraduates, MBAs, executive MBAs and especially PhDs whom he has mentored by the dozen.

Regarding academic and administrative duty, Lee has served as associate dean for academic & faculty affairs at the Foster School for over a decade, and has contributed to scores of task forces, councils and committees. He filled a variety of offices for the Academy of Management from 2004-2010, including a year as president (2007-2008).

Lee will receive the Heneman Award for Career Achievement at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in August.