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Teachers College, Columbia University
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TC Paper on the Building of Social Capital Wins Research Award

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Lyle Yorks

Lyle Yorks, Associate Professor of Adult and Continuing Education

Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura

Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura, Ed.D. '10

Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura (Ed.D. ’10) and faculty member Lyle Yorks are honored by the Academy of Human Resource Development

A paper co-authored by Yoshie Tomozumi Nakamura, who received her doctorate from TC’s program in Adult Learning and Leadership in 2010, and her former advisor, Lyle Yorks, Associate Professor of Adult and Continuing Education, has received the 2011 Elwood F. Holton III Research Award. The honor, bestowed by the Academy of Human Resource Development, recognizes the year’s outstanding article in the Human Resource Development Review.

Titled “The Role of Reflective Practices in Building Social Capital in Organizations from an HRD Perspective,” the paper by Nakamura and Yorks “develops an interactive model between social capital and adult learning theory,” Nakamura says.

The term “social capital” describes the degree of productivity that organizations and individuals achieve as a result of the ways their networks of social contacts are organized.  Human resource development practitioners—the people who create and implement training programs, leadership activities and so on—can design tools to help build social capital.

Yet such interventions often fail to promote the less formal kinds of interactions known as “reflective practices.”

“Reflective practices happen when more than two people interact with each other, share information and opinion,” Nakamura says. “They trigger people to think further: ‘Oh, I never thought of that!’”

In their article, which includes a detailed review of literature in the field, Nakamura and Yorks argue for an integration of traditional measures to build social capital with strategies from the field of adult learning, including coaching, deployment of virtual communication tools, and networking activities or other forums that promote story-telling.

In her position at Columbia Business School, Nakamura researches executive education programs, their benefits, and their return on investment. Her work also includes organizational development designing strategy development workshops and facilitating new initiatives across functions. She provides coaching to executives hone their leadership skills as well.

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