Richard A. Swanson

Richard A. Swanson

Hall of Fame Class of 2001

Richard Swanson is Professor of Human Resource Development and Adult Education at the University of Minnesota. He is an internationally recognized authority on organizational change, performance improvement, the strategic roles of human resource development, adult learning, the analysis and evaluation of work behavior, and financial analysis of human capital investments. He served as Director of Graduate Studies in Industrial Technology at the University of Northern Iowa, and Director of Graduate Studies in Career Education and Technology at Bowling Green State University. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Swanson has performed consulting work for several of the largest U.S. corporations in the areas of performance improvement in goods and service producing organizations, strategic human resource planning, personnel training, organization development, and quality improvement. He has documented core business processes, designed management development programs, produced self-instructional technical training materials, guided organizational change efforts, and determined ROI of human capital investments. He has conducted study trips to Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, and South Africa for the purpose of studying their performance improvement, organization development, and personnel training practices.

Dr. Swanson is a widely published author. His book, Analysis for Improving Performance: Tools for Diagnosing Organizations and Documenting Workplace Expertise, received the outstanding book awards from the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Society for Human Resource Management. He also wrote The Adult Learner 5th Edition, with Knowles, Holton, and Swanson, and Results: How to Assess Performance, Learning, and Perceptions in Organizations by Swanson and Holton (Berrett-Koehler, 1999) that is the main selection by the Executive Program Book Club. 

In 1993, Dr. Swanson received the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) professor's network national award for his "Outstanding Contribution to the Academic Advancement of Human Resource Development." In 1995, ASTD/AHRD established the Richard A. Swanson Award for Excellence in Research. Swanson received the Outstanding HRD Scholar Award in 2000 from AHRD.