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CWRU’s Richard Boyatzis to receive Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to human resources

Richard Boyatzis has produced decades of management research that changed and set the foundation for how human resources (HR) professionals evaluate the people who can successfully manage organizations. He lectures internationally about emotional intelligence, a necessary ability of management leaders.

For his contributions to HR, Boyatzis, a Distinguished University Professor in organizational behavior, psychology and cognitive science and the H.R. Horvitz Chair of Family Business at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Archer Awards in Cleveland.

Now in its seventh year, the Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Awards program, in partnership with Howard & O’Brien Executive Search, celebrates Northeast Ohio’s top HR professionals. Archer Awards honorees will be highlighted in a special Aug. 7 Crain’s Cleveland Business section and recognized at an event Aug. 17 at the Cleveland InterContinental Hotel.

Boyatzis is the first non-practitioner to receive the award.

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Richard Boyatzis

Boyatzis learned about the honor from John O’Brien, a partner at Howard & O’Brien Executive Search and a former Boyatzis student. O’Brien earned his Executive MBA from the Weatherhead School, a program where he learned directly from Boyatzis.

Executive recruiters look for a leader with proven competencies and the demonstrated emotional, social and cognitive intelligence, and Boyatzis is widely recognized as an expert in those areas.

“I have two audiences—scholars doing their own research and people putting it into practice in the HR community,” Boyatzis said. “Over the past 50 years, I’ve given countless talks to HR associations and societies.”

Of growing interest to HR professionals, he said, is the ability for a manager to coach others. In fact, coaching is a recent research focus for Boyatzis.

In 1970, Boyatzis did a competency study in which he sought to identify characteristics to “differentiate outstanding performance,” such as efficiency orientation, proactivity, self-confidence and managing group processes.

Boyatzis said that research resulted in a change from the accepted strategy of testing intelligence, generally, such as a person’s IQ. Competency testing branched out to the United States military, and then to business, he said.

In 1982, Boyatzis’ book, The Competent Manager, examined competencies against performance data across multiple organizations.

“I started giving talks in 1979 that competencies were the DNA of the entire HR system,” he said. “By the late 1980s, that approach became the standard for human resources.”

Boyatzis has written more than 200 articles and eight books, including Primal Leadership, Becoming a Resonant Leader and Resonant Leadership.

Learn more about the Archer Awards at

This article was originally published March 27, 2017.