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Meet Dr. Maddox

Jim is a teacher of peace, a mountain lover, a higher purpose seeker and a wanderlust traveler. He continues to live this pursuit as an organizational development consultant and professor since 1994. He’s passionate about helping individuals and organizations experience life to the fullest while engaging in positive, transformational change. 

He has a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Ph.D. in Human Resource Development from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Maddox is a Certified Management Trainer with Zenger-Miller/Achieve Global and a Registered Organization Development Consultant (RODC). 

Jim is on the faculty of the University of Arkansas where he serves as an Assistant Teaching Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator for the Human Resource and Workforce Development program. His current focus centers on facilitating transformational change in developing communities and organizations and exploring the construct of resistance to change.

Teaching interests

Organization development
Organizational change
Strategic HRD
International HRD/OD

Research interests

Resistance to change
Organizational mindfulness
International organization development

Statement of teaching philosophy

Co-creating learning opportunities

My philosophy is more of a learning philosophy than a teaching philosophy. My learning philosophy is grounded in co-creating learning opportunities with my students. The process begins by creating a space where students feel valued and safe to explore new ideas. By being authentic and open with my students, I help create an environment where the students then feel they can be authentic and can challenge themselves and take risks around their passions and their assumptions, and develop their sense of self.

Students as active participants

The students in my classes are active participants in shaping the learning. I provide content expertise and serve as a subject matter expert. I also serve as a facilitator of the learning process. In higher education, professors are called to be both a “sage on the stage” and a “guide on the side” simultaneously. In many respects, I am a co-learner with the students and together we gain new insights and knowledge. In this way, the learning is true learning/action research.

Synthesizing new ideas

I believe theory is critical for a foundational base, but this must be coupled with application. Learning really only takes place when it has been applied and some change (behavioral, cognitive, affective, etc.) has taken place. This learning not only entails theories and concepts, but also the ability to think critically, to synthesize new ideas with current knowledge, and for students to continue their journeys as life-long learners.

Small groups and the Socratic method

Each student has their own learning style and I use a variety of teaching techniques. Very little of my teaching involves lectures. Lectures have a role, such as when introducing a new or unfamiliar theory. I will conduct what I call a “mini-lecture” of 15 to 20 minutes followed by questions and small group discussion. I use a more Socratic method of open discussion. I use case studies and draw upon the student’s own experiences to help the students discover connections and application and to synthesize the ideas and concepts into their own experiential base.

Multiple modes of learning

Hands-on exercises, outside-the-classroom activities, videos, and drawing from students’ own experiences help them synthesis and “make sense” of the concepts and ideas. Throughout the different learning activities, I use different-sized groups to structure teamwork and collaboration. While this is often “messy,” it more closely replicates what students will encounter in their own organizations.

The privilege of touching lives

In summary, my learning philosophy centers on the student. I help co-create a space where students can learn. I try and have an engaging classroom, with a variety of media modalities, and focus on application. The greatest reward is to run into a former student several years later and have them comment on their learning experience and how it changed or shaped their life. Teaching for me is a passionate calling, and I believe truly “teaching is to touch a life forever.”

Publications highlights

Maddox, J.F. (2020). When it is OK to Embrace Resistance to Change. Insights, Association of Talent Development. August 14, 2020.

Maddox, J.F., & Replogle, S. (2019). Strategic Change at a Hospital in Ecuador: Impact of Culture and Employee Engagement. Organization Development Journal, Fall.

Maddox, J.F. & Johnson, J. (2018). What Professors Would Like Their New Presidents to Know. Journal of Research on the College President. Fall, Volume 2

Derek, B., Eaton, E., Ecklund, R., Frierson, R., Maddox J. F., Odhiambo, R., Thomas, M., & White, D. Creating Sustainable Engagements: Lessons Learned While Consulting in Ghana. Organization Development Journal. Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer, 2016.

Dr. Jim Maddox CV

Download .pdf for complete qualifications, certifications, experience, and publication history.