Dr. Blake Frank, associate professor of management, has been a part of the University of Dallas community since 1996. His professional background lies in industrial organizational psychology, with most of his career spent in private industry. Earning his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Houston, it's no wonder he started a job at Shell after graduate school.
According to Professor Frank, his interest in industrial psychology was "accidentally serendipitous." He recalls taking a career assessment in college, which his friend was supposed to take, and the assessment suggested the field of Industrial Psychology as a career path for him. "It turns out that it was something that I really liked."
The bulk of his experience has been in understanding the effective utilization of human resources within organizations. According to Frank, that simply means "getting and keeping the right people."
At UD, Dr. Frank teaches Human Resources and Organizational Development courses, which deal with personnel and organizational effectiveness as well as human behavior within organizations. In his courses, he also teaches about value-based leadership, which poses the question: "What does a leader really contribute to an organization?"
Through his knowledge as a practitioner and professor, Frank believes that "leaders create value in a lot of different ways." He says truly effective leaders provide vision and direction. "A leader can't lead without followers." It's up to the leader, however, to know what strengths his/her followers have in order to effectively delegate tasks.
In the classroom, he prefers to create dialogue in his courses versus discussion. From his point of view, dialogue opens the mind to the possibility of change. Through dialogue, which he says is a learning tool, one is asked to suspend their assumptions. "Assumptions can be barriers to learning."
It is evident that Professor Frank is a proud member of the University's community. "I enjoy the university atmosphere in general," he says. "I like the collaboration with my fellow faculty members, and the interaction with students."
Dr. Frank also enjoys the freedom that comes with working at a university, and the learning he gets from students. "Education is not a one-way street; professors learn a lot from their students, too."
He is currently working on a research project with a psychologist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. They are focusing their studies on nurses at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and the attachment theory, which details the way in which individuals interact with those closest to them. The two have constructed an assessment instrument that will evaluate the attachments that individuals form in a work environment. They plan to release the results of the study this summer.