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Management Development Essay

The mall trends in MD and how will it evolve In the future? Will leadership development and management development will continue to co-exalts or will one supplant the other? Introduction The concept of management development (MD) refers to the structured procedure by which managers learn and improve their skills, competences and knowledge through formal and informal learning techniques, with the aim of benefiting both individual and organizational performance (CUPID, 2004).

It is a practitioner focused concept which has the objective of developing individual knowledge and various other managerial skills possessed by the manager, and the various techniques applied may include classroom tuition, seminars and on-the-job training. The concept has taken on the centre stage in importance due mainly to the convergence of historical practice, emerging discussions and current trends in business, and it has continued to evolve especially in the last thirty years.

This is mainly because of the critical nature of the need to sustain the performance of managers at the highest levels In order to enhance organizational sustainability. The fact that organizations continue o face In challenges In the business world Is responsible for the growing emphasis on management development (MD), according to Vices (1998), these challenges include trends such

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as globalization, technology revolutions, downsizing, and re- engineering.

This has resulted in flatter, flexible, more efficient, more customer oriented organizations that are focused on shorter periods in managing performance (Sutra and Villa, 2008). Perhaps the concept of stringent cost management can be added to these developments which have all combined together to re-define today’s business processes and practices around the world. The constant changes and the unpredictable nature of global business has led to the need for managers with more complex and adaptive thinking abilities, hence MD methods need to evolve continuously, so that organizations will be prepared to face future challenges.

This paper discusses the concept of leadership and management development from the perspective of the mall trends within research and practice and how It will evolve In future. Definition of Management Development Management development (MD) is essential for efficient and effective performance of organizations, and specific skills, competences and capabilities that are required for optimal performance of leaders and managers need to be improved and enhanced on a continuous basis. Jackson et al. (2003) suggested that MD has to be seen as developing and maintaining the full management and organizational capability of an organization.

Several different definitions exist for MD, and Lees (1992) accurately suggested that MD Is an ambiguous concept, attracting multiple and often conflicting definitions, and conveying different meanings to different people both in literature and organizations. Also, Storey (1989) suggested that the conceptualizations about what MD is, is more concerned with what MD stands for simply because MD is merely a means to an end, and not the end itself, and therefore the treatments of the objective of MD is what Is more Important.

For the purpose of this paper, the defined MD as the expansion of a person’s capacity to be effective in a manager’s roles and processes. Trends in Management Development The evolution of management and leadership development can be perceived from the activities that are performed within work situations, and various schools of Hough have provided direction based on past theories and studies on managerial activities (Cotter, 1982, Cotter, 1990, Integers, 1973, Stewart, 1988).

MD grew in importance within corporate agendas due to the application of the competence based model, especially in western countries (Brioche and Hall, 1999, Finch-Lees et al. , 2005). According to Sutra and Vital (2008), competence is the totality of all experiences, knowledge and skills, traits, aspects of self-image or social role, values and attitudes which a manager acquires during in his interactions with others inside or outside the organization.

Caravan and McGuire (2001) suggested that there are various conceptualizations of competencies across countries, however, Hogan and Warrenton (2003) provided a categorization of identified managerial competencies based on broad and general skill categories such as: Interpersonal skills; Interpersonal skills; Leadership skills; and Business skills (Hogan and Warrenton, 2003). These competencies are essential for the optimal performance of managers going by Integer’s (1973) definition of leadership roles which all come together to reflect the requirements of a manager’s competences that are associated with the role.

From a behavioral perspective, Bass (1985) discussed the concept of transformational leadership as part of management development, and more recently, Maybe and Thomson (2000) highlighted some specific management skills in high demand by organizations that are perceived to enhance their performance on the Job such as managing people, leadership, team working, these concepts encompass the various activities performed by both leaders and managers.

Towards the end of the 20th century, management development was divided along three categories: management education, management training, and on-the-Job experience, and this division squired that management training should include techniques such as business games, case method, and other simulations (Wesley and Baldwin, 1986). Trends in the field of management development has continued to evolve since the late 20th century when research direction followed the call for accountability, increase in experience-based techniques, availability of educational technology, and the recognition of the need for ‘lifetime learning (Keys and Wolfe, 1988).

MD is regarded as a key technique for stimulating organizations and building learning oriented overall competitiveness rather than Just concentrating on few individuals (Conger ND Jinx, 2000). Some of the core issues in MD activities in the asses centered on managing and leading change, for instance, Doyle (1995) reported that management training activity during organizational change was often resisted due to the residual culture and style of the managers.

Also, Hellhole (1999) approached MD from cultural change perspective and suggested that the problem of senior management training tends more towards being remedial, and argued further that feedback can help managers realize the importance of change especially within organizational of MD in the I-J is affected by a conventional view of what its proper realm of once should be.

Based on this suggestion, Caravan et al. (1999) argued that several underlying issues needed to be addressed if organizations and their managers are to be made more effective, and these issues include: Job definition, selection, training and development, the identification of development needs, culture and context, and the link between development and organizational systems and structures.

They identified the various alternative MD delivery strategies to include: In-house development, external development programmers, training centers, performance review, career development, Job rotation, condiments, international assignments, consultants, mentoring, counseling, coaching, organizational role analysis, task force/project groups, seminars/workshops, group training programmers, action learning, self development group, learning contracts, peer relationships and outdoor management programmers.

While these delivery strategies have their merits and demerits (Caravan et al. , 1999), Burgeoned and Stuart (1991) was particular about their abstract, detached and artificial nature, which they argued can never compensate for the reality of dealing with everyday managerial problems. Added to his is the problem of finding relevant programmer materials which meet the needs of individual managers and organizations (Caravan et al. , 1999).

In recent times however, MD has expanded in scope to include outsourcing which refers to training delivered to organizations by private training suppliers, executive education delivered by business schools as of in-premises or consortium activity, management training provided through a wide range of professional bodies as part of accreditation and continuing professional development (CAP), and e-learning which is the latest form of distance learning (Burgeoned, 2001).

Burgeoned et al. (2004) ported the increasing interest in the use of e-learning presented as programmers within a ‘corporate university, and that this delivery technique was used alongside face-to-face leadership skill development rather than attempting to replace the personal contact in management development because of its perceived benefits of social and cultural awareness created among the participants.

Notwithstanding, Hirsch and Carter (2002) reported that changes in management development activities resulted from changes in the nature of challenges which organizations perceive for their managers especially in the leadership aspects of their Jobs, and the hanging notions regarding how people learn, particularly higher interest in work- based learning, as well as the type of learning that engages managers at a deeper personal level in their learning.

Further, they reported that management training needs to provide a coherent view of what managers need to learn, but delivery needs to fit around the busy working lives of managers; however the development of inter- personal leadership skills is high priority, though not easily achieved through formal training. Also that interest is more into personal forms of development such as coaching and mentoring, and that most managers have to manage their own careers with little or no effective support; hence, they are not able to help in developing others (Werner-Brome and Hughes, 2004).

Hogan and Warrenton (2003) examined the different approaches applied in MD as a continuum between a behaviorism conception and a constructivist conception, and while the behaviorism conception deeper understanding, the constructivist conception views MD as a process of constructing mental models that are suited for interpreting organizational phenomena with no importance attached to tangible skills. According to Werner-

Brome and Hughes (2004), two main trends have emerged in the field of management development in the past two decades: the proliferation of development methods, and the importance of managers’ emotional resonance with and impact on others. The proliferation of development methods is evidenced by the constant pressure on business schools to renew and refresh what they offer to executives, and a manifestation of new content, new processes of delivery, and new insights in the fundamental purpose of management development (Evolve and Honoree, 2008).

However, the contributions of business schools to management development mutinous to grow ever smaller due mainly to challenges from researchers within the field (Shoal, 2005, Integers, 2004), and those of skeptics from outside (Bradshaw, 2007, Spanker, 2008). According to Evolve and Honoree (2008), the criticism that business schools are disconnected from the reality of management practice, with their research having minute relevance to managers and leaders has contributed to the evolution of the management development field.

They also highlighted other contributors to include global competition, changing corporate needs and higher client expectations. However, Fairs et al. 2003) argued that organizations are becoming ever more selective regarding who attends what programs, while Williams (2006) highlighted that organizations continue to seek better value for their investments.

On the other hand, the positive aspects of management development is the increasing importance of capability-based capital, internet ennoblement which has reduced the world into a ‘global village’ in spite of the distances between countries, technological advances, and the view that education should be a process, and not an event (Lippies, 2001). In a longitudinal study, Dent and Hilton (2008) reported that efferent management challenges dominated the field of management development in the UK and much of Europe between 2004 and 2008.

In 2004, challenges include demographics, corporate responsibility, working hours’ debate, increasing complexity of business processes, and explosion of CIT (information and communications technology). Although, some of the challenges noted in 2004 were still current in 2008, working hours debate had changed to work-life balance, globalization is a new challenge which supersedes the challenge of demographics in 2004, while the challenge of an ageing workforce is a new challenge in Europe and Asia, this is pulled with the a new demographic issue of migrant unskilled workers across Europe and from Africa into Europe (Dent and Hilton, 2008).

All of these cascade into the wider concept of globalization. Werner-Brome and Hughes (2004) suggested several future trends in MD to include globalization and internationalization of management, concepts, constructs, and development methods, the role of technology, pressure to demonstrate return on investment, and new ways of thinking about the nature of management and management development.

In spite of the positive arguments, Sutra and Vital (2008) suggested that there has been a active shift away from business school-based development towards in-company programmers, and mainly content focus has also shifted from functional knowledge to teacher-centered to learner-centered, and all of these has created a situational trend toward shorter, flatter though large-scale, cascaded programmers directed at staff at a multiple levels rather than Just at the top.

Conclusion The current situation in the field of MD development is that the environment has changed drastically from what used to be known, it is now more complex, volatile, dynamic and unpredictable. The necessary skills for leadership has also changed as ore complex and adaptive thinking skills are required, and this has necessitated a change in the development approaches that were the most popular and acceptable, although not much of the approached have changed to date.

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