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Theories of Management Development Introduction Management development is the process in which managers learn and improve their skills not only to benefit themselves but also their employing organizations (Dalton, 2010). It is apparent that management is a subject that continues to evolve due to the continuing practice of administering organizations…
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Download file to see previous pages Therefore, not all lessons in management development are products of theories alone. It can be said that management development theories give a framework of analysis and understanding in modeling the learning process in real world experience. It is imperative for business organizations to give emphasis to management development. In fact, it “should be central to business strategy” and “learning should be a cherished organizational value” (Thomson et al., 2011). This paper aims to provide a brief discussion on the basic theories involved in management development. To do so, every theory would be provided ample space for articulation and are divided into sections of this essay. Steps in Management Development Mumford points out that management development, generally, cannot be planned or intentionally initiated. What can be done, however, is that the experiences of managers which may be accidental, unintentional, and informal should be assessed and considered as a learning experience afterwards (Mumford & Gold, 2004). However, there is an opposing view on this matter. Ashton defines management development as a conscious and systematic decision making process to control the development of managerial resources and achieve organizational goals and strategies (Dalton, 2010). Ashton’s model defines three patterns that an organization can take up in management development. The first pattern is where there is little or no commitment to management development from line managers. The second is where the line managers are uncertain about the merits of development and participate with low commitment and the third is where the line managers embrace the development concept and integrate it with normal activities. The model emphasizes on the contextual elements such as the goodwill and motivation of key stakeholders in determining the nature of management development. It is apparent that Ashton takes into consideration the three possible attitudes of managers towards the aspect of continuous build-up of leadership skills. The Ashridge 4F Model The model holds out the prospect of steady movement to higher levels of management development sophistication, strategic integration and purpose. This model has four stages which include the fragmented approach, the formalized approach, the focused approach and the fully integrated model (Select Knowledge, 2001). At a glance, this theory may be considered as the combination of the Mumford’s thesis and the Ashton management development model. This is because the 4F model actually integrates the essential assertion of Mumford that learning in management is not always formal or planned. However, it also takes a proactive approach, overcoming the empiricist tendency of Mumford’s argument. The fragmented approach is where management development is unplanned thus little connection between the development of organizational goals and the management development. The formalized approach is systematic, planned and integrated with other human resources management functions. This approach is a formal analysis and practice which may be a demerit to the organization. The focused approach is based on continuous learning and there are clear links between organizational goals and development plans, while the fully integrated model is where all kinds of management learning is integrated in everyday works of the organization and reflects on lessons of development tied to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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