Formal Leadership Development

Formal Leadership Development 300x125  Formal Leadership Development It was argued by Schriesheim and Neider (1989) that leadership development activity has become overly focused on two areas, and this remains similar today, namely: behavioral skills and awareness training that often incorporates behavioral psychology; and broad education on management development that seeks development implicitly and in rather an emergent and anticipatory fashion, often incorporating functional skills.

By combining these two continua, the following segmentation grid is proposed reflecting the dominant formal leadership development interventions, Yukl (1989a) separates development from training; the former being embedded in organizational activities and the latter conducted during a defined time separate from organizational activity.

However, such a distinction has become significantly blurred through experiential and action learning projects that interact with and within an organizational context. The elements shown in the grid have been identified to be predominant in usage (Saari et al., 1988; Rothwell & Kanzanas, 1994; Fulmer and Wagner, 1999; James & Burgoyne, 2001).

Early management development interventions were accentuated towards functional education and training (Wexley & Baldwin, 1986). For example, Wexley and Baldwin (1986) suggested that 85 per cent of American companies that engaged in leadership development activities used formal classroom programs, and this remains similar ten years on (American Society for Training and Development, 1995). However, in the UK over the last decade a shift has occurred from formal to informal development (Burgoyne et al., 2004).

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