The significance of observational learning to leadership development is rather understated (Kempster, 2006, 2007, 2008). There is no specific focus on a deeper understanding of the processes of influence relating to these notables, good or bad or a temporal perspective as to when notables had influence: for example, earlier or later in people’s careers.
There was only a limited discussion on processes of observational learning with no great weight of attention to its significance and prominence to the development of leadership practice. It should be noted that research by McCall et al. (1988) did not seek to understand processes by which the lessons shaped learning and development of individual managers.
In no sense have the researchers claimed to understand the individual process of leadership learning as distinct from management learning. However, the research does highlight an issue that learning and development through experience predominantly occurs when a manager realizes that their previous experience is not sufficient for the situation at hand (Beck, 1988), or that the way the manager previously anticipated enacting skills for the situation is no longer appropriate (Kelly, 1955).
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