Management and Leadership Development
Management and Leadership Development
Management and leadership have in many times been used interchangeably due to their overlapping tenets. There are several major issues that both management and leadership must deal with
in order to guarantee a perfectly functioning business organisation. The first major issue is job satisfaction. Experts posit that a large percentage of workers today have a carefree attitude
towards their work with a small percentage and the middle management which encompasses supervisors expressing satisfaction in their jobs. The question that leaders and managers must
answer is whether they are creating the right environment in which workers desire to work. With such a large percentage of people being dissatisfied with their jobs, there exists a gap where
leaders and managers can improve.
The most recent economic downturn led to large numbers of people losing their jobs. Since the job market started opening up, people have become more dissatisfied which has led to a
trend of high staff turnover. This is attributable to lack of job satisfaction which has driven people to continuously be on the lookout for better opportunities. Managers and leaders must be
aware of the reasons for such a high turnover rate and work towards its reduction. There are basic things that cause job dissatisfaction including wages, opportunities for career advancement,
and unchallenging work among others. There is a very fundamental role here that leaders are expected to play in understanding what motivates employees of a particular firm. They should
realize who are the most precious and indispensable employees and strive to keep them. On the overall, there should be an understanding on how leaders and managers can be developed to
understand the necessities of attracting and retaining their human resources.
The global market place has become very competitive to the point that people have found it best to acquire an array of different skills instead of mastering in one to guarantee jobs.
This has created a gap in people with technical skills that are mostly industry specific. One of the areas that rank highly in shortage is in leadership and management. When managers and leaders
are being trained, they should be equipped with the knowledge of ensuring that they attract people with the requisite skills in the various departments.
Another issue that rocks leadership and management is the disharmony that exists from having people of different generations working together. The most recent surveys have shown
that babyboomers, who make up a large percentage of the working population especially in senior and middle management, are expected to exit the labour market. There has been on-going
debate that this group of people does not work well with others. Where there is disharmony there is bound to be a shortage of labour which leaders and managers must be taught on how to
counter. Leadership development and management development can only be successful where there is a formidable human resources department. While HR is indispensable with management of
people, management and leadership development must never allow for functions such as management of human capital to be entirely conceded or delegated to another power centre. Managers
and leaders should be able to gather the views and opinions of employees, reward and recognise those that perform exemplarily and follow up on activities that foster engagement within the
Day (2001) proposes that there is a difference between management development and leadership development. He insists that the preparation needed for people to develop into good leaders is
much more thorough and extended than that of managers. Management development is based on equipping people with the skills, knowledge and abilities to perform known tasks which usually
have predetermined methods of problem solution (Hinrichs 2011). Conversely, leadership development is aimed at preparing people to build the necessary capacity in order tackle future
problems and deal with anticipated challenges. Day further makes a distinction between leader development and leadership development. The former concept focuses on developing individual
capacity so that those individuals can fill leadership gaps. The latter concept is broader as it involves everyone within an organization and is more relational.
Management development is a process by which managers improve their skills, knowledge and abilities. There are many development avenues that have been created by scholars and are offered
by a wide range of providers. McCall argues that management development can only be set of few tenets for it to be considered effective (2010). Where these tenets are not adhered to, there
are bound to be problems. First, development of managers should be done to people who practice management and who have performed highly in the subject. It should also leverage life
experiences with work so that the development process has a foundation from which it can grow. The problems that occur during management development stem mostly from conducting the
teaching and learning process as an event rather than a continuous process. This problem thus means that the participants including those imparting the knowledge and those receiving it are
never at par with current conditions and are always behind others in development. Another problem arises from conducting the developmental programs without having an overall goal in mind.
The conductors of the programs might undertake them because they feel that they will eventually improve their leaders and managers. However, where individual participants do not show any
initiative in purposeful learning, a problem is implied. All in all, in order to enhance the learning process it must be interactive and hence must promote dialogue between different parties where
exchanges improve each other’s knowledge.
Dynamic organisations are some of the most adoptable in business. They are crafted to operate under a numerous range of conditions. Thus, they also require managers who are easily adaptable
and who are eager to be versatile and to operate in multiple locations. There are three conditions that can make the development of managers be complex for dynamic organisations. They
include technology, economy and the political situation. Since the environment that managers in dynamic organisations operate in constantly changes, the development programs should be on
challenging them using different hypothetical situations. The best way for people to learn is when they can conceptualize requirements. Thus dynamic organisations have the ability to forecast
changes and can therefore create situations from past experiences which they can use to develop their managers. Doing extensive research can also be important as it can lead to uncovering
materials forming the experiences of other organisations that may have passed a similar stage. Managers in these types of organisations are also meant to be people with a high knowledge of
current affairs. Thus, as a requirement, their development should be based on current affairs and management practices.
The major point of note here is that attention must be paid to a combination of factors and not to individual factors. Technology as stated poses one of the most overt problems for
managers at every stage of the company’s growth and especially the future. However, preoccupation with technology will make the leadership of the company seem unprepared for other
challenges like the economy which is also unpredictable and the political environment which often becomes unstable.
Many organisations today are consciously aware of the need for boosting their profitability and effectiveness. An effective system is that which offers both the management and other
employees the opportunity to discuss their goals concerning development so that they can create plans together aimed at achieving those goals. For the goals of the employees to be
beneficial to those of the organisation, they must be aligned. Forward-looking companies are aware that they need their employees to improve in their knowledge, skills and abilities for the sake
of development as a unit. One of the tools that these organisations use is the determining the efficiency and effectiveness of its employees is the performance management.
Businesses have to outsmart others in today’s competitive environment by taking advantage of their most precious assets; the human capital (Gottfried 2011). Knowledge based
competence is becoming a very important factor in determining the success of a business and can only be measured by firms ensuring that they have performance management systems that are
invaluable in sourcing information about return on investment. The most important pillar for any organisation today is having the ability to be able to measure the performance of their
employees and maximize on their productivity. Smart organisations are aware that the only way that results can be guaranteed over the long term is by having sound strategies. Therefore,
organisations have moved from their traditional command and control forms of leadership to a more transformative leadership form. The latter model acknowledges the value of each employee
and seeks to maximize that value while improving the employee so that more is gotten from him/her in the future (Howard & Wellins 2009). This alignment of organisations to new leadership
styles is good because it entails planning for the long-term future.
The alignment of the organisation and the employee goals starts with the clarification of the role and function that each employee will serve in support of the organisations’ overall
mission. After everybody has been clearly allocated their roles, the onus then falls on the organisation to ensure that the employees are productive. This calls for the adoption of a realistic set
of performance standards that are appropriate for the specific organisation. These standards are then used to create constructive performance evaluations that are aimed at fostering the
development of the employees based on their strengths and deficiencies. The organisation can then establish opportunities for education and skill development aimed at either increasing or
maintaining the levels of its employees’ performance. For every recourse, there must be generation of reports aimed at providing a chronology of initiatives and thus gauge performance over an
extended period of time and thus determine whether the initiative do indeed work in the development of the human resources.
The ever changing nature of the business environment makes planning for future development of managers difficult to do (Mayer et al 2009). One of the major uncertainties that largely
drive the change is technology. Changes in technology occur nearly daily with organisations that recognise the right technologies suited for their businesses capitalising on them. However,
such an appropriate technology may be so until a different and better one comes along even before the previous one has been fully assimilated. Thus, the major headache of ensuring that
managers are educated is that they could be constantly trained on things that will not help them as they may need to unlearn them and instead learn new ones. It thus becomes very stressful
for the leaders responsible for strategic alignment of the organisation so that it develops its employees. One way of overcoming the hurdles posed by technology is to always be aware of the
best products in the market which are guaranteed to be used for a reasonable period. Most pieces of technology usually do not need complete phasing out but are rather improved so that they
can increase their functionality while increasing their user friendliness. Relying on reputable experts on the subject can be very valuable in ensuring that the company achieves its goals while
dealing with uncertainties.
Gottfried, A. E. 2011, “Motivational roots of leadership: A longitudinal study from childhood through adulthood”, Leadership Quarterly, 22(3), 510–519.
Hinrichs, A. T., Carson, J. B., Li, N., & Porter, C.O.L.H. 2011, Orientation toward leadership: A study of leadership beliefs and leader emergence in teams. Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting
of the Academy of Management, San Antonio, TX.
Howard, A., & Wellins, R. S. 2009, Global leadership forecast: Overcoming the shortfalls in developing leaders. Pittsburgh, PA: Development Dimensions International.
Mayer, D. et al 2009, “How low does ethical leadership flow? Test of a trickle-down model”, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 108, 1–13.
McCall, M. W. 2010, ‘Recasting leadership development”, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3, 3–19.
Morgeson, F. P., DeRue, D. S, & Karam, E. 2010, “Leadership in teams: A functional approach to understanding leadership structures and processes”, Journal of Management, 36, 5–39.
Bush, T. and Glover, D. 2004, Leadership Development: Evidence and Beliefs, Nottingham: National College for School Leadership,
Day, D. 2001, ‘Leadership Development: A Review in Context’, Leadership Quarterly, 11(4), pp, 581 – 613
Hirsh, W. and Carter, A. 2002, New Directions in Management Development, IES Report 387, Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies
Mole, G. 2000, Managing Management Development, Buckingham: Open University Press
Williams, S. 2000, Management and Leadership Teaching: Present Trends and Future Demand, London: Council for Excellen ce in Management and Leadership
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