Management Development Techniques

The importance of management cannot be gainsaid as far as the
profitability and sustainability of the organization in the long-term
and short-term is concerned. This is especially considering that
management has a bearing on the priorities that a particular
organization has, as well as the resources that are allocated to those
activities, both in terms of financial resources and human resources.
While there are varied definitions of management, the term may simply be
defined as the art of getting certain activities accomplished through
people in the same manner that an individual would have accomplished
them using the available resources. Scholars have noted that optimum use
of resources is the underlying or fundamental rule as far as management
is concerned. This underlines the fact that optimization of the use of
the available resources comprises a management art. This art revolves
around four key functions including staffing, organizing, planning, as
well as coordinating/controlling. However, it goes without saying that
no single individual can undertake these functions forever. Indeed,
business entities are always in a state of constant motion, with every
stage necessitating different set of skills for the entity to be
sustainable and competitive. This is all in line with elasticity or
adaptability, and it underlines the importance or nurturing new
individuals to take the mantle in the management of the affairs of the
business entity. In this case, management development revolves around
the conscious effort that is planned in nature, where an individual
gains and continuously improves or increases his or her capacity to
manage the financial and human resources and activities in an
organization, as well as their own selves. This may also be defined as
the process by which a manager discovers and enhances his skills,
knowledge and capacity, which would essentially be beneficial to them as
well as the organization or business entity for which the individual
works. Different management development techniques have different
strengths and limitations in which case only a combination of them would
be bound to bring the best results.
Literature review
Needless to say, the management of resources, both financial and human,
requires that the individual has various common traits. These include
good communication skills, problem identification and solving skills,
leadership qualities, as well as the powers of persuasion, motivation
and encouragement of one’s subjects to make their best effort (Hamel,
2007). In some instances, these traits may be dormant or even absent in
an individual, in which case it would be imperative that they are
developed, identified and nurtured over some time via the appropriate
programs of management development. Scholars note that the techniques of
leadership and management development revolves around the activities
that assist the future, as well as current crop of leaders to undertake
a honest evaluation of their current level of skills and knowledge and
take on new skills (Griffin, 2011). A large number of businesses are so
entangled in the day-to-day running of their operations that the
managers do not take some time off to undertake a careful evaluation of
their skills or even to systematically prepare the next crop of leaders
or managers (Daft, 2010). Nevertheless, it is imperative that employees
and other stakeholders in the business who would essentially make
leaders or managers in the future are allowed to work in, as well as
learn from the varied aspects of the business as this would assist them
in gaining a broader perspective not to mention that it would ensure
that they have enhanced their skills, knowledge and confidence in the
operations of the business entity.
There are varied reasons as to why management development is required
in an organization. Scholars have noted that management development
comes as one of the key determinants of the success of the organization
as it has a direct impact on the economic benefits of the organization.
This would also assist organizations in retaining their prized
employees, as well as enhancing their customer service (Hamel, 2007). In
addition, it enhances the productivity of both the employees and
managers, not to mention that the risk-taking and leadership capacities
of the manager would be enhanced thereby eliminating the varied
challenges that are prevalent in the work environment (Hamel, 2007). On
the same note, it comes in handy in the exploration of the skills of the
employees, as well as the managers especially those skills that have
remained dormant or unresponsive.
Management Development Techniques
Varied management development techniques have been identified and
applied in a large number of organizations with different outcomes.
These are discussed below.
Mentoring vs. coaching
This comes as one of the most commonly used management development
technique, where a senior and experienced worker or employee passes on
his or her expertise and knowledge to the less experienced workers in
the business entity. In this case, they would be teaching the
less-experienced workers based on their experiences (Drucker, 2007).
Mentorship may be assigned formally by the management or the
relationship may take place in an informal manner. This technique comes
in handy in enhancing the manager’s confidence through asking
questions and coming up with challenges while also offering the
necessary encouragement and assistance. On the same note, it gives the
manager an opportunity to have a close examination of himself or herself
and the issues or things that they crave for in life (Griffin, 2011).
There are varied advantages to mentorship as a management development
technique. First, it allows for the acclimation of a new employee to the
organization and job. Mentees would become productive members at a much
faster pace as they have a person they can talk to, ask questions or
even discus scenarios and learn the varied aspects of the organization.
In addition, mentoring allows the mentee to obtain a sense of
achievement that emanates from the assessment and feedback of the mentor
to the mentee’s progress (Drucker, 2007). Indeed, scholars have noted
that the quest of the mentee to gain the approval of the mentor would
motivate the mentee to persist in the enhancement of his performance.
However, mentorship always comes with the risk that the mentee and the
mentor are mismatched. This is especially in cases where the mentorship
program is formal in nature, where the management assigns particular
mentors to the employees (Daft, 2010). Indeed, the mentor may find it
hard to juggle between his normal duties and the roles that come with
mentorship. This strained relationship would be counterproductive and
may result in a reduction in the mentee’s job satisfaction (Daft,
2010). In addition, mentorship may result in feelings of frustrations on
the side of the mentor especially when he or she does not think that the
mentee is progressing at a sufficiently fast pace, or where the mentee
seems unwilling and unable to follow the mentee’s instructions.
Mentees may also be frustrated in instances where they feel that they
are not being granted the necessary guidance (Daft, 2010).
Coaches, on the other hand, are primarily concerned with assisting the
individuals who have shown exemplary performance how they can even
improve their performance. Effective coaches have the skills, knowledge
and technique to assist the performer in achieving without any
direction. Scholars note that it is more difficult for mentors to become
coaches than the converse to occur (Drucker, 2007). This is especially
considering that mentors usually take on a disengaged stance while
coaches are usually at the front line with the employees helping in the
making of an effective organizational change. However, scholars have
noted that mentors offer better guidance and human support than coaches
who simply offer inspiration and motivation (Daft, 2010). Nevertheless,
the best practice technique does not necessarily result in successful
management development rather, it has to be complemented by a consistent
implementation of whichever technique is chosen.
Action Learning
This management development revolves around giving employees the freedom
to solve problems in line with their comprehension as well as the
techniques that they see as most appropriate. This technique allows the
future managers to try using varied techniques in solving varied
problems and issues. It is based on the recognition of the fact that
individuals learn the best from their own experiences as the process
would be structured.
Action learning comes with the advantage of providing a creative and
intelligent way of learning and acting at the same time, which comes in
handy in the rapidly-changing environment and largely unpredictable
challenges. In addition, it is extremely instrumental in modifying the
corporate culture and creating learning organizations (Hamel, 2007).
This is especially considering that different individuals would have
different techniques for solving similar problems, in which case the
organization would have a large pool of skills to choose from, thereby
allowing for the inculcation of the most appropriate culture into the
organizational culture (Hamel, 2007). On the same note, action learning
comes as one of the most effective way for producing tangible results on
the return on any investment that was made in education.
However, action learning necessitates the organization of numerous
action learning events so as to ensure its effectiveness (Drucker,
2007). In addition, scholars have noted that in teams where one
functional perspective or one individual is dominant, the group would
eventually produce outcomes that are far from insightful or innovative.
Job Rotation Technique
This technique revolves around moving the employee between varied jobs
at regular intervals and in a planned way thereby allowing the manager
to learn the different roles, responsibilities and aspects pertaining to
the jobs, and consequently about the employees that would be working
under him or her in the future (Hamel, 2007). This technique, therefore,
provides hands-on knowledge on the dynamics of the varied jobs thereby
allowing the current and future managers to make sound and relevant
decisions pertaining to the same. Indeed, positional rotation has been
widely used to prepare or groom promising employees for management
positions in the future through increasing their perspective, skills and
knowledge. In addition, the technique comes in handy in assisting the
organization to create members who have a broad base of knowledge about
the organization (Drucker, 2007). Of particular importance is the fact
that such rotation would also come in handy in the facilitation of new
interpersonal relationships and the skills that come with them
throughout the organization, which comes in handy in the development of
loyalty and cohesion.
However, job rotation technique comes with immense financial cost on the
organization (Hamel, 2007). This is especially considering that the
individuals would have to undergo some form of training when moving the
employees through varied positions, something that would require money
and time. Of particular concern is the fact that the employees would not
fit appropriately in certain positions or jobs in the company
irrespective of the effectiveness of the training program, which
essentially underlines the fact that there would be a reduction in the
return on investment in the same.
Implications of the literature
The literature underlines the fact that there are numerous techniques
that may be used in developing the capacity of current and future crop
of managers to effectively run the organizations. However, these
techniques have different results and implications on the performance of
the organization (Drucker, 2007). As much as some techniques may have
relatively more advantage than others, their applicability in different
fields is undoubtedly bound to result in different results. In most
cases, management development would necessitate that the different
techniques are combined so as to allow for the exploitation of the
desirable aspects of each of them while eliminating the undesirable
In conclusion, the management of an organization comes as one of its
fundamental pillars as it has a bearing on its sustainability and
profitability both in the short-term and long-term. However,
organizations are dynamic in which case the current leaders would have
to leave the leadership to younger generation. It is imperative that the
new crop of leaders is privy to the varied aspects of the management,
which underlines the importance of management development techniques.
Different management development techniques have been identified, each
of which come with different implications, strengths and limitations.
This underlines the fact that no single technique would essentially meet
the requirements. In essence, it is imperative that a combination of
techniques is used so that the organization can reap from the strengths
of the techniques used while cancelling out the limitations.
Griffin, R. W. (2011). Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage
Drucker, P. F. (2007). Management: Tasks, responsibilities, practices.
New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers.
Daft, R. L. (2011). Understanding management. Mason, OH: South-Western
Cengage Learning.
Daft, R. L. (2010). Management. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage
Hamel, G. (2007). The future of management. Boston, Mass: Harvard
Business School Press.

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