Management development is the organized approach to prepare individuals to better achieve career and collective goals by working with and through human and nonhuman resources in order to continually add value to the world and its stakeholders. Managers who do things fast and rapidly achieve career and organizational goals demonstrate effectiveness; those who achieve their goals by controlling their human and nonhuman resources without exhausting or wasting them demonstrate efficiency. Managers who do things first and continually add value to enterprises demonstrate creativity; those who do things together and collaboratively address the needs of the world and its stakeholders demonstrate responsiveness. Managers who develop the motives and attitudes, capabilities, and behavior patterns to be consistently effective, efficient, creative, and responsive contributors to enterprises enhance individual career and organizational global performance at the supervisory, middle management, and executive levels.
Successful global businesses integrate management development with organization development initiatives to ensure alignment between management development activities and business strategy. Management development teaching techniques that are often used to advance global business are either formal on-the-job or off-the-job approaches. Among the former are the internal coaching or guided experience method; the internal job rotation method; and the internal performance committee method. Among the latter are the accreditation by independent bodies approach; the market-led MBA degree approach; and the national competency approach.
Although domestic star performers have been selected for global business assignments and undergo an informal “sink or swim” international on-the-job test, formal on-the-job approaches are more likely to produce better global business results. The internal coaching method is a form of guided global experience conducted either by an experienced in-house superior or an external consultant providing initial talent diagnoses, assigning meaningful in-house tasks, evaluating performance, and supportively counseling management development candidates about future global business performance improvements. The internal job rotation method moves managers on a regular schedule from job to job in the company to develop an individual with an appreciation of the whole company, broadened contacts, and proven adaptability.
The internal performance committee method is a way for managers to gain exposure to and participate in group decision making in order to develop a sense of collective responsibility for global business policies. The internal on-the-job methods, however, while providing relevant company-specific experience, offer no guarantees that the lessons learned are correct, timely, or desirable for the professional development of individual managers, since companies may perpetuate a tradition of organizationally well-adapted but professionally underdeveloped global business managers. To address that management development risk, organizations supplement their on-the-job approaches with formal off-the-job ones.
The accreditation by independent bodies approach attempts to certify institutions and management development programs that meet an external set of standards for professional management development. For example, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), a global organization devoted to the continuous improvement of management development, launched the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), which has become a leading international system of accreditation for higher education institutions in management and business administration. Management graduates from EQUIS-accredited institutions are certified to have met general external standards of management development, not limited to those from any one organization.
The market-led MBA degree approach is primarily an American-British qualification of management development expertise that prescribes a course of instruction lasting one to two years, focused on business management functional skills demanded by domestic and global markets. Some of the market-led MBA degree programs are also accredited by independent nongovernmental bodies, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, which ensure that accredited MBA degree programs advance management development knowledge through sustained faculty scholarship, provide high-caliber teaching of quality and current curricula, and produce management development graduates who have achieved specified professional learning goals. In addition, there are market-led no degree programs that purport to enhance management development but exhibit a wide range of effectiveness.
Finally, the national competency approach toward management development focuses on a government-led identification of needed individual, organizational, and national functional and performance competencies, along with support for institutions and programs that produce those competencies, such as the Management Standards Centre (MSC) in the United Kingdom (UK) responsible for setting National Occupational Standards (NOS) for management development in all domestic sectors to identify and address national managerial skill gaps to improve UK global competitiveness.
Competitive management development for global business requires both formal on-the-job and off-the job training techniques to sustain individual talent and organizational learning capable of successfully handling international business challenges. Responsible global business leaders need to institutionalize an appropriate blend of both formal approaches, and avoid provincial methods, to develop world-class managers ready, willing, and able to capitalize on current and future global business opportunities.
- Chris Ernst, “The Global Manager’s Work,” in 21st Century Management: A Reference Handbook, Charles Wankel, ed. (Sage, 2008);
- Cecil D. Robert and William J. Rothwell, Next Generation Management Development: The Complete Guide and Resource (Pfeiffer Wiley, 2007);
- Daniel Tobin and Margaret S. Pettingell, The AMA Guide to Management Development (AMACOM/ American Management Association, 2008);
- Charles Wankel and Robert DeFillippi, eds., Educating Managers With Tomorrow’s Technologies (Information Age Publishing, 2003);
- Charles Wankel and Robert DeFillippi, eds., University and Corporate Innovations in Lifelong Learning (Information Age Publishing, 2008).
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