Management Development Essay

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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.


  1. Chris Ernst, “The Global Manager’s Work,” in 21st  Century  Management:  A  Reference Handbook, Charles Wankel, ed. (Sage, 2008);
  2. Cecil D. Robert and William J. Rothwell, Next Generation Management Development:  The Complete Guide and  Resource (Pfeiffer Wiley, 2007);
  3. Daniel Tobin  and  Margaret  S. Pettingell,  The AMA  Guide  to Management  Development  (AMACOM/ American Management  Association, 2008);
  4. Charles Wankel and Robert DeFillippi, eds., Educating Managers With Tomorrow’s Technologies  (Information   Age  Publishing, 2003);
  5. Charles Wankel and Robert DeFillippi, eds., University and Corporate Innovations in Lifelong Learning (Information Age Publishing, 2008).

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