A Manager’s guide for developing leadership development practices (PGBM71)


A Manager’s guide for developing leadership development practices (PGBM71)

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Theoretical frameworks on leadership development

According to McCleskey (2014), the earliest studies on leadership all seem to emphasize a single basic concept that has influenced the ideas on leadership. The concept is that leadership is the characteristic ability of extraordinary individuals. Therefore, the implication is that leaders need to be developed as a way of enhancing competitiveness (Johnson et al., 2012). As Berkovich (2014) notes, recent leadership discussions are trying to converge on a singular structured way of leadership development. The actual debate is that it is impractical to develop authentic leadership and that the focus should be on authentic leadership development.

Commonly, leaders are developed through leadership development programs but Day (2011) disagrees to this. Day (2011) believes this is an erroneous concept that has developed over time. Therefore best kind of leadership focuses on specific skills and competencies that divert from best practices currently demonstrated in leadership. Day (2009) observing that leadership targets, for example, self- management guidelines, work oversight and social capabilities, suggests a more scientific approach to leadership. The scientific approach will thus cater for modern-day leadership needs that include expertise, dynamic leadership roles and identities and the need for adaptive leadership (DeRue and Wellman, 2009; McCleskey 2014). The fundamental force shaping leadership development frameworks is the need to initiate behaviour change among those that undergo leadership training. Arguably, as Johnson et al. (2012) note, this is why institutional training, competency and leadership skills and on-job practices are all adopted in a bid to develop the best leaders. Good leadership is paramount to performance enhancement.

Intended users of the toolkit

Contemporary organisations are in dire need of leadership. Warrick (2011) says that the need does not stop at average leadership but transcends to transformational leadership that is able to maneuver organisations through the modern day market dynamic nature and do so with scarce resources. In addition, best-practice organisations view leadership as a source of competitive advantage. In fact, research shows that more than 20% of training monies in large organisations goes towards leadership development and managerial/supervisory training (Johnson et al., 2012). Developing a unique and talented human capital is essential in getting ahead of competitors. In consideration of the aforementioned, this toolkit is intended for use by learners of leadership development and by organisations that offer employee with leadership development.

On the end of learners, this kit will offer the much needed guidance on the essential aspects and paths that lead to acquisition of leadership skills. As evidenced by research, most institutions, especially top colleges, are integrating leadership skills in their curriculums. Johnson et al. sum this up by pointing out that many individuals return to schools to study management and leadership as part of their management degree. In this sense, the audience of this toolkit is thus growing larger and its importance thus cannot be overlooked. On the end of organisations, Terrell and Rosenbusch (2013) evidence that the leadership demands by organisations and the supply is incongruent. Therefore, organisations are constantly training and developing new leaders to fill up the gaps. This toolkit can offer an organisation with the needed guide on the path to creating effective leaders.

Critical analysis of the methodology

There are different methodologies that can be used in research but a crucial aspect is that multiple methodologies can be used depending on the research question (Collis and Hussey, 2014). In this case, in order to investigate the aspects of leadership development that yield maximum impact on trainees, the study takes an exploratory stance. In addition, the research takes the interpretivist approach as it seeks to offer insight on practices and methods of leadership development. As a way of data collection, the methodology uses a combination of in-depth interviews and semi-structure questionnaires.

The interpretivist approach is imperative since it offers the researcher with the choice of using a small sample size and produces rich, qualitative and subjective data. In addition to this, it looks at the general theories available and thus is often characterised by secondary research and gathering data from knowledgeable persons in actual natural locations (Collis and Hussey, 2014). However, according to Collis and Hussey (2014), a limiting factor in this approach is despite producing highly valid data, the data lacks reliability.

The use of in-depth interviews is appropriate given that is yields rich information, offers researcher control of quality and quantity or data and probing is possible. However personal interviews are expensive and their usage in this case may be limited. Moreover, the use of the questioning method, which is characteristic to survey research, can be unreliable as it depends entirely on respondents; their understanding of questions and honesty in their answers (Kothari, 2011).

An Action plan for the development and design of the leadership development toolkit

Firstly, in order to capture the concepts that others have presented on the field o leadership development, secondary research is essential. Secondary research involves an in-depth look into published and unpublished materials regarding a topic and it helps in avoiding repetitive researches, creating a unique perspective and general analysis of sentiments presented by others. Equipped with knowledge from secondary research, it is easy to design questionnaires and interview questions which are the major research instruments presented here.

Secondly, the primary data is going to be obtained from knowledgeable individuals and the appropriate candidates in this case are managers. Questionnaires and interviews are going to be presented to at least 10 active managers. On the presentation, the researcher will beforehand seek consent to carry out the research in the chosen organisations by presenting a letter of request. Once approved, the researcher will start by explaining to the respondents the objective of the research and the significance of their contributions. They then will be offered questionnaires to fill and interviewed on leadership development. The data shall then be analysed using the content analysis method and conclusive facts be derived for use as guide in developing leaders. The following is a Gantt chart for carrying out the research:

Gantt chart for carrying out the research

Figure 1: Gantt chart for carrying out the research

Source: Author


Berkovich, I. (2014). Between Person and Person: Dialogical Pedagogy in Authentic Leadership Development. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 13(2), pp.245-264.

Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2014). ) Business Research: a Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Day, D. (2009). Executive Selection Is a Process Not a Decision. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2(2), pp.159-162.

Day, D. (2011). Leadership Development. In: A. Bryman, M. Uhl-Bien, B. Jackson, K. Grint and D. Collinson, ed., The SAGE handbook of leadership, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publication, pp.37-50.

DeRue, D. and Wellman, N. (2009). Developing leaders via experience: The role of developmental challenge, learning orientation, and feedback availability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(4), pp.859-875.

Johnson, S., Garrison, L., Hernez-Broome, G., Fleenor, J. and Steed, J. (2012). Go For the Goal(s): Relationship Between Goal Setting and Transfer of Training Following Leadership Development. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(4), pp.555-569.

Kothari, C. (2011). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. 2nd ed. New Delhi, India: New Age International,.

McCleskey, J. (2014). Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), pp.117-131.

Terrell, S. and Rosenbusch, K. (2013). Global Leadership Development: What Global Organizations Can Do to Reduce Leadership Risk, Increase Speed to Competence, and Build Global Leadership Muscle. People & Strategy, 36(1), pp.40-46.

Warrick, D. (2011). The Urgent Need for Skilled Trans formational Leaders: Integrating Transformational Leadership and Organization Development. Journal of Leadership, Accountability & Ethics, 8(5), pp.11-26.

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