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Executive Development

It is also known as 'management development‘or ‗executive development‘.It is one of the fastest- developing areas in personnel.

Executive Development


It is also known as 'management development‘or ‗executive development‘.It is one of the fastest- developing areas in personnel. It is realized that an effective management team may be as important to the survival of an organization as any tangible item on the balance sheet. Interest in management development is great partly due to the shortage of well-trained managers. Executive development or management development is a systematic process of learning and growth by which managerial personnel gain and apply knowledge, skills, attitudes and insights to manage the work in their organization effectively and efficiently.


The program of executive development aims at achieving following purposes: -


To sustain good performance of managers throughout their careers by exploiting their full potential. To understand economic, technical, and institutional forces in order to solve business problems. To acquire knowledge about problems of human resources.


To think through problems this may confront the organization now or in the future. To develop responsible leaders.


To inculcate knowledge of human motivation and human relationships.


To increase proficiency in management techniques such as work study, inventory control, operations research and quality control.


Johnson and Sorcher write, ―Management development focuses on developing in a systematic manner, the knowledge base, attitudes, basic skills, interpersonal skills and technical skills of the managerial cadre.

According to Flippo ―executive development includes the process by which managers and executives acquire not only skills and competency in their present job but also capabilities for future managerial tasks of increasing difficulty and scope.‖


The characteristics of executive development are as following: -


Executive development is a planned and organized process of learning. It is an ongoing and never ending exercise.


Executive development is a long term process as managerial skills cannot be developed overnight. It aims at preparing managers for managers.


Today, it is the growth that makes one person stay at the company. The opportunity and challenges iswhat keeps a person satisfied and charmed with his job. Companies have understood this fact and therefore are forming policies and procedures to develop their employees.


Executive development Program (EDP) is one such program. With Human resource making a move from a welfare department to a strategic partner, more and more companies are undertaking this program. We at Career Solutions provide you the opportunity of developing a specific EDP for your company. There are four major steps to be covered during the EDP-


1)      Problem Assessment: the experts along with the concerned employees and CEO shall begin with an assessment of the company‘scurrent problem and owner‘splans of the future.


2)      Management Audit and Appraisal: there shall be regular feedback sessions to check as to whether we are reaching where we are supposed to reach.


3)      Analysis of Development Needs: here the problem that has been uncovered shall be tried to and remedied via a development program.


4)      Identify Replacement Needs: the assessment may uncover a need to recruit and select new management talent. The format of EDP will vary with company‘ssize and nature of operation so as to provide optimum result.


Importance and Factors Influencing Executive Development


Executive development is more future oriented. It is more concerned with education than is employee training. In today‘scompetitive environment, an organization has to be concerned about the development of supervisors, middle level managers and top-level executive.


Executive development is important for the following reasons: -


Executive development programmes are required to train and develop professional managers. It helps managers to develop skills to face cut throat competition.


It enables managers to face problems related to technology and institution. It helps in developing better relations with the labors.


Executives need training and education to understand and adjust to changes in socio-economic changes.


Executive development is required to broader the outlook of managers.


Factors Influencing Executive Development


A host of factors influencing the executive development processes in organizations are as follows:-


Failure to train the managers will lead to ineffective and inefficient managers who negatively affect the organization‘sperformance.

In the absence of training and developmental avenues, the performing managers may get de-motivated and frustrated in leading the organizations. This would lead to severe losses for the organization in financial parameters, in terms of the cost of recruiting and training the new incumbent.


The organizational performance may be affected by the loss of market shares, lower sales, reduced profitability, etc.


The absence/ shortage of trained and skilled managers make it important for the organizations to have appropriate retention strategies. Training and development is being used by organizations as a part of their retention strategy.


The competitive pressures make it necessary for organizations to continuously roll out new products and services, and also maintain the quality of the existing ones. The training and development of managers would help them in developing the competencies in these areas.


The competitive environment is making it imperative for the organizations to continuously restructure and re-engineer, and to embark upon these processes, it is essential for the organizations to train the managers for the new scenarios.




Contemporary organizations have realized the importance of human capital and increasingly finding its necessary to continuously train and develop human resources. The training and development needs of the employees cannot be looked at in isolation; any proactive organization has to view the individual training needs in the overall organizational context. The training and development processes are not longer adjunct to other departments but have become a part of organizational strategy and one of the key organizational objectives. The process of arriving at the development needs of the executives can be comprehensively viewed through the process given in Fig.-


The Process of Executive Development


Stage I: In the Stage I, at the macro level, there are three key elements are considered as competitive advantage, organizational strategy and organizational objectives. The analysis of competitive environment helps the organization to decide its competitive positioning in the market place, based on which the organizational strategy is drawn out in an attempt to transform or reposition of the organization. The macro view is broken down into specific organizational objectives for further dissemination to functional/ departmental, and individual level.


Stage II: This stage is most important and crucial phase of executive development process. This stage deals analysis on the competency mapping, identification of competency gap and career planning. In the competency stage which helps to capture the competencies of all the employees of the organization which includes the capacities of the management also. In the second stage, the organizational requirements and competency gap to be analyzed. In the third phase, this deals with identifying and verifying the organizational needs, individual growth and along with career planning of the executives.


Stage III: This stage is consisting of three levels. The first level of this stage deals with the activities involving training need assessment of individuals and of all employees based on which Annual Training Plan (ATP) is drawn. Based on the annual training plan the employees are chosen to expose to either corporate training program, for internal training programs and external organizations. While deciding the venue and types and nature of the training program the personnel department and training facilitator should consider the various issues like no of executives, cost, outsourcing and availability of technical expertise in the organizations. In case of organizational development related exercises, the combination of internal and external training programs should be arrange for the all employee of the organization.


Though the money, infrastructure and finally the manpower to be utilized in the whole process keeping into this, the top management has to take decision in this regard. The training department, management and HR Department should work in union. It is a collective phenomenon, which is mostly initiatives, motives of the top management. If entire process of executive development is mostly determined by its efficacyand its effectiveness.


Apart from this the process of executive development can be defined in several other ways with slight difference.


The process of executive development is as follows:


1.  Analysis of Development Needs: First of all the present and future development needs of the organization are ascertained. It is necessary to determine how many and what type of executives are required to meet the present and future needs of the enterprise.


2.  Appraisal of the Present Managerial Talent: A qualitative assessment of the existing executives is made to determine the type of executive talent available within the organization.


3.  Planning Individual Development Programmes: Each one of us has a unique set of physical, intellectual and emotional characteristics. Therefore, development plan should be tailor-made for each individual.


4.  Establishing Training and Development Programme: The HR department prepares comprehensive and well conceived programmes.



5.  Evaluating Developing Programs: Considerable money, time and efforts are spent on executive development programmes. It is therefore natural to find out to what extent the programme‘s objective has been achieved.


Evaluation of Executive Development


In the competition scenario, where the focus is on efficiency and profitability and the return on investment (ROI) on all the activities of the organization, executive development cannot be an exception to the phenomenon. The evaluation of the process assumes importance from the following perspectives:


Improving the quality of the training and development process.


Improving the efficiency and competency of the trainers.


Making improvements in the system to make it more responsive and realistic.


Aligning the training activities to the organizational objectives.


Building the cost implications of the training into the organizational budget.


Evaluating the ROI on account of training and development to justify further investments.


Changing the perception of the management on training as expenditure to more as an investment for the future growth of the organization.


The levels of evaluation include the reaction level, immediate level, intermediate level, and ultimate level. For the purpose of evaluation, it is essential to collect the data for which there should be appropriate measures for data collection, both during the course of the training programme and after the training programme. Some of the methods being used by experts are self-complete questionnaires, interviews, observations, and desk research. The desk research involves low cost and less amount of time.


Methods of Executive Development


Management development programs help in acquiring and developing managerial skill and knowledge. A Varity of methods of management development have come into prominence these days. Different types of techniques are used to acquire and develop various types of managerial skill and knowledge as given in the table below:

S.NO Competency Development Area       Methods


1.       Decision-making skill  : In-basket, Business games, Case study

2.       Interpersonal skill          : Role plying, Sensitivity Training

3.       Job Knowledge     : On-the-Job experiences, Coaching, Understudy

4.       Organizational Knowledge :    Job Rotation, Multiple Management

5.       General Knowledge :      Special course, Special Meeting, Specific Reading

6.       Specific Individual Needs        : Special Projects, Committee Assignments


Managerial Training / Management development: The following diagram shows the stages involved in the managerial training.

Stages of Managerial Training


In all above stages, we should satisfy the following essential aspects in order to make the programmes a success:


1.  Policy decisions


2.  Acceptance


3.  Appreciation


4.  Support


5.  Conductive atmosphere


6.  Strong urge for learning


7.  Participation


8.  Identification of strength and weakness


9.  Involvement


10.                     Self-development


A number of executive development methods are available. Generally these methods are used in combination of two or more.


The various techniques of executive development may be classified into two broad categories: -


1. On the Job Techniques: It is delivered to employees while they perform their regular jobs. In this way, they do not lose time while they are learning. After a plan is developed for what should be taught, employees should be informed of the details. A time-table should be established with periodic evaluations to inform employees about their progress. On-the-job techniques include orientations, job instruction training, apprenticeships, internships and assistantships, job rotation and coaching. It consists of: -


Coaching-Coaching is a one-to-one relationship between trainees and supervisors which offers workers continued guidance and feedback on how well they are handling their tasks. The coach assigns the task, monitors the trainee behavior, and provides reinforcement and feedback. Coaching is commonly used for all kinds of trainees, from unskilled to managerial position. This method is critically depends on the quality of the coach.


Under Study- An understudy may be assistant to someone or special assistant to some supervisory or executive positions. He learns by experience, observation, guidance and coaching.


Position Rotation-This involves the movement of the trainee from one job to another. This helps him to have a general understanding of how the organization functions. Apart from releasing boredom, Job rotation allows workers to build rapport with a wide range of individuals within the organization, facilitating future cooperation among various departments. Such cross-trained personnel offer a great deal of flexibility for organizations when transfers, promotions or replacement become inevitable.


Multiple Management- It provides knowledge about the organization to the junior and middle managerial personnel. Here the members are exposed to all types of the decision taken at higher level.


2.Off-the-Job Technique: It consists of :


Lectures- It is a traditional and direct method of instruction. The instructor organizes the material and gives it to a group of trainees in the form of a talk. To be effective, the lecture must motivate and create interest among the trainees. An advantage of this method is that it is direct and can be used for a large group of trainees. The major limitation of this method is that it does not providefor the transfer of training effectively.


Case Studies- It presents the trainees with a written description of a business or organizational problem. The object of the case method is to teach the trainees how to analyze information, generate alternative decisions, and evaluate the alternatives. Cases can be analyzed by individuals or small groups. Feedback and reinforcement are provided through oral discussion or written comments from the instructor.


Group Discussions- This method is a direct discussion on a specific topic conducted with a relatively small group of trainees. This method is useful for teaching and exploring difficult conceptual materials, and for changing attitudes and opinions. It provides opportunity for feedback, reinforcement practice, motivation, and transfer, largely due to the active interchange of ideas between the participants.


Role Playing- In most of role-playing assignments, each of the student takes the role of a person affected by an issues on human life and effect the human activities all around us from the perspective of that person.


Management Games- Verities of business and management games have been devised and are being used with the varying degree of success in the developing programmes. A management game is classroom exercise in which a number of team of trainees competes against each other to achieve certain objectives.


Sensitivity Training- It has been successfully employed by behavioral scientists over the past thirty years. Sensitivity to the circumstances and feeling of others is the cornerstone of human relationships. It is important to note that sensitivity is not just an emotion; it must express itself in actions as well, especially when people we know are experiencing pain and difficulties.




·        Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees

·        Increased employee motivation


·        Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain

·        Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods

·        Increased innovation in strategies and products

·        Reduced employee turnover


·        Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!)


·        Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training


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