exeter university of. Centre for Leadership Studies. Leadership South West. Research Report 3. Leadership Development in Context. Trends in leadership development practices in high-performing requires that organizations move away from treating leadership development as a stand-. THE STATE OF LEADERSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT TODAY. What Stands in the Way? Leadership Development Is Important, But Not Seen as Strategic.
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PDF | research report The second in a series of research reports from Leadership offers a conceptual framework for leadership development that contrasts. 𝗣𝗗𝗙 | On Jan 1, , David V. Day and others published Leadership development. In the past, leadership development was focused on only a few individuals in the the elements of a successful leadership development program that uses.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: A review and commen- tary. Implementation intentions and effective goal pursuit. Keys, J. Research One reason why networking is thought to be beneficial to professional and personal development is because it fosters peer relationships in work settings.
No evaluation, however, was conducted that addressed the important, but different, issue of leadership development. Additional research is needed that goes beyond an evaluation of immediate productivity improvements.
For example, an examination of social accounts i. As in the Rousseau and Tijoriwala , change motivation may also be related to trust in the organization and the level of mutual commitment established between the coaching participant and the employer.
Proposition 2b: Another potentially fruitful line of research involves a social network analysis of a team or work group in which a coaching participant is involved. If coaching increases individual self-confidence and interpersonal effectiveness, it might also be expected to encourage the formation of new, non-redundant contacts with others both inside and outside the organization Bouty, Thus, coaching provided to an individual or entire group, such as a top management team, could lead to the creation of a greater number of nonredun- dant i.
As noted by Brass and Krackhardt , effective leadership requires establishing strong and weak ties, both of which are crucial but serve different purposes. Strong ties build loyalty, trust, and mutual respect—essentially, commitments among individuals—whereas weak ties provide access to novel, unique, and nonredundant information or resources Burt, Creating value through enhanced social capital is especially critical in the network organization Baker, in which temporary configurations are linked mainly by rapidly changing opportunities.
Proposition 2c: Research is needed that goes beyond trying to establish whether coaching is effective, to addressing questions such as how does it work, why does it work, and for what specific purpose Campbell, In other words, a person commits to responding to a certain situation in a specific, pre-designated manner.
By coaching executives in how to link their development goals to implementation intentions, there may be ways of encouraging behavioral change while also removing the underlying impetus from conscious control. Imple- mentation intentions could serve as a behavioral change catalyst in executive coach- ing efforts; because the cues for implementing the desired behaviors are removed from conscious control, however, some question remains as to the extent of learning that occurs through automatically enacted behavior.
Clearly, there is a research need for a better understanding of the benefits and potential drawbacks of imple- mentation intentions in organizational contexts.
Proposition 2d: The use of implementation intentions as part of coaching increases the amount and extent of behavioral change observed. Mentoring Overview Formal developmental relationships are a venerable form of on-the-job experi- ence used for leadership development. There are formal mentoring programs as well as informal processes. Informal, unplanned mentoring is usually encouraged by an organization, but not initiated or administered by it.
Regardless of the formality of the mentoring relationship, effective developmental relationships come about from a mix of opportunity and intent Sherman, A challenge facing any organization is how to find the most appropriate combination of these ingredients. In the latter cases, the line between mentoring and coaching becomes blurred. Indeed, coaching has been proposed as one particular mentoring role, along with sponsorship, protection, challenging assignments, and exposure to senior management thinking Kram, Mentoring is seen as an especially effective component of development in context.
In a survey of over companies involved in leadership development, those efforts reported as most successful included mentoring programs, as well as action learning and degree feedback Giber et al.
The opportunity to observe and interact with members of senior management is an especially critical part of men- toring because it helps develop a more sophisticated and strategic perspective on the organization i. Despite its apparent effectiveness at enhancing individual development, formal research has not been published on the topic of senior management exposure. Specifically, what is it about interacting with senior managers that sparks the development of more sophisticated perspectives?
One possibility is that it enhances shared mental representations and interpretations of important organizational concerns. As such, mentoring might be partially effective due to its influence on the cognitive dimension of social capital.
Proposition 3a: Effective mentoring processes result in sophisticated mental representations of strategic issues and organizational concerns on the part of recipients. Research An area of particular research interest has been comparing formal and informal mentoring practices.
Research has also demonstrated the positive effects of intragroup relations in the context of mentoring i. Black students who received critical feedback responded less favorably than White students; when the feedback was accompanied by an appeal for maintaining high standards and an assurance that the student could attain those standards, however, Black students responded as positively as Whites.
The Cohen et al. Earlier research on cross-race mentoring relationships demonstrated that a congruence in the type of strategy adopted in discussing racial differences was associated with the develop- ment of high-quality, supportive relationships Thomas, It is surprising that there are so few studies examining the qualities, characteris- tics, and behaviors of high-performing mentors in general.
An apparent assumption exists that all mentors perform identically in terms of the quality of experience that is offered. Results of the qualitative analysis i. These skills and characteristics could provide the foundation for a mentoring taxon- omy for future researchers.
To the extent that a mentor is seen as displaying these behaviors and characteristics, a more beneficial mentoring relationship is predicted. More attention is needed regarding the apparent overlap between developing sound mentoring skills and leadership development. Greater intention can be placed on what constitutes effective mentoring within broader leadership development efforts. In particular, mentoring processes could focus on building mutual trust and respect as a means of forging commitments.
A potentially interesting research question would be to examine the degree that these hypothesized enhancements in the social capital of a mentoring relationship generalize beyond the particular dyadic boundaries. Proposition 3b: Attention to developing effective mentoring skills increases the amount and quality of informal mentoring, resulting in greater mutual trust, respect, and commitments i. There is one potential negative issue to be aware of regarding mentoring pro- cesses: In sum, the potential developmental benefits associated with mentoring far outweigh the risks associated with over-dependence.
Networking Overview As a way of breaking down barriers between functional areas, some organizations include development activities aimed at fostering broader individual networks. An important goal of networking initiatives is to develop leaders beyond merely know- ing what and knowing how, to knowing who in terms of problem-solving resources. It is also a means of encouraging organization members to form commitments with others outside of their immediate work group.
In this way, networking is about investing in and developing social capital with a primary devel- opmental emphasis on building support. Practice Specific networking initiatives that have been implemented with the goal of leadership development include efforts at Andersen Consulting and Motorola.
The goal is to allow partners to strengthen their personal networks as a means of creating entrepreneurial opportunities. Help the VPs explore new ways to invent new technologies and businesses; and 3.
Foster networking Eller, Another type of networking involves the interaction of groups of managers and executives who have common training or job experiences. These groups meet regu- larly over lunches or through electronic dialogue to share their mutual challenges and opportunities, with the goals of applying their learning or making their learning relevant to present leadership challenges on an informal, ongoing basis.
Working in a globally dispersed yet technologically sophisticated organization presents numerous challenges and creative opportunities with regard to net- working. Nortel uses its advanced video and data-networking technologies to air a Virtual Leadership Academy once a month. The show is simulcast in offices in 47 countries, with simultaneous translation from English into Spanish and Portuguese.
Although the technology does not facilitate face-to-face networking between partici- pants, managers can call with questions or concerns and get real-time responses.
Research One reason why networking is thought to be beneficial to professional and personal development is because it fosters peer relationships in work settings.
Peer relationships offer unique value for development because of the degree of mutual obligation and the duration of the relationship. Organizations should consider peer relationships as a potentially valuable component of an overall leadership development system. Proposition 4a: Networking opportunities build peer relationships across functional areas, leading to the creation of additional social capital.
Networking is a prime means of enhancing social capital in an organization. Managers embedded in a limited network with many redundant ties will not experience these same benefits.
Of course, a manager needs the appropriate self-awareness, motivation, and self-regulation skills i. For this reason, feedback, coaching, mentoring, and networking processes should be linked in a way that produces an integrated leadership development system that covers all aspects of assessment, challenge, and support. Proposition 4b: When used in conjunction with other developmental prac- tices, networking links individual leader development with collective leadership development.
Job Assignments Overview It has long been recognized that experience is among the most important teachers, including the development of leadership. Prior to its popularity in the United States, a number of practitioners and researchers in the United Kingdom were engaged in using and understanding how job experiences enhance development e. The primary developmental experience, however, is that of providing challenge and, occasionally, support.
More attention should be paid to assessment, especially in terms of matching individuals with the appropriate developmental assignment. Proposition 5a: Practice An example of where job assignments play a prominent role in a leadership development initiative is the Coca-Cola Company, which transferred more than professional and managerial staff to new countries in one year under its leadership development program.
Gillette International makes to month assignments to take U. Regardless of how potent job assignments can be for development, the most challenging or fascinating assignment in the world may not teach much unless a person has the latitude to try out different leadership approaches as part of the developmental role.
Intentionality must surround leader- ship development, otherwise the focus of a challenging new assignment will likely be on performance with little regard for development. Organizations can take specific action to promote learning from experience, and specific things can impede it.
Negative experiences or hardships tend to promote learning and trigger self- reflection Moxley, The way in which influential members of an organization respond to failure can be instrumental in fostering a learning climate.
Unfortunately, too few senior executives take a developmental view of failure. Welch is legendary for his commitment to leadership development. During an employee review session, it is common for Welch to display a willingness to put a manager in a certain position because it is the right professional growth experience for that person, regardless of immediate business needs. Despite the pro-development approach of someone like Welch, some jobs may be too important for developmental assignments Ohlott, The difficult task is deciding what are those all-important jobs.
Some organizations are more intentional than others about using promotions as developmental tools. Although a key element in using job assignments for development is challenge, the importance of assessment and support should not be overlooked Ohlott, Attending to all three important aspects of assessment, challenge, and support Van Velsor et al.
Taken as an extension of work on individual motivational patterns Dweck, , a learning goal climate is one in which the organization especially values understanding or mastering something new. It can be differentiated from a performance goal climate in which the emphasis is on gaining favorable or avoiding negative judgments of competence. Proposition 5b: Emphasizing the assessment, challenge, and support aspects of developmental job assignments fosters a learning goal environment.
Despite the noted advantages of using job assignments for development, there has been relatively little theoretical guidance on how to conceptualize work experience within the context of leadership development. This taxonomy was shown to be helpful in organiz- ing the empirical research on the relationships between work experience and job performance; the issue of development, however, was not addressed.
These components are thought to interact and build over time. Again, they were conceptualized as having primary implications for work performance rather than development. Data collected from approximately managers across various organizations and levels supported the basic premise that challenging jobs are associated with greater on- the-job learning.
These findings highlight the importance of knowing the developmental components of various jobs and carefully matching individuals with jobs that will best develop them see Proposition 5a. Research on the topic of job rotations i. The first and second categories could be construed as cognitive and intrapersonal competence e.
There was no elaboration on the specific kinds of leadership skills that are suppos- edly gained. Although job assignments might be considered the epitome of development in context, they often lack the kind of intentionality in terms of implementation and follow-up to be confident in understanding the amount and type of development that has occurred. Those assignments requiring a manager to bring about change or build relation- ships and commitments tend to be associated with significant learning and develop- ment, as do negative experiences or hardships.
Nonetheless, additional theoretical and empirical work is needed to better map the various dimensions and types of experience onto individual and organizational development. In doing so, research can help inform practitioners on how to match assignments and developmental needs on a more scientific basis. Proposition 5c: Linking specific job experiences with desired developmental goals enhances the intentionality and effectiveness of leadership develop- ment. In particular, the lessons learned from traditional classroom development programs do not last much beyond the end of the program.
Soon after the course ends, people slip back into their previous behavioral patterns, and little lasting change or developmental progress is achieved. As a result, the sponsors of traditional programs became justifiably frustrated. For these reasons, a number of organizations have embraced the action learning process, which can be described as a continuous process of learning and reflection, supported by colleagues, with a corresponding emphasis on getting things done.
Action learning is based on the assumption that people learn most effectively when working on real-time organizational problems Revans, This sounds relatively straightforward, but someone who has worked in the area for almost 20 years put it this way: As typically implemented, action learning tends to provide a good deal of challenge and support; more emphasis is needed on formal assessment, especially in terms of choosing suitable individuals for a given project.
Proposition 6a: Using formal assessments to select action learning project members will enhance the quality of the developmental experience and result in greater leadership development. The origin of the name is allegedly based on a comment made to Jack Welch to the effect that: An important cultural aspect of Work-Out is its link to a core management value at GE: GE leaders must have the trust, respect, and self-confidence to involve others and to be open to ideas from anywhere.
This effort personifies an attempt to make everyone responsible for leadership. Although Work-Out contains a number of critical roles, a key to implementation success is the champion.
Somebody has to own the idea and help make it happen. There is nothing new about having groups of people come up with ideas and propose them to management e. The champion is the person who frames the central issue of the Work-Out session, clarifies the specific topics to address, and selects the participants for the Work-Out team.
Selection of participants is particularly important. Because action learning proj- ects are tied to a business imperative, individuals should carefully be matched to the core problem at hand. Not every developmental need can be addressed in every problem context.
Many of the GE action learning projects focused on sending managers to foreign countries as a way of accomplishing two goals: In this manner the content of the leadership development effort was linked to important strategic business imperatives. Citibank is another example of an organization that has successfully used action learning. The business imperative at Citibank dealt with the general inability of top managers to think with a broad, systems perspective.
The issues and participants were selected using explicit criteria. Issues were recommended by business heads or the CEO and had to be seen as affecting total Citibank performance across the various businesses.
Participants were chosen globally and had passed an internal talent inventory review process. Next there was a three-day, off-site team building and issue-orientation session. Data collection followed over the next two or three weeks, involving travel both inside and outside Citibank.
A week was then spent on data analysis and developing recommendations. Presentations were made to the CEO and to business heads. Each team was given 90 minutes to present its case, consisting of a minute formal presentation followed by a minute focused discussion. Following the presentation was a one-day debriefing and reflection with a coach that was structured around the recommendations, team process, and individual development opportuni- ties.
Finally, a senior management follow-up was given within one or two weeks of the presentation whereby decisions were made regarding implementation. The basic action learning process is similar across different organizations; the business imperatives that drive the process are different.
Even the U. Although the business imperatives behind action learning programs may vary widely, common catalysts underlie the successes. Perhaps the most important com- monality is creating a microworld Senge, , which enables learning through doing. This type of parallel, temporary system is designed to be realistic yet safe.
People are encouraged to try new things and to trust themselves and others to stretch their thinking and behavior.
For maximal effect, action should be accompanied by reflection about the action; otherwise, there is little structured guidance for learning from experience Froiland, Proposition 6b: Leadership development is enhanced to the extent that struc- tured opportunities for individual and group reflection are included as part of action learning.
Research Little research has been published on action learning, especially anything other than qualitative program descriptions. As mentioned, this may be a function of the generative nature of the concept. Several research streams have the potential to advance our practice and understanding of action learning. In particular, research in the areas of trust and empowerment are especially relevant to action learning. A recent study of psychological safety in work teams Edmondson, has important implications for action learning projects.
The concept is similar to that of respectful interaction, which has been proposed as a vital component of resilient organizations Weick, When team psychological safety is high, team members are more likely to overcome threats of embarrassment and admit errors, ask for help, and discuss problems. This type of climate enhances both the challenge and support elements of experience Van Velsor et al.
It also facilitates a learning goal orientation among team members Dweck, Results of qualita- tive and quantitative analyses based on 51 work teams in a manufacturing company indicated that team psychological safety enhanced learning behavior, which in turn predicted team performance.
Given that action learning projects typically focus on the developmental target of improved teamwork Day, , and that group dynamics often are a key variable in helping executives learn from their project experiences Marsick, , much could be gained by facilitating a climate of trust and psychological safety i.
Unconditional trust is thought to be directly and indirectly related through such interpersonal processes as communal relationships and free exchange of information to interpersonal cooperation and teamwork. Thus, designing action learning projects with the intention of developing trust among participants would likely enhance the relational and cognitive dimensions of social capital.
Depending on the composition of the groups, there is also the likelihood of action learning projects enhancing the structural dimension of social capital. Based on this hypothesized relationship between action learning and social capital, and between social capital and leadership development, how action learning projects can be used for effective leadership development in organizations can be appreciated.
Proposition 6c: High trust and psychological safety among action learning project team members is positively related to the social capital of the team.
Results generally supported these propositions, and the notion that happiness and meaning were found to be independent factors in personal projects.
Simply put, doing well was no longer enough. That left integrity as the main source of well-being and meaning. In this manner, action learning can be use as a process of creating personal meaning in organizations.
Proposition 6d: Action learning goals that are aligned with individual goals result in meaningful developmental experiences. At the core of the difference is an orientation toward developing human capital leader development as compared with social capital leadership development. Orientation toward human capital emphasizes the devel- opment of individual capabilities such as those related to self-awareness, self-regula- tion, and self-motivation that serve as the foundation of intrapersonal competence McCauley, Orientation toward social capital emphasizes the development of reciprocal obligations and commitments built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect Drath, ; Whitener, ; it rests on a foundation of interpersonal competence, but ultimately, it requires enactment.
Leadership is developed through the enactment of leadership. The proposed distinction is an essential because the respective development approaches are grounded in very different leadership models. Leader development is based on a traditional, individualistic conceptualization of leadership. The under- lying assumption is that more effective leadership occurs through the development of individual leaders.
It also assumes that leadership is something that can be added to organizations to improve social and operational effectiveness. On the other hand, leadership development has its origins in a more contemporary, relational model of leadership.
This model assumes that leadership is a function of the social resources that are embedded in relationships. In this manner, leadership is considered an emergent property of social systems Salancik et al. Leadership emerges with the process of creating shared meaning, both in terms of sensemaking and in terms of value-added.
From this approach everyone is considered to be a leader. The latter is a more complex way of thinking about leadership. The distinction between leader development and leadership development should not be taken as edict for organizations to choose one approach over the other.
Either approach is incomplete by itself. Developing individual leaders without concern for reciprocal relations among people or their interactions within a broader social context ignores the research demonstrating that leadership is a complex interaction between individuals and their social and organizational environments. Attempting to build shared meaning systems and mutual commitments among communities of practice without a proper investment in individual preparation runs the risk of placing people in challenging developmental situations that are too far over their heads.
The preferred approach is to link leader development with leadership develop- ment such that the development of leadership transcends but does not replace the development of individual leaders. It has been said that a bridge must be well anchored on either side for effective development to occur Kegan, As with any change effort, success depends on the extent that people who are responsible for the success of the effort share the same assumptions about it and have been prepared appropriately Schein, The practices of degree feedback and executive coaching, mentoring and networking, and job assignment and action learning have all been lauded as benefi- cial for leadership development in one application or another.
Unfortunately, little hard evaluation evidence supports those claims. It is probably safe to conclude that any of these practices could be effective for leadership development, and that any could be ineffective. Effective leadership development is less about which specific practices are endorsed than about consistent and intentional implementation.
A key to effective implementation is having the organizational discipline to introduce leadership development throughout the organization, rather than bounded by spe- cific usually top levels. Another key to effectiveness is linking initiatives across organizational levels and in terms of an overall developmental purpose within the context of a strategic business challenge.
As proposed earlier, one conceptualization of leadership is that it emerges as people rely on their mutual commitments, trust, and respect to create new meaning that replaces what has been traditionally provided by formal structure, planning, and control.
It is this kind of leadership and not simply a collection of individual leaders that many contemporary organizations are striving to develop. Where are the leadership researchers in the midst of these exciting advances in the practice of leadership development?
It might also be noted that too many flowers of the same type makes for a relatively dull garden. The charismatic and transformational leadership approaches have merit and should not be ignored; these approaches, however, do not come close to representing the entire depth or complexity of thinking on leadership needed to design, evaluate, and improve leadership development efforts for the present and the future.
A potential lens that is offered in the present review connects the interrelated concerns of developing human and social capital in organizations. The differences between approaches is proposed as an overarching framework for conceptualizing leadership development practice, research, and theory in hopes of encouraging future research- ers to contribute, in particular, to a better understanding of this important topic.
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