Management development is a systematic process of growth and development by which managers develop their abilities to manage. It is the result of not only participating in formal courses of instruction but also the actual job experience. It is concerned with the improving the performance of the managers by giving them opportunities for growth and development. It is also any planned effort to improve current or future management performance. The role of the company in management development is to establish the programme and the developmental opportunities for its present and potential mangers.

Scope of Management Development

By scope is meant, the field management definition or area of coverage. The scope is to bridge the gap between present performance and the expected performance.

 Here we have:


                     The command of basic facts

                     Relevant professional knowledge


                     Continuing sensitivity to events


                     Analytical, problem-solving, decision-making and judgment making skills


                     Social skills and abilities


                     Emotional resilience


                     Pro-acting – the inclination to solve problems be fore the occur.



                     Mental Agility


                     Balanced learning habits and skills


 Management development is needed in order to keep the manager in possession of expertise so that he is wanting in skills and knowledge in any of the above – activities. This is how wide th e scope of management development needs are.

        Management Development Methods

 There are mainly two types of techniques by which managers can acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes and make themselves competent managers. One is through formal training and the other is through on – the – job experiences.

Formal Training/on–the Job Training

 On the job training is of utmost importance as the real learning takes place only when the learner uses what he has learnt. But it should also be remembered that classroom training or pedagogical techniques have also got their own importance in gaining new knowledge, and learning techniques and broader concepts.

Learning is haphazard without theoretical background and learning can never be called true learning if it is just theory without practice. When on – the – job training is properly balanced with t he classroom training the real learning takes place.

 Some of the techniques on – the – job techniques are:

Coaching – Here the trainee is placed under a particular s upervisorwho acts as an instructor and teaches job knowledge and skills to the trainee. He tells them what he wants him to do, how it can be done and follows up while it is being done and corrects errors.

Coaching should be distinguished from counselling as counselling involves a discussion between the boss and his subordinates in areas concerned with man’s hopes, fears, emotions and be done correctly. Counselling demands considerable background and ability on the part of the counsellor. Coaching can be done through routine work, talking of some complex problems and giving then chance to participate in decision – making. Though the limitations lies in the fact that the individual cannot develop much beyond the limits of the superior.

Job – Rotation – This is the transferring of executives from job – to –job and from department–to–department in a systemat ic manner. The idea behind this technique is to give the manager the required diversified skills and a broader outlook, which are very important at the senior management levels. It is up to the management to provide a variety of job experiences for those judged to have the potential for higher ranks before they are promoted.

job rotation

Job rotation increases the inter-departmental co-operation and reduces the monitory of work. It makes the executives in general management and does not allow them to confine themselves to their specialized field only.

Under Study – An “Understudy” is a person who is in training t oassume at a future time, the full responsibility of the position currently held by his superior. This method supplies the organization a person with as much of competence as the superior to fill his post which may fall vacant because of promotion, retirement or transfer.

An understanding maybe chosen by the department or its head. He will then teach what all his job involves and gives him a feel of what his job is. This understudy also learns the decision making, as his superior involves him in the discussion of daily operating problems as well as long-term problems. The leadership skills can also be taught by assigning him the task of supervising two or three people of the department.

Multiple Management – Multiple management is a system in whichpermanent advisory committees of managers study problems of the company and make recommendations to higher management. It is also called Junior Board of Executives System. These Committees discuss the actual problems and different alternative solutions after which discussions are taken.

Off-The-Job Techniques

Due to the fact that on – the – job techniques have

their own limitations

off- the – job techniques are considered important

to fill those gaps.

Some of the off – the – job techniques are:


Case Study


Incident Method


Role Playing


In Basket Method


Business Game


Sensitivity Training




Grid Training







Case Study: Here, cases are prepared on the basis of actual businesssituations that happened in various organizations. The trainees are given cases for discussing and deciding upon the case. Then they are asked to identify the apparent and hidden problems for which they have to suggest solutions.

Incident Method: This method was developed by Paul Pigors. It aimsat developing the trainee in the areas of intellectual ability, practical judgment and social awareness. Incidents are prepared on the basis of actual situations which happened in different organizations. Each employee in the training group is asked to study the incident and to make decisions.

Role Playing: A problem situation is simulated by asking theparticipants to assume the role of a particular person in the situation. The participant interacts with other participants assuming different roles. Mental set of the role is described but no dialogue is provided.

Role playing gives the participants vicarious experiences which are of much use to understand people better. This method teaches human relations skills through actual practice the examples of role playing situation are a grievance discussions, employment interview, a sales presentation.

In Basket Method: Here the trainees are first given backgroundinformation about a simulated company, its product, key personnel, various memoranda, requests and all data pertaining to the firm. Abilities that this kind of exercise develops are:


(1)              Situational judgement in being able to recall details, establishing priorities etc


(2)              Social sensitivity in establishing courtesy in written noted, scheduling meetings with personnel involved and explaining reasons for actions taken.


(3)              Willingness to make decisions and take action. 

Business Game – Here trainees are divided into groups. Each has todiscuss and aim at decisions concerning such subjects as production, pricing, research expenditure etc. assuming itself to be the management of a simulated firm. The other teams assume themselves as competitors and react to the decision. This immediate feedback helps to know the relative performance of each team. This promotes greater interaction among participants and gives them the experience in co-operative group processes. All this developed organizational ability, quickness of thinking, leadership and the ability to cope under stress.

Sensitivity Training – The main objectivity in this type of training isthe development of awareness of and sensitivity to behavioural pattern of oneself and others. This development result in increased openness with others, greater concern for others, increased tolerance for individual differences and less ethnic prejudices.

Simulation – Under this technique the situation is duplicated in such away that it carries a closer situation. The trainee experiences a feeling that he is actually encountering all those conditions. He is asked to assume a particular role in the circumstances and solve the problems by making a decision. He is immediately given a feedback of his performance.

Management Grid – It is a six-phase programme lasting from three –five years. It starts with upgrading management skills to group relations, goes into corporate planning, develops implementation methods and ends with an evaluation phase. The end represents several possible leadership styles. Each style represents a different combination of two basic orientations – concern for people and concern for production.

Conferences – It is a meeting of several people to discuss the subject ofcommon interest, better contribution from members that can be expected as each one builds upon ideas of other participants. This method is best suited when a problem has to be analyzed and examined from different view points. It helps the members develop their ability to modify their attitudes. Participants enjoy this method of learning as they get an opportunity to express their views.

Lectures – It is the simplest of all techniques. This is the besttechnique to present and explain series of facts, concepts and principles. The lecturer organizes the material and gives it to a group of trainees in the form of a talk.

Source  National Open University of Nigeria



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