This paper aims to discuss a framework for analysing the learning and transfer of conflict handling skills via leadership development programmes. The framework links the role of knowledge in skill acquisition to the process of learning transfer to suggest how different methodologies may influence learning outcomes.
In order to explore the veracity of the framework, content analysis was conducted on 22 UK leadership development programmes. In addition, semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 18 managers acting in leadership roles and ten leadership development providers.
Results confirmed the model to be tenable insofar as providers reportedly utilised both design paths represented in the framework and as managers used the approaches in handling business conflicts.
The framework remains to be tested longitudinally with a large sample of managers and providers. Given the lack of empirical work to support an expressed link between design and outcome to maximise effect, a mixed methodology examining both approach and rationale would be essential.
It is suggested that clients question the training provider about the philosophy underlying skills learning and transfer. Due consideration should also be given to the circumstances under which learning transfer may be optimised.
It is proposed that the framework may offer clients an evaluation tool in respect of particular methodologies or course designs and that this may help to maximise the chances of focused learning and subsequent skills transfer.
Burke, V. and Collins, D. (2005), "Optimising the effects of leadership development programmes: A framework for analysing the learning and transfer of leadership skills", Management Decision, Vol. 43 No. 7/8, pp. 975-987. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740510609974
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