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Management development of senior executives: Methods and their effectiveness

Vesa Suutari (Department of Management, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland)
Riitta Viitala (Department of Management, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 6 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discover the preferences for management development methods used in the development of senior managers, and to discover the perceived effectiveness, as well as strengths and weaknesses, of different methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The study can be classified as a quantitative internet‐survey study, which also benefits from qualitative data through open‐ended questions. The sample of the study consisted of 2,500 senior managers of which 878 participated in the study.

Findings

The results indicate that the dominance of traditional short‐term management development activities continues while more longitudinal methods emphasizing experience‐based learning were reported to be more effective in supporting the development of senior managers. In addition, various key strengths and weaknesses of different methods were identified.

Research limitations/implications

In future research, more in‐depth and longitudinal qualitative analysis of different management development methods would be useful to complement the understanding of such methods and their effectiveness.

Practical implications

Through the empirical analysis of the effectiveness of the management development methods, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, the paper provides useful information to organizations and experts about providing management development programs at the senior management level.

Originality/value

The paper provides latest information concerning the use of different management development methods, and increases the understanding about the characteristics and effectiveness of different management development methods at the senior management level.

Keywords

Citation

Suutari, V. and Viitala, R. (2008), "Management development of senior executives: Methods and their effectiveness", Personnel Review, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 375-392. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483480810877561

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited