The purpose of this paper is to investigate the intersection of learning theory and leadership development by developing a conceptual framework and applying it to an exemplar case.
First, the conceptual framework was developed through extant literature in learning theory. Then, using a qualitative design, the researchers conducted telephone interviews with participants and past graduates of a leadership programme that had already been evaluated as successful from a behavioural and job performance perspective.
Current participants and past graduates of the leadership development programme were more likely to describe their learning experiences in terms of “all in the hall” comments versus “sage on the stage” comments. The researchers also found that human resource professionals were not taking “all in the hall” factors into consideration when making decisions on awarding contracts for leadership development programmes.
Given that the paper examined only one case, further research in this area is needed to substantiate the findings. Interesting research opportunities exist at the intersections of two disparate bodies of scholarly knowledge.
The researchers suggest that more attention should be paid to learning principles in both the design of leadership development programmes and the decision criteria employed by those who are responsible for awarding contracts.
To the researchers' knowledge, this paper constitutes the first investigation of leadership development through a cognitive psychology lens.
Foster, M., Bell Angus, B. and Rahinel, R. (2008), "“All in the hall” or “sage on the stage”: learning in leadership development programmes", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 504-521. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730810894168Download as .RIS
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