An empirical study of the criteria of managerial effectiveness in UK secondary schools is described, and the implications of the findings are discussed in relation to the current controversial debate in the UK surrounding the “universal competence approach” versus the “process approach” to Management Education, Training and Development (METD). Using critical incident technique and factor analysis to generate job dimensions from behavioural data, 16 criteria were identified. When compared with those applying in industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, as reported in the UK and USA literature, seven appeared to be held in common. These were deemed to be “universal” but made up less than half the total job domain; the other nine criteria appeared to be “situation” specific. The results suggest that to some extent the “universally effective manager” does exist, however, other strong evidence supports the views of those who promote the alternative “process approach”.
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