The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a leadership development program based on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) principles. The program utilized process‐designed training groups to help participants develop emotional and social competence.
The study involved 162 managers from nine different companies in a random assignment control group design. There were nine different groups with nine managers in each group. Each group was required to follow the identical process. Trained moderators led the groups during year 1, but during year 2 a group member served as moderator, with all new moderators committing to following the process. The outcome measure was the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI), a multi‐rater measure of social and emotional competencies associated with effective leadership. Outcome data were collected before the program started, one year later, and two years later.
Results indicated that after two years the intervention group had improved more than the controls on all ECI variables.
The paper offers recommendations for future research on the mechanisms underlying the process‐designed group strategy and contextual factors that optimize results.
The paper describes a leadership development strategy that appears to be more economical and consistent in its delivery than traditional approaches such as workshops or executive coaching.
Although ISO principles are utilized widely in the business world, this is the first study that has used this approach in the design and delivery of management development. Also, few evaluations of management development efforts utilize a random assignment control group design with pre‐ and post‐measures or examine the impact on emotional and social competence, as demonstrated in the workplace over such a long period of time.
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