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Outcomes of management and leadership development

Patrick McGurk (University of Greenwich, Greenwich, London, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 25 May 2010




This paper seeks to conceptualise and assess the outcomes of management and leadership development (MLD) at individual, business and organisational levels.


Using the case study approach, the paper investigates the content and outcomes of three concurrent but different MLD interventions for middle‐managers in an “excellent”‐rated local authority adult social services department.


The paper demonstrates: how a traditional management development programme led to more effective compliance with prescribed objectives, yet made little contribution to strategic change; how an individualised leadership programme had individual benefits but negligible impact on the business; and how a collective and emergent approach to leadership development made a significant but unintended contribution to strategic change.

Research limitations/implications

The paper highlights the need for further contextualised research at the organisational level into the outcomes of MLD.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the limitations of “off‐the‐shelf” MLD interventions and the importance of designing and implementing development programmes with sufficient regard to professional and organisational context.


The paper provides an in‐depth and contextualised insight into the conditions for success and failure in management development interventions.



McGurk, P. (2010), "Outcomes of management and leadership development", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 457-470.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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