Compares individual perceptions of management development across two groups of students who had achieved either an academic management qualification or a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Management. Also examines the experience of candidates on the vocational qualification (VQ). Reports that perceptions of the extent to which management development had occurred were similar between the two groups, although the NVQ group had a higher proportion of non‐developers on some dimensions. Significant differences were found only for development of written and numerical ability, where the academic programme was rated more highly, and for team management, where VQ candidates rated more highly. Also reports that similar patterns of development were perceived by the two groups. Self‐understanding by NVQ candidates appears to have been enhanced through development of openness to feedback, leading to greater awareness of own management style, sensitivity to others and personal confidence. Managerial development centred on task analysis and prioritization, and awareness of the organization’s micro and macro environments.
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