Offers some new and different insights into the field of management development. Begins by inviting the reader to consider that bottom‐line profit results are influenced by the behaviour of, and attention to, both internal and external customers. An example is then used to explain how the context for management development hinges on three key organizational factors, namely culture, consultation and commitment. Links this contextual framework to two important business profiles, namely the business strategy profile and the business planning profile, in order to locate the management development context. Reinforces the view that training initiatives such as “customer care” programmes only really work when the context is not only explained to staff, but that such initiatives are finite, measurable in results terms, and carry customer‐related benefits which affect the profitability of the business. Argues that unplanned staff development initiatives can militate against real progress being made, simply because of the lack of contextual integration.
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