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Management learning, performance and reward: theory and practice revisited

Caroline Rowland (Chester Business School, University of Chester, Chester, UK)
Roger Hall (Hall Consultancy, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 8 April 2014




The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which organizational learning is recognized through performance management systems as contributing to organizational effectiveness and competitive advantage.


It reviews several pieces of research, employing a wide range of methods, including: content analysis of managers’ reflections; questionnaires completed by managers and mentors; a large-scale survey involving ethnography, interviews and questionnaires; and analysis of documents from professional bodies and management delivery centres.


Genuine integration of individual and organizational goals or transfer of learning from the individual to the organization is not evident. Few qualitative measures of organizational performance are employed. The impact of metrics such as IIP or EFQM on organizational effectiveness is nor discernible. Management learning and development is rarely measured even when it is encouraged by the organization. There is a clear divide between research, teaching and learning and workplace practice. Performance management systems create perceptions of unreliability and inequity.

Research limitations/implications

Espousing the value of learning and learning to learn, measuring them accurately and rewarding them with meaningful changes to working life can only improve organizational effectiveness. Research into the few organizations that have successfully embraced triple loop learning in their development of managers may offer a template for transformational learning to sustain competitive advantage.


Management development processes have been successful in developing individuals but less successful in achieving organizational development. This paper offers new insights into that gap and the omissions in the metrics by which performance is measured.



Rowland, C. and Hall, R. (2014), "Management learning, performance and reward: theory and practice revisited", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 342-356.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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