This paper is concerned with two questions: 1 What are the kinds of skills and other qualities in managers that contribute to managerial success and performance in various forms? 2 To what extent are these acquired by learning, and what are the sources of such learning? The aim is to propose and test a general framework or taxonomy describing what managers might need to learn, and to understand from where existing managers have acquired the skills and qualities they currently use. This further allows us to draw some conclusions about the part played by deliberate training and education activities, in comparison with ‘natural’ ones, in the development of managers. The paper considers and reports in turn on existing theories and research relevant to managerial qualities, a hypothetical model of such qualities, an empirical test of the models, and the results of a study of the sources involved in the acquisition of specific qualities contributing to successful management actions in a sample of managers.
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