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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Clinton Longenecker and Laurence Fink

The purpose of this paper is to identify the specific steps organizations can take to create value-added appraisal systems.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the specific steps organizations can take to create value-added appraisal systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors synthesize 30 years of their research, including countless focus groups and surveys with managers at all levels, to identify the specific steps organizations can take to create value-added appraisal systems.

Findings

The paper explains ten key lessons for improving any organization’s performance appraisal system.

Practical implications

The authors believe that the lessons described in this paper can be applied in all organizations, and not to apply these lessons invites ineffective and potentially destructive appraisal practices.

Originality/value

The paper provides a unique set of lessons that organizations can use to design or re-design their performance appraisal systems and practices.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Clinton Longenecker, Sheri Caldwell and Deborah Ball

The purpose of this paper is to identify and share the specific factors that cause senior human resource (HR) leaders to lose their jobs. The paper will also provide…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and share the specific factors that cause senior human resource (HR) leaders to lose their jobs. The paper will also provide readers with key lessons to help them improve their senior HR leadership talents and acumen while at the same time providing them with a checklist of specific questions that address the causes of termination.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors will describe a leadership development process that they use to help senior HR leaders identify the causes of senior HR leadership failure. A focus group methodology is used so that senior leaders are able to share their experience and input in response to the question, “Based on your experience, what are the primary factors that will cause a senior HR leader to be terminated from their position?” In this paper, the authors will share what they have learned from these HR leaders having gone to this process with hundreds of senior HR leaders. The authors will also provide the readers with lessons based on their input.

Findings

Senior HR leader focus groups revealed a set of “failure factors” that included a lack of understanding of the core business model, inability to fashion an effective value-added HR strategy, poor working relationships with members of the senior leadership team, a marked lack of emotional intelligence, political factors and an inability to create best HR practices and leverage technology, among others. Participant leaders provided rich dialogue and discussion points that provide the readers with a better understanding of why senior HR leaders fail, and equally important, how to avoid HR leadership failure.

Research limitations/implications

The basis for the findings stated in this paper is based on the content analysis of a convenience sample which may limit the generalizability of these findings. Having said that, the findings will provide the readers with a rich context for better understanding of the nature of senior HR leaders’ terminations.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this project provide the readers with any number of important lessons requiring application. From a senior HR leader’s perspective, the key lessons from this research provide them with a checklist of factors that need attention and forging and implementing an effective HR strategy and set of best practices. At the organizational level, these findings can serve as a needs assessment that can be used in senior HR leader selection, orientation and development.

Social implications

Any time a paper provides guidelines that can help prevent senior leadership failure, there is a positive social effect for both organizations and individuals operating in these environments. The authors believe that the findings will provide the readers with effective guidelines to improve the overall effectiveness of senior HR leaders when properly implemented. Previous research makes it clear that when organizations have great HR practices, the quality of work life for organizational members moves in the right direction.

Originality/value

As a general rule, there is limited research on the subject matter of why leaders fail while antidotal information and literature abound. It is the authors purpose to provide the readers of Strategic HR Review, the relevant information based on the input of their fellow members of the C-suite so as to improve their performance and provide their organizations with the template for organizational HR success.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2020

Clinton Longenecker and Mike McCartney

The purpose of this paper is to provide readers with research findings based on qualitative data that describe the benefits of executive coaching from a sample of 70…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide readers with research findings based on qualitative data that describe the benefits of executive coaching from a sample of 70 senior business executives, all of whom have a personal executive coach. In addition, the paper provides readers with specific questions concerning their organizations’ approach to executive leadership development and the application of these potential benefits to their enterprise.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings of this study are based on personal interviews with 30 executives and ten four-person focus groups in which both sets of participants were asked to describe personal and organizational benefits associated with their experiences in using executive coaches.

Findings

Interviews and focus group findings converged around a number of benefits associated with effective executive coaching. These benefits included improved executive focus, better alignment of key leadership behaviors, candid and ongoing feedback, accountability for appropriate leader behaviors, improved emotional intelligence and ego control and personal support and encouragement, among others.

Research limitations/implications

This qualitative study provides empirical evidence of the benefits of executive coaching from the perspective of senior business leaders. These findings provide researchers with specific criteria that can be tested and measured on a larger scale. The primary limitation of the study is the small sample size of only 70 executives.

Practical implications

The findings of this research provide a compelling set of benefit trends that individual executives, boards of directors and organizations need to consider in the development of their senior leaders. Specific questions are included to guide practitioner’s thinking concerning executive coaching and its role in their organizations.

Social implications

These findings make a compelling case that senior leaders can become more effective and can experience great benefits when they properly make use of an effective executive coach. The development of senior leaders using this tool can have a powerful impact on organizational performance and organization’s culture.

Originality/value

A review of the literature will reveal that anecdotal evidence abounds, but there is limited empirical research chronicling the true benefits of executive coaching.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2019

Clinton Oliver Longenecker and Michael L. Mallin

The purpose of this research paper is to identify and describe the key leadership skills associated with great leaders in the sales discipline. Nine critically important…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research paper is to identify and describe the key leadership skills associated with great leaders in the sales discipline. Nine critically important sales leadership skills are identified and discussed in this manuscript with the purpose of getting sales leaders think about skill set development while providing those responsible for sales leadership development an opportunity to think through some critically important questions.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of over 300 sales personnel were asked to individually describe the best sales leader with whom they had ever worked for during your career. Focus groups were then conducted to identify the most critical skills for sales leadership success. A content analysis of the focus group findings were then used to tabulate the key findings in this paper.

Findings

Key findings from this focus group study identified a wide range of critically important leadership skills and behaviors that included: emotional intelligence and 360° communication skills, possessing the ability to effectively coach and develop sales personnel, the ability to create clear performance expectations and accountability, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, the ability to engage a sales workforce, strategic acumen, character and integrity, and data Mining and analytical skills, among others.

Research limitations/implications

The key findings from this research provide the reader with a host of potentially testable hypotheses as well as ideas and findings for future sales leadership research. 10;This study provides a clear roadmap for sales leaders to develop critically important skill sets needed for improving a sales force's performance and revenue generation capabilities. 10.

Practical implications

This study provides a clear roadmap for sales leaders to develop critically important skill sets needed for improving a sales force's performance and revenue generation capabilities.

Social implications

The social implications of the study make it clear that great sales leaders take great care of their workforces, develop their people, and demonstrate great character and integrity in the workplace.

Originality/value

This paper will identified nine specific leadership skills and practices required for high performance in this regard. Focus group findings will challenge the readers thinking on several key fronts while at the same time providing them with a punch list of critically important behaviors that can be targeted and developed. This information is important for both individual performers as well as those responsible for sales leadership development in their organizations.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2019

Clinton O. Longenecker and Gary S. Insch

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the practices that high-performance leaders believed were influential for accelerating their development as leaders.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the practices that high-performance leaders believed were influential for accelerating their development as leaders.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consisted of US based, mid-level leaders at Fortune 1000 companies who were identified by their organizations as being “high performers possessing the strong ability to deliver desired results for their enterprises.” The authors recently conducted focus groups with a subset of over 200 of these high-performing leaders and asked them to answer the following question: “Please identify what you would consider to be the five (5) most influential factors that accelerated your development as a leader.” Leaders were then randomly assigned to five-person focus groups to discuss their individual responses and come to consensus on what they considered to be the top leadership development “accelerators.” A content analysis of over 20 focus groups’ response sets allowed us to identify a list of top leadership development “accelerators”.

Findings

Seven leadership accelerators were identified: working for a great leader; experiencing an extremely challenging assignment or major organizational change; working in an organization that requires and supports skill development; possessing a strong mentor/accountability partner; ongoing personal reflection and self-assessment; experiencing a significant failure or career setback; and formal leadership development training/continuing education.

Research limitations/implications

It is important that leaders, HR professionals, and talent managers know and understand these factors and to make it an ongoing priority to systematically address the key questions that emerged from these findings.

Practical implications

Leaders should thoughtfully answer the questions presented for themselves and encourage leaders in their organization to do the same.

Originality/value

This paper, using primary data from “high-performance” leaders, identifies and explains seven important leadership development accelerators.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Clinton Longenecker and Gary S. Insch

The purpose of this paper is to identify the specific practices senior leaders need to engage in to best support their organization’s leadership development initiatives…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the specific practices senior leaders need to engage in to best support their organization’s leadership development initiatives. All organizations invest billions of dollars around the world in leadership development, but there is surprisingly little attention given to the important role that senior leaders play in supporting these efforts. This paper draws upon focus group research with those responsible for designing and implementing leadership development initiatives to identify the strategic role senior leaders play in formal leadership development efforts.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore this issue, we conducted structured focus groups with over 250 executives, HR leaders and talent managers from over 30 different global organizations. Participants were responsible for leadership development in their respective organizations, averaged 44 years of age, 18 years of work experience, and were 54 per cent men and 46 per cent women. These focus groups were being used to solicit the input of those responsible for leadership development to identify the specific things senior leaders need to do to best support these leadership development efforts. The participants were asked to answer the following question, “Based on your experience, what specific things do senior leaders in your organization need to do to best support your efforts at developing high performance and strong leadership talent?”

Findings

Focus groups identified a series of key senior leader behaviors that are necessary to support an organization’s leadership development efforts. These findings, included the importance of senior leadership commitment to the process, the identification of specific leadership behaviors necessary to support these initiatives, the requirement of clearly understanding the organizations leadership development process, providing appropriate financial, staffing and technology resources to support these efforts, creating a climate of continuous learning and role modeling appropriate behaviors, among other findings.

Research limitations/implications

While the focus groups in this research and the subsequent qualitative and quantitative analysis of the findings were rigorous, the participants were not a randomly selected group and were by definition a convenience sample. At the same time, the implications of this research are significant on this important subject and provide a solid baseline for both practitioners and researchers alike to help explore, identify and build on best practices for senior leaders to support organizational leadership development initiatives.

Practical implications

Leadership is the key to success in any organization. To maintain that success, leadership development and continuous learning is imperative. This paper provides ten specific practices based on the focus group research that can help senior leaders create a more supportive environment for effective leadership development initiatives. The methodology used to identify these factors can be duplicated in other organizations to help them build an appropriate model for senior leader support for leadership development in their enterprise.

Social implications

The social implications for improving any organizations’ leadership is significant. It is known that effective leaders foster innovation, improve teamwork, create a more positive workplace, drive continuous improvement in quality, reduce turnover and improve the financial performance of most enterprises. With this backdrop, organizations can and must do everything in their power to accelerate leadership development and to engage in activities that do so. This paper will help pinpoint leaders and leadership development researchers and experts in that direction.

Originality/value

This manuscript offers a unique perspective on the role of senior leaders from the perspective of those who design leadership development programming in their organizations. And given both the readership and focus of this journal, this is an important perspective which takes into account the operational demands of leadership development in the strategic role senior leaders play in supporting these efforts.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

Clinton O. Longenecker

Formal management education, ranging from seminars and workshops to comprehensive MBA programs, is readily available and is viewed as a primary tool for management…

Abstract

Formal management education, ranging from seminars and workshops to comprehensive MBA programs, is readily available and is viewed as a primary tool for management development. Yet, critics often cite that the transfer of learning of knowledge and practices from the classroom to workplace can be very limited.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

Clinton O. Longenecker

The former Soviet Union is presently going through a period of unprecedented economic and organizational change. In this “wild market”, many Russian organizations are…

Abstract

The former Soviet Union is presently going through a period of unprecedented economic and organizational change. In this “wild market”, many Russian organizations are struggling to compete and adapt. During the decade of the 1990s Russian managers have had to develop new skills and business practices to lead their organizations. Many managers have successfully made this transformation but managerial failure is also common place. This article explores the primary causes of why managers fail in this post‐Soviet era based on a survey of 174 Russian managers and offers specific lessons on management development for organizations operating in modern Russia and Eastern Europe.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1999

David LaHote, Jack L. Simonetti and Clinton O. Longenecker

Aims to provide an in‐depth discussion of how a Fortune 500 manufacturing organization refocussed its management development practices using a systems approach. A…

Abstract

Aims to provide an in‐depth discussion of how a Fortune 500 manufacturing organization refocussed its management development practices using a systems approach. A description of how the organization conducted a needs assessment, developed a system for management education and recreated its approach to management development are discussed. The implications for organizational practice are clearly stated that management development is a shared responsibility between a manager and his or her employer. This article will also discuss the evolution of this organization’s approach to developing managers for the twenty‐first century. It is also important to note that Aeroquip‐Vickers was recently honored as one of the 100 best managed companies in the US by Inc Magazine.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Clinton O. Longenecker and Joseph A. Scazzero

Notes the spread of organizational efforts at continuous improvement using a total quality management (TQM) strategy throughout the global marketplace, and that the…

Abstract

Notes the spread of organizational efforts at continuous improvement using a total quality management (TQM) strategy throughout the global marketplace, and that the factors and practices which lead to quality improvement are indeed well documented. Points out that, while most organizations which start TQM efforts are motivated to succeed, they are frequently exposed to the factors which may cause their TQM efforts to struggle or even fail. Details research in which 137 managers from practising TQM organizations were asked to assess their perceptions of TQM on a host of critical issues associated with long‐term continuous improvement, and were asked to identify specific reasons why quality problems still existed in their organizations. Finds that these managers believe that TQM efforts improve quality, yet they also described a host of problems which can plague organizations well advanced in the TQM process. Maintains that an understanding of these problems can provide needed help for companies involved in long‐term continuous improvement efforts.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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