Management Development Objectives, Importance and Methods

Table of Contents:-

    • What is Management Development?
    • Objectives of Management Development
    • Importance of Management Development
    • Management Development Process

What is Management Development?

Today’s business is characterised by constant change and dynamism in every sphere. Organisations have become more human resource oriented and it is the human resource capital that plays a dominant role in helping the organization to stand apart in the crowd. The success and growth of an organisation depend largely upon the calibre and performance of its executives/managers. Hence, it becomes imperative for managers to continuously educate themselves and stay updated on the ever-changing management practices.

Management development is a long-term educational process utilising a systematic and organised procedure by which managerial personnel get conceptual and theoretical knowledge. It refers not to technical knowledge and educational concepts, but rather to technical knowledge and operational skills. It involves a broader education approach aimed at fostering long-term development. Thus, management development is a systematic process of growth and development by which the managers develop their abilities to manage.

According to Koontz and Donnell, “Manager development concerns how a person cultivates those skills which application will improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which the anticipated results of a particular organisational segment are achieved”.

According to Dale S. Beach, “Management development is a systematic process of training and growth by which individuals gain and apply knowledge, skills, insights and attitudes to manage orientation effectively”.

According to Flippo, “Management development includes the processes by which managers and executives acquire not only skills and competency in their present jobs but also capacities for future managerial tasks”.

Objectives of Management Development

Objectives for the development of managerial personnel for various levels of management are given below:

1) Top Management

i) To broaden the outlook of the executive regarding their role, position and responsibilities in the organisation and outside.

ii) To think about various problems that may confront the organisation now or in the future.

iii) To gain a thorough understanding of the problems of human relations.

iv) To improve thought process and analytical ability to uncover and examine problems and make decisions in the best interests of the country and organization,

v) To understand economic, technical and institutional forces to solve business problems.

2) Middle Line Management

i) To raise awareness of the wider management issues and foster understanding and appreciation for inter-departmental relationships,

ii) To establish a clear picture of executive functions and their associated responsibilities.

iii) To develop familiarity with the managerial uses of psychology, financial accounting, business law and business statistics.

iv) To inculcate a deep understanding of human motivation and relationships.

v) To develop the ability to analyse problems and to take appropriate action.

vi) To develop responsible leadership.

3) Middle Functional Executive and Specialists

i) To increase proficiency in management techniques such as work-study, inventory control, operations research, quality control, etc.

ii) To stimulate creative thinking to improve methods and procedures.

iii) To increase knowledge of business functions and operations in specific fields in marketing, production, finance, and personnel.

iv) To develop the ability to analyse problems in one’s area or functions.

v) To understand the functions carried out within a company.

vi) To understand human relations problems.

Importance of Management Development

The importance of management development is explained as follows:

1) It helps to develop effective managers who understand the basic principles of planning, supervision, and organising their work effectively by directing and coordinating the activities of workers with materials, machines, and time and acquiring know-how about when to delegate authority and responsibility.

2) It helps in spreading a greater understanding of company policies and rules, including the proper interpretation and application of collective bargaining agreements.

3) It helps in providing more effective training to workers, both new and old, to make them efficient in their present jobs and to enable them to perform new operations demanded by changing conditions.

4) It helps to promote and maintain good employee relations through knowledge of how to get along with people and inspire them to greater achievement, understanding their capacities and personal characteristics, and enhancing their proper attitude towards their work and their company.

5) It improves the quality of managers and the ability to meet problems involved in managing human resources.

Management Development Process

The management development process involves the following steps as shown in the image below:

Step 1: Assessing the Company’s Strategic Needs

The first step in a management development process is the evaluation of the future managerial requirements of an organisation based on its business strategies. For example, business strategies like new product introduction, market expansion, merger and Acquisition (M&A), strategic responses to the competitors’ actions and the introduction of new technology usually necessitate the development of new knowledge and skills among the managers. However, it is difficult for an organisation to determine the quantity and quality of the skills the managers need for the future. This is because business strategies are developed mostly as immediate, incremental, and intuitive responses of an organisation to the developments in the external environment rather than as a planned and deliberate reaction.

Step 2: Evaluating the Skills and Competencies of Managers

In the next step, the existing skills and abilities of the managers are assessed in line with the future strategies of the organisation. At this stage, critical competencies like what the manager can do at present and the behaviour and competency required to complete the job effectively are assessed. Managers’ competency levels and skill gaps are usually evaluated with the help of performance evaluation techniques. The skill gaps found in managers normally form the basis for framing the management development programmes.

Step 3: Evolving Strategies for the Development of Managers

In this final step, the organisation decides how it should proceed with the process of developing the managers to meet its future management requirements. It focuses on the critical aspects of the development programmes, like their objectives, mode of delivery, place and duration, cost and benefits, and assessment techniques. The size and nature of the organisation, the prevailing environment, the level of technology, and the management philosophy often influence management development activities. The requirements, nature, and process of management development are usually individual and employee-centred. They may also be different and unique for each organisation.

For example, some organisations may prefer to follow a pre-meditated routine development programme with result-oriented assessment systems. In contrast, some others may ensure that their managers get ample opportunities and support to develop themselves in their profession with the slightest concern for the formalities and rituals. In the same way, there may also be a difference in the learning skills and the opportunities available to the managers. For example, some managers may be endowed with better managerial abilities and motivation to learn quickly compared to others.

Management Development

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