Features of Management Development

Meaning, Definition, Features and Purposes of Management Development

Table of Contents:

Meaning of Management Development

Nowadays, more than ever, the focus of organisations is on human resources, and in this competitive global business environment, human resource is an asset that plays a predominant role in positioning the company on top of the others. Today businesses are in a state of flux and dynamism in every field. If organisations want to succeed and grow, efficient managers and executives who are capable of enhancing and updating their skills to match fast-changing needs are required in such a business environment.

Management Development Definition 

Management development is defined as a systematic process that enables managers to develop their abilities to attain sustained development and growth. Management development is an educational process with the long-term objective of imparting theoretical and conceptual knowledge to managerial staff. It is not concerned with developing operational skills and technical know-how. Thus, it focuses on a broader educational canvas and has long-term outcomes as goals.

Definition of Management Development

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”.

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”. 

Features of Management Development

Management development has the following features: 

1) Ongoing Process: The development of managers is an ongoing process, spanning the whole occupational career of the management personnel of an organization. However, in India, management development was treated as an unsystematic and periodic activity, failing to fulfil the expected organisational needs. In contrast, a Zen philosophy has considered management development to be a systematic and ongoing process in any organisation.

2) Knowledge-Updating Activity: Organisational goals and necessities are in a constant state of change, requiring managers to be ever-ready to update and enhance their skills and knowledge. Management development processes need to tap the potential of managers and develop their skills and knowledge to fill the gap between their present competencies and future demands. This should be a constant process as organisations move up the ladder of change.

3) Change in Attitude and Perception: Attitudes and traits of human beings are the basis of their decisions and activities. The complexity of actions cannot be understood without understanding the attitudes underlying these actions. Management development programmes are directed towards understanding the attitudinal, perceptive,  and behavioural perspectives with the help of simulated sessions. 

Once these are understood, and appropriately planned, management development programmes can be undertaken to achieve the changes in attitudes. With the change in attitudes and perceptions, meaningful behaviour and improved interpersonal skills can be achieved, which are necessary for effective management.

4) Achievement of Greater Managerial Competence: It is necessary to devise management development programmes considering issues like employees’ age mix, situations leading to confusion and disputes, needs for motivation, and habits. Such programmes bring about improvement in managerial functions, making managers and executives more effective, competent,  and result-oriented. 

To optimally utilise the potential of managers and executives, they need to be accustomed to the complexities of managerial stress and strain through various management development programmes for achieving organisational goals.

5) Scaling Down Deficiencies: Managerial development programmes are directed towards determining work-related personal deficiencies and identifying the measures to overcome them. This enables the organisation to reap immense benefits in terms of obtaining better functional output from its managers and executives.

6) Promoting Self-Development: Simulation sessions re-enact live situations in classrooms. This helps to sharpen interpersonal skills and the like before managers actually face such life situations. Thus, management development prepares them to face future challenges. Interaction between managers facilitates learning from each other. Thus, these management development programmes promote self-development through simulation and observation.

Features of Management Development

Purposes of Management Development 

The following are the purposes of development programmes for various managerial personnel:

1) Top Management 

i) To widen the perception of every manager about his position, role and responsibilities within the organisation and outside it. 

ii) To enhance thought process and the ability to analyse to pinpoint and analyse problems and make the best decisions which are for the organisation’s good.

iii) To recognise technical, institutional and economic influences to tackle business issues. 

iv) To determine various problems faced by the organisation and foresee future problems so that precautionary action is.

2) Middle Line Management

i) To be absolutely clear about managerial duties and activities. 

ii) To develop problem-analysing abilities and corresponding competencies to take the required action.

iii) To acquaint managers with the effects of business laws, financial accounting and business statistics managerial functioning. 

iv) To impart knowledge of all aspects of managerial problems and be acquainted with and be aware of the importance of interdepartmental relations. 

v) To understand the role of motivation and interpersonal relationships in performing management functions efficiently.

vi) To inculcate a sense of responsibility among managers to play leadership roles effectively.

3) Middle Functional Executive and Specialists

i) To enhance the knowledge of business operations and functions in particular areas like marketing finance, production, and human resource. 

ii) To increase the level of expertise in management techniques like operations research, quality control, work-study, etc.

iii) To stimulate out-of-the-box thinking to establish improved methods and procedures.

iv) To understand various organisational functions.

v) To comprehend problems related to human relations. 

vi) To develop problem-solving ability in one’s functional domain.

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