Features of Management Development

MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT Meaning, Definition, Features and Purposes

Table of Contents:

  1. Management Development Definition 
  2. Meaning of Management Development
  3. Definition of Management Development
  4. Features of Management Development
  5. Purposes of Management Development 
  6. Importance of Management Development
  7. Management Development Programmes
  8. Limitations of Management Development

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.

Meaning of Management Development

Nowadays, more than ever, the focus of organisations is on human resources, and in this competitive global business environment, human resources 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.

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 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 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 resources. 

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.

Importance of Management Development

The importance of management development is as follows:

1) It enhances the leadership qualities and problem-solving abilities of managers.

2) It facilitates the development of those trainees who have a good grasp of the fundamental principles of management, possess the capability of working in a team, leading a team as well and coordinating the worker’s activities with time, resources and machinery to become an effective supervisor.

3) It enhances the efficiency of supervisors in training and developing their workers, both old and new. This is done to make them competent to perform their present and future tasks to adapt according to the changing strategies and goals of the organization.

4) It promotes and maintains good relations between managers and labour by fostering a better understanding of organisational rules and policies, including correctly interpreting and implementing the collective bargaining agreements.

5) It promotes and helps to maintain excellent employee relations by providing training about interpersonal relationships; inspiring them to achieve better performance by understanding their strengths and weaknesses, as well as personal characteristics; and encouraging them to maintain proper attitude towards their work.

Management Development Programmes

Organisations invest a huge amount in various development programmes for the betterment of the employees as well as the company. This investment is done in the form of money, resources and time. It is the right of the organisation to know whether these programmes are beneficial to them or not. So, the company should set specific standards to evaluate the proper functioning of these development processes and make sure that the output received from these programmes should be more than the input.

Thus, there are certain methods by which the management can assess these improvement agendas. Some of them are as follows:

  1. The investment is made to achieve organisational targets such as an increase in production quality and proper utilisation of resources (both human as well as physical).
  2. The contribution made by the development programme is to improve the performance of the employees.
  3. Returns on the investment made on various development programmes.

Limitations of Management Development

Though a company receives many benefits from these development processes there are several drawbacks to the administration development procedure.

Some of its limitations are as under:

1) Lack of Top Management Support

Every function taking place in an organisation needs the guidance and supervision of the higher authority. Without the cooperation and coordination of higher authority, the accomplishment of goals becomes a bit difficult. In simple words, it can be said that the support of top management is essential for any development programme to become successful. There are two simple ways in which top management can help in making any development process successful.

These are as follows:

i) Taking the initiative to participate vigorously in any development plan of the establishment.

ii) Creating a suitable atmosphere for the trainees during the management development programme.

2) Refusal to Change

Change is the necessity of time. Thus, to attain the organisational objectives, the changes have to be accepted by all the employees. However, things do not move so easily. There are very few competent employees who can simply adapt themselves according to the changes in the organisation. On the other hand, there may exist certain individuals who resist modifying themselves. But, for proper implementation of any growth programme and to improve the working style of the authority, these employees need to adjust to the changing situations.

3) Miscommunication

The organisation’s vision for development must be clear to all employees. For this, constant communication is needed among the employees throughout the organisation. Any kind of miscommunication about the changes taking place in the company may adversely affect the positive outcome of management development.

4) Lack of an Action Plan

Action plans are essential for incorporating any kind of business change. Without action plans, the organisation can’t move forward in the business process. Action plans give the right direction to the organisation on which they can successfully achieve their predefined objectives and meet the deadlines. Any flaws in the action plan can cost heavily to the organisation as well as the growth of its staff. Thus, frequent meetings can be conducted to oversee the progress of the action plan and opportunities should be given to the employees to express their ideas about the new developmental strategies.

5) Absence of Job Security

When an organisation is unable to provide work security and steadiness to its employees it lowers the morale of employees and hampers their smooth functioning, which in turn negatively affects the development of the management staff.

6) Frozen Supervisors

Sometimes, limited growth opportunities are available in the company which keeps the managers frozen. It adversely affects the management’s development as their chances of getting a promotion are very low. They feel as if they are fenced in within their job responsibility and are unable to get any enrichment in their working experience.

7) Social Inhibition

The absence of job security and fewer chances of promotion forces the employee to think about other aspects of his life such as family, friends, career, future, etc., which in turn hinders his development.

8) Stressed Industrial Relations

Cordial industrial relations between the higher authorities and the employees are crucial for the overall development of managers. However, because of their busy schedule, superiors do not get enough time to motivate their subordinates which may create a relation of fear in the employees, and hence their chances of growth naturally diminish. But, if the relationship between the two is smooth and adjusting, it eventually creates a suitable environment for their mutual development. Therefore, if managers can build cordial relations and give a congenial environment to their subordinates, they can easily retain good and quality workers for a longer period.

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