Management and Organization Development

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Management development is the process that sees managers in an organization improve their skills, benefiting themselves and the organization (Rothwell and Kazanas 199, p.71). For the organization to succeed, the management team has to engage in individual management development (Rothwell 1998, p.81). When the management leadership is backed by experienced and a platform of knowledge, then the organization is able to develop.

The employee and the supervisor develop individual management development; it is a step-by-step process that builds and develops the employee (Thayer 1961, p.100). The employee is able to maintain current job proficiency through individual management development. Employees come into the organization with different skills and job knowledge, the management development helps this employees maintain their skills and knowledge on the job. Sometimes, according to Thayer (1961) an employee could come in very active and knowledgeable but with time defoliate in terms of performance (p.100).

Management development comes into charter a path career for all employees in an organization, so they can identify new skills and abilities to pursue their career. This mentioned, it is important that the employees access different forms of training and learning sessions, both formal and informal, to develop in their careers (Standing 2001, p.122).

The organization is the overall beneficiary of individual management training because the employee’s development reflects on their work level and performance (Hill 2009, p.382). Increased knowledge and skills mean increased production for the organization.

An organization has to learn how to analyze the different employees and their career paths and goals in order to encourage individual assessment. The organization is also challenged to learn how to encourage the employees to draw individual development plans for both their careers and the organization (Edgar 2002, p. 346). This way, the individual will not have to be chased to play their role because they already know what is expected of them.

An organization should analyze and find out the need for individual management development and get ready for the process (Burgoyne 1998, p. 56). The development process will have the organization involved because they have to provide time and other resources, such as cash for training. This is why it is important for the organization to analyze and try and find out if the individual plans for development are in sync with the company’s objectives and goals (Burgoyne 1998, p.57).

Once the organization is assured of the individual plans, then it should find out how best to fund the individual management development process. For an organization with many units and many employees, it should be realized that individual management development is tailor-made (Chen 2004, p.5). Each employee has their own goals and objectives that they hope to achieve, and this is mostly a strategy to achieve the organization’s objectives and goals.

Individual management development is a process that benefits both the employee and the organization. The employee, through this process, is able to enhance their skills and knowledge and, in the process, develop new ideas and abilities (Rothwell and Kazanas 1999, p.72). This improved competence helps the employees achieve personal career goals outside and inside the organization. The organization, on the other hand, benefits by developing its employee’s capabilities, knowledge, and skill, and workload planning. The organization then boasts of competent employees and a skilled workforce who can make the organization more effective and productive (Camp 1989, p.9).

This paper seeks to critically evaluate the issues evolved around individual management development; it will also describe the factors that motivate individuals. It will discuss the key issues of working as a team in an organization to achieve individual development (Edgar 2002, p.346). Then it will later introduce the framework for enhancing the people’s capability.

Personal reflection

The employees are the greatest resources that an organization has, and therefore the organization must invest in this resource (Sekhar 2010, p.32). The manager’s task is people-oriented, so managers are placed to lead, motivate, and encourage, control, and monitor individuals in an organization. This means the management must have an understanding of all the employees, failure to this the management is bound to be unsuccessful. Most organizations fail due to poor people management, and lack of proper labor planning (Laird 1985, p.49).

There are a few factors that encourage people management and yield results in managing development for each individual (Rothwell 1998, p.79). The first involves respect, this entails respecting the fact that people have different skills, and that each skill in an organization is essential. Discrimination here should be ruled out because skills are different and vary from one person to the next.

The second factor involves consistency; this applies to the manner in which individuals are placed under development training. The process should be consistent in order to see all the organization’s employees grow (Laird 1985, p. 50). The third factor involves inclusion; for management, development to be successful, all employees must be included and that all views are listened to and considered.

Last is honesty, a factor that assists the employees in admitting their weaknesses and how best they can go about improving their strengths to counteract their weaknesses. The employees, when carrying a failed project, they ought to admit the real reasons behind the failure instead of sugar coating the challenges faced.

The first step towards development management in an organization is team selection; the right staff in any organization is very important (Chris 2005, p.231). When carrying out staff selection, the organization could gain beneficial information about the individual through the individual, interviews, and recommendations or comments by people who have worked with the person before.

For an organization like the Dell Company, the selection process is always carried out by the HR department to ensure the organization gets the right staff. When selecting the organization’s software engineers either from internally or externally, the company will always check on firsthand experience and user interface design (Chris 2005, p. 232). The organization will analyze the general skills the applicant has through a designed interview. The interpersonal skills are later tested through a face-to-face interview where the panel gets to understand the motivation of the individual, personal objectives, and goals.

The Dell company, as stated by Chris (2005)has its own selection factors that lead them to acquire the right employee, some of these factors include; first-class experience, platform experience, problem-solving ability, both personal and work-related problems(236). Dell will always consider the person’s educational background, communication ability, response to change of systems, and environment (237). Lastly, the organization considers the person’s personality, attitude, and values.

Just like the Dell Company, organizations have their selection factors outlined so as to acquire the right people into the company. Having the right people is a start to management development because the chosen people are skilled, competent and focused to enhance in their career paths (Cooper 2005, p.237).

The second step towards individual management development is motivation; this is an important aspect to the employees working in an organization (Thayer 1961, p.102). Motivation is the various incentives applied by the organization to encourage the employees of an organization to perform. There are different types of motivation according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and they include basic needs example food, clothing and shelter. The second needs are personal needs example respect and self-esteem and lastly social needs which are composed of acceptance in society (Thayer 1961 p.103). Below is a representation of the hierarchy of need as described by Maslow’s that shows the level of human needs in stages (Thayer 1961, p.104)

Maslow's pyramid of human needs
Maslow’s pyramid of human needs

The esteem needs can be used in the organization to reward and recognize the work of the individual employee. This helps motivate the employees and encourage them to be more effective in the organization (Lessem 1998, p.49). The social needs would provide for communal facilitation where the organization should ensure everyone has a feeling of belonging. In this sense the organization could organize social events for the employees to bridge the gap and allow informal interactions (Davis 2010, p.60). Activities like team building are very important in today’s work environment, because it encourages individuals to work as a team and it also allows free communication amongst the employees.

The safety needs applies for job security and equality in the organization, when the employees are provided with job security, this puts them to rest mentally and they are able to concentrate on improving their skills and developing themselves (Burgoyne 1998, p.57). The psychological needs are the basic needs that cover everyday life including food, shelter and clothing. The employees if offered this needs and are assured of the sustainability then they will feel the need to better themselves towards career growth (Rothwell 1998, p.82).

It is impossible to lack basic needs and to have the motivation to undergo management development. For most people basic needs come first that is why the organization should consider the pay packages of all employees in the organization (Rothwell 1998, p. 82). A person who has no home or food to eat for example will not be motivated to take up job development management. That is why organizations today also employ a counselor to assist employees under much pressure to learn how to manage their roles and responsibilities (Rothwell and Kazanas 1999, p.75). Organizations also work to improve on worker’s benefits and working conditions to motivate them and allow individual motivation.

An example include, working conditions, interpersonal relationships, pay, job security, company policies, supervising and administration. These factors are identified by Herzberg as hygiene factors, which reduce dissatisfaction when present to an acceptable degree (Thayer 1961, p.104). Herzberg argued that if the employees are exposed to friendly working environment, good interpersonal relationships and assured job security, the employee is bound to attain high levels of job satisfaction and as a result improve organization performance.

Job enrichment: this is the process involved to modify jobs so that employees can experience more of the motivator factors (Thayer 1961, p.104). Job enrichment was Herzberg’s application of the motivation-hygiene theory, that offers opportunities to experience achievement, opportunities to take responsibility, opportunities to learn and lastly to be autonomous. Herzberg proposed if manager’s enriched jobs, the workers would improve their interest in their work and exercise great responsibility, increasing productivity levels. In the process of looking into job enrichment Herzberg suggested eight ingredients for job enrichment (Lessem 1998, p. 22). The following include establishing client relationships where employees have the opportunity to serve an internal and external client. Secondly, creating continuous opportunities to learn, giving employees the right to schedule their work plan and providing employees with direct performance feedback from the work place (Thayer 1961, p. 104). Giving employees free control over organization resources, and granting employees the permission to directly communicate with people in the organization. Lastly Herzberg suggests providing employees with personal accountability for their own performance.

An organization with good staff selection and one that motivates its employees and encourages job enrichment has high success rate of individual management development. Below is a people management development model that links selection, motivation and job enrichment to individual management development (Lessem 1985, p. 50).

Selection, motivation and job enrichment to individual management development
Selection, motivation and job enrichment to individual management development

Research and discussion

Many managers and employees are placed into organization positions because they are capable to take up the responsibilities that come with the role (Bontis 1999, p.433). However, the employees must learn how to shift from technical to strategic in order to perform their roles effectively. The shift can be quite challenging in the beginning but it later provides a formal management development for all the employees.

Individual management development has a strong influence on how employees play their roles and it does impact performance and morale (Secord 2003, p.267). Today’s business environment is rapidly changing and this means that employees should be flexible and have a high adoption capacity to cope with these changes. Management development is a process that allows the organization employees to be fast, less structured, and self reliant and hold strong interpersonal skills (Mintzerbg 2004, p.25).

Encouraging individual management development is growing with organizations having to work with less labor pool to cut down cost, it is essential to have competent and focused employees (Mintzberg 2004, p. 36). Both managers and employees require communication, supervision, a solid understanding of the industry they are in regardless of the field of expertise each employee holds. Training should be both general and specific to the organization. It is through training that individual employees can acquire more knowledge and skills and develop their abilities.

Training according to Mintzberg (2004) could be through a CD-ROM which could be distributed to all individuals, attending seminars and conferences (p.37). The employees could also undergo professional associations where they are trained first hand by the professionals. Workshops and attending on-line courses could also see the employees through management development (p.38). Informal training such as mentoring and job shadowing that helps the employees apply directly what they learn to the various fields.

Before an organization can establish individual management program, the organization must consider a few factors. The organization considers the employees audit to see how well they were receptive to change and training and information (Schriber and Gutek 2010, p.642). This assists the organization determine the mode of training to take up. The succession plan is very crucial for management development, the organization therefore, has to analyze each individual and determine the development project to assign in future. Each competency needed in future must be crafted to cover all divisions in the organization (Valiquet 2008, p.313). Below is a diversity model that draws the competencies required in every division in any organization.

Competencies required in every division in any organization
Competencies required in every division in any organization

The organization has to look at the skilled level of each worker, and compare with the skills required in the future to determine what development each worker requires (Valiquet 2008, p. 313). It is important for the development plan to be in sync with the organization’s strategic plan. Matching the needs of the organization to the interest and skills, then selecting the best development training is key for any function to work (Standing 2001, p.123). The development training assigned to each worker is supposed to enhance their skills for future management. The skills should prepare the employees to handle future challenges and stay competitive in the market. An organization has to be in line with its future objective and this is because the workers are the focus of the company and the main resource.

Developing the categories of training needs for both specific and general topic is crucial for each worker. Then the organization has to consider developing individual management plans for each worker, based on skill level and interests (Sekhar 2010, p.33). Once the topics and categories of training are identified the organization should look for opportunity training based on the chosen topic. It is vital to involve the employees in each process because they are responsible for their own training (Sekhar 2010, p.34. After all activities are well placed and assigned to all workers, evaluation of each activity should be done to measure effectiveness.

Individual management process is an ongoing process and an organization should keep the training consistent to achieve desired goals for each individual (Saari et al 2009, p. 434). Wal-Mart is an example of a multinational company that has sustained management development over the years. The company to increase sells and expand market share undertakes quarterly assessment of all its employees in all the retail stores to assess progress (Saari et al 20009, p. 434). This has been a continued process for Wal-mart since 2007 to engage in individual management development programs. In all the 8,500 stores in the 15 countries, management takes up individual plans management for its employee to enhance and better their skills improving performance. This translates to the increase in sales by the company. Below is a chart showing Wal-Mart’s store revenue growth in percentage since 2007 (Saari et al 2009, p.434).

Wal-Mart’s store revenue growth
Wal-Mart’s store revenue growth

Every individual has the primary responsibility of having to develop and monitor their own development program. This means that the individual has to identify both short term and long term goals and identify activities to achieve those goals. The individual has to establish the skills, abilities and knowledge required to achieve the stated career goals, and how to go about acquiring them (Mumford and Gold 2004, p.35). Each worker must report to their supervisor after obtaining goals and objectives and developmental activities with the supervisor.

There has got to be team leaders in every development program, to assist each individual focus back to their goals and offer guidance on several issues. The leader supports the development process and outlines the individual development plan for each worker. The leader could either be from internal or external, the main function is to guide the employees in building individual plans. The team leader is specialized in the development process and has enough experience in building individual plans. A leader is often incorporated to allow the individuals to plan and have their plans accessed by the team leader.

The team leader is able to assist the each individual with their plan through performing developmental needs assessment for each employee (Pattanayak 2005, p.400). These assist the individual to plan and come up with actions to meet the desired goals and objectives. The team leader counsels employees on individual development and encourages them to make better plans and strive to achieve their goals (Mumford and Gold 2004, p.174). The team leader also ensures that the individual’s plan is in line with the organization’s goal and objective. Lastly the team leader evaluates the individual’s development and measures the level of success after the training.

Sometimes the management is bound to encounter some challenges when taking up management development training for each individual (Mumford and Gold 2004, p.174). This is because some employees may fail to admit on the areas of weakness and may be hesitant to want these weaknesses to come out in the open. However, the organization can counteract this through training the employees to take up learning and training positively.

Too often the employees could set unrealistic goals and objectives to achieve, which they later fail to achieve and affects them personally (Campbell 1997, p.277). Some people are known to be over ambitious while setting up goals and objectives to meet; this demoralizes and also adds too much pressure to them. The best way for organizations to counteract this is through employing team leaders who can guide individuals on how to build an effective development program (Campbell 1997, p.278).

The most common lastly is the difficulty in measuring the impact and effectiveness of the individual management development (Campbell 1997, p. 279). It is hard to assess and conclude to what degree each worker has been impacted, because the performance of an organization will reflect as an aggregate performance. This factor can be counteracted by first establishing how the measurement will be carried out for each individual. Then a follow up should be done to compare past and present performances.


Development management is a five step procedure, the first step involves determining of the tasks involved, here nature of the job, qualifications required for the job and time frame required for task completion is considered. The second step is to subdividing major training into individual activities, the various available programs will be portioned as standalone projects that can be performed separately in various departments. The third step takes assigning specific training programs to individuals; the organization at this point has to recognize the abilities of each person before assigning the available tasks.

The training programs are matched to the individual and are given to the most capable person to accomplish the training effectively. The fourth step in the process is to provide the available resources to assist the individuals to complete the training assigned successfully. The organization provides the resources depending on the nature of the development program and complexity involved. The last procedure involves designing a development program to determine the plan that will combine the various assigned programs to one once they are completed and how the various departments in the organization can work together.

Managers in an organization ought to understand the importance of individual development management, the process by which people, various training programs, and technology are combined and coordinated so as to effectively achieve organizational objectives.

To make management development successful the procedure should be consistent, and not a onetime event. Trainings essential because it enhances the employee’s competencies which they later apply in the organization. The organization should have long term and short term goals in sync with the individual’s long term and short term goals. The team leaders should guide all through the employees into the management development process. Sometimes the workers are starting out in their careers, while others are new in the organization and may not be familiar with the goals and objectives of the company.

Staffing translates to human resource planning; here the company should consider how many employees are needed, with what backgrounds, their qualifications and the cost of hiring each one of them for objective implementation. Another factor to consider is how to obtain the desired workforce, important components to consider for recruitment such as education, experience, human relations, communication skills and motivation.

Overall organizations should engage in individual management development because it not only keeps the workers motivated but also focused on organization goals. Self assessment is the first step to having responsible and accountable workforce in the organization. This practice should be carried out as part of the organization’s culture and taken positively by all levels of management.

The main objective and perspective of management development is to attain significant employees who are competent enough to do the job and do it perfectly.


Any organization thinking about carrying a management development program, should first understand the employees they have in the company. To understand employs means to look into the level of competencies, look at their attitudes, values and beliefs and lastly their motivation. The organization should design a development program only after fully carrying out employee analysis.

The employees can come up with a good individual development plan through conducting a self appraisal. Here the employee should consider the things they want for themselves, their values, perceptions and interests. The employee should then think about their personal short-term and long-term goals and if they are in line with the organization’s goals and objectives.

The employee should then look at what activities to engage in to achieve the desired goals and how to overcome the milestones. The employee’s objectives can always be derived from their job description, work appraisal, elements of job and core competencies. Lastly the employee should come up with a good design to measure the training effectiveness and compare progress from yester years.

Management development should be placed in every organization as a people-oriented tool to monitor and control level of productivity amongst the human resource.

The HR department to motivate the workers to take the development program serious, they should come up with several rewards to motivate the employees to participate actively. If the employees take part willingly then it is a sign of progress for the organization.


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