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TD/U5 Topic 3 Methods/Techniques of Management Development Program

Methods/Techniques of Management Development Program

Let us briefly discuss these methods of bringing about executive development.

  1. On-the-job techniques: These methods comprise of

(a) The coaching method

(b) Understudy method

(c) Job rotation

(d) Special projects

(e) Committee assignments, and

(f) Selective

  1. Off-the job methods these methods include

(a) Case studies

(b) Role playing

(c) In-basket methods

(d) Business games

(e) Sensitivity training

(f) Simulation

(g) Incident method

(h) Conferences

(i) Lectures, and

(j) Syndicate method

  1. On-the-job techniques

On-the-job methods are most popular for developing executive talent. Here, both the trainee executive and trainer are not free from their daily chores and the pressure of their executive routine jobs. Some of the most commonly techniques of executive development which fall under the category of on-the-job techniques are as follows:-

(a) Coaching method: Coaching is again on-the-job training of individual by the supervisor in the area of specifically defined tasks. This technique is more appropriate for orientation of new employee and for helping disadvantaged employees to learn specific jobs. The supervisor must have interpersonal competence and be able to establish helping relationship with the trainee. Solving the real problem in the organization. JIT is unstructured programmer it is useful for only shall ground of trainees.

(b) Understudy Method: Also known as attachment method, under this system, a person is picked up and subjected to training so that he in future, assumes the full duties and responsibilities of the position currently held by is superior. It is necessary to ensure a fully-trained person to replace a manager (superior) during his long absence or illness or on his retirement, transfer or promotion. ‘Understudy’ method is aimed at providing a person who is going to replace the existing superior.

(c) Job rotation method: ‘Job rotation’ is also known as the Channel Method. Under the job rotation method, the specialists are translated into generalises’ or all-rounder’s because the executives are moved from one job to another on some planned basis in order to learn and develop all-round knowledge. As pointed out by H. Bedroslan, “Job rotation is designed for beginning level managers while planned progression is more likely to occur at higher managerial levels.”

(d) Special projects: Under this method, a trainee executive is assigned a special project involving heavy responsibility. The trainee is supposed to study the project, understand the problem issues, and prescribe appropriate solutions, and make a recommendation on the viability of the project.

(e) Committee assignments: This is similar to the special project method. Here the trainee executives become members of special committees designed to solve specific problems. Through committee assignments solve different problems; they may now be effective in bringing rapid executive development.

(f) Selective readings: Some organizations maintain huge libraries involving a large collection of useful material on the subjects of interest to the enterprise. The executives go through the books, journals, articles, notes, and magazines and assimilate knowledge. The executives, during their leisure hours, try to exchange their views with others and in this process learn new ways to looking at things.

  1. Off-the-job Methods

On-the-job methods of executive development just discussed above may not be adequate because of the complexities of management process and inadequate facilities, environment and teaching experience, calling for more sophisticated and comprehensive methods of development.

Off-the-job training methods aim at placing the executives in a highly maneuvered and stimulated atmosphere so that they are exposed to new ideas, new ways of analysis and are in a position to introspect themselves by studying their own behaviour.

There is a wealth of off-the- job executive development techniques and let us discuss some of the most important of these techniques hereunder:-

(a) Case study: The case study method involves diagnostic and problem solving study of usually a written description of some event or set of circumstances on organizational problems providing relevant details.

The method is appropriate for developing analytical and problem solving orientation and skill, providing practice in applying management concepts, tools and techniques and enhancing awareness of the management concepts and processes. The method is relevant for developing o- generational, conceptual and functional skills among top and senior level executives.

(b) Role playing: Role playing is used in helping trainees to diagnose human relations problems, to develop insight through in-depth analysis of problems relating to human interaction and to acquire skills in interpersonal communication with particular emphasis on empathy and listening.

A simulated situation is created in which trainees act out the thoughts and behavior of persons in particular roles in the organization. Roles are often played spontaneously and unrehearsed.

(c) In-basket method: In-Basket on In-Tray technique involves simulation of a series of decisions a trainee might have to make in real life. The trainee is presented with pack of papers and files in a tray containing administrative problems and is asked to take decisions within specified time limit.

The decisions taken by several trainees are recorded and compared with one another. Learning occurs as trainees reflect and evaluate the decisions taken on priorities, customer’s complaint, superior’s demand, irrelevant information and the like.

(d) Business games: Also termed as ‘management games’, these games refer to the classroom simulation exercises in which different teams consisting of individual executives are required to compete with one another in order to achieve a given objective. Here, an artificial atmosphere close to the real life situation is created in which the participant executives play a dynamic role and enrich their skills through involvement and simulated experience.

The teams usually consist of two to six members and each team takes decisions on production, prices, research expenditure, advertisement expenditure, marketing, and the amount of expected profits under hypothetical conditions.

Management games are aimed at teaching the executives how to take useful and profitable managerial decisions and make the executives aware of the existence of various group processes, conflicts, leadership problems, and ways of maintaining ties of friendship with peers in other departments or functional areas.

(e) Sensitivity training: Originally developed by a behavioral scientist Kurt Lewin and popularized by the National Training Laboratories, U.S.A., sensitivity training (also known as T-group training) is a “group experience designed to provide maximum possible opportunity for the individuals to expose their behaviour, give and receive feedback, experiment with new behaviour and develop awareness of self and of others,” (Chris Argyris).

(f) Simulation: Simulation is a special training technique conducted one a duplicate environment which is a mock up of a real life environment. Under the simulation method a single hour may be equated for a month, or a quarter of a month in real life. Like this, several events may be experienced in a relatively short span of time.

Simulation is a useful technique of executive development because the decisions taken are reversible (if wrong decisions are taken) and less costly o the enterprise. One long-standing deficiency of the simulation technique is that it is difficult to duplicate the reality (specially the presses and problems) of actual decision-making on jobs. Quite truly, individuals might act differently in real life situations than the, actions m simulation exercises.

(g) Incident method: This method combines intellectual ability practical judgment, and social awareness of the executives. The group members are required to address questions to the discussion leader. The procedure is to ask general questions like what, when, where and how of the situation in which an incident developed and who was present at that time.

Finally, the executives react why of the behaviour. After having subjected through this method the executives would be in a position to increase their power to think clearly, incisively and reasonably about specific facts and also about abstractions.

(h) Conference: The conference method is used to help employees develop problem- solving skills. Group discussions and Meetings are the two common techniques often made use of in organizations. The chairman or the t trainer leads discussion, involves trainees in attempting to solve problems and in arriving at decisions.

The conference leader must have the necessary skill to lead the discussion in a meaningful way without losing sight of the topic or theme. The conference method or group discussion effects changes in the participants through modification of their experiences due to sharing and reshaping of their views, thinking and attitudes.

(i) Programmed Learning: A form of individual study, the programmed learning is more suited to meeting the behavioural objectives and when non-motor skill or knowledge is to be learned by a large number of trainees. The trainer monitors trainees’ independent progress through the programmer. This method is governed by the principle of positive reinforcement developed by B F Skinner and allows the trainee to learn through a series of small steps in phases and at his own pace.


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