The Concept


Managers are the indispensable resources, the priceless assets of an organization. They generate creative ideas, translate them into concrete action plans and produce results. When they succeed they are able to keep everyone in good humor – including shareholders employees and the general public. They are hailed as invincible corporate heroes and even treated as prized possession of a country. When they fail, they destroy the scarce corporate resources and make everyone cry. The outcomes of managerial actions, thus, are going to be deep, profound and decisive. To get ahead in the race especially in a complex dynamic and ever changing world, managers need to develop their capabilities that go beyond those required by the current job.

Development is an education process as it tries to enhance one’s ability to understand an interpret knowledge in a useful way. Development is different from training in that it is often the result of experience and the maturity that comes with it. It is possible to train most people to drive a vehicle, operate a computer, or assemble a ratio. However, development in such areas as judging what is right and wrong, taking responsibility for results, thinking logically, understanding cause effect relationships, synthesizing experiences to visualize relationships, improving communication skills etc. may or may not come through over time. Training certainly helps in improving these types of skills. But when the intent is to enhance an executive’s ability to handle diverse jobs and prepare them for future challenges the focus must shift to executive development. Executive development focuses more on the manager’s personal growth. It is more future oriented and more concerned with education than is employee training.

Training versus Development:

Training >>>

1) Learn specific behaviors and actions: demonstrate techniques and processes
2) Short term
3) Tries to improve a specific skill reacting to a job (mostly technical and mechanical)
4) Meet current requirements of a job; aims at improving employees’ performance on a currently held job.
5) Performance appraisals cost benefit passing test or certification.

Focus: Understand and interpret knowledge. Developing judgment, Expand capacities for varied assignments

Time frame: Long term

Process: Aims to improving the total personality of an individual (largely analytical and conceptual abilities)

Goal: Meet future challenges of the job and the individual aims at providing earning opportunities designed to help employees grow.

Effectiveness Measures: Qualified people available when needed promotion from within possible. HR based competitive advantage.

Executive or management development is a planned; systematic and continuous process of learning and growth by which managers develop their conceptual and analytical abilities to manage. It is the result of not only participation in formal courses of instruction but also of actual job experience. It is primarily concerned with improving the performance of managers by giving them stimulating opportunities for growth and development.

Features of Executive Development:

1) It is a planned effort to improve an executive’s ability to handle a variety of assignments.
2) It is not a one shot deal but a continuous ongoing activity.
3) It aims at improving the total personality of an executive.
4) It aims at meeting future, needs unlike training which seeks to meet current needs.
5) It is a long term process as managers take time to acquire and improve their capabilities.
6) it is proactive in nature as it focuses attention on the present as well as future requirements of both the organization and the individual.


Executive development has become indispensable to modern organization in view of the following reasons:

For any business, executive’s development is an invaluable investment in the long run it helps managers to acquire knowledge skills, and abilities. (KSAs) required grappling with complex changes in environment technology processes quite successfully. They can have a better grip over market forces and get ahead of others in the race in a confident manner.

Source: HRM