Edited by Chris Brewster and Wolfgang Mayrhofer
Chapter 9: Comparing National Approaches to Management Development
Christopher Mabey and Matias Ramirez The strategic training and development of managers is widely regarded as one of four progressive HRM policies (Becker & Huselid, 1998). It might also be asserted that management development is central to an organisation’s approach to HRM and a telling signal of the value it places upon its staff. Furthermore, at a macro level, there is a persistent belief that national productivity is closely connected to a country’s collective management and leadership capability. Although the logic and plausibility of this skills–performance link has been questioned (e.g. Grugulis & Stoyanova, 2006), this does little to diminish the preoccupation of governments, both national and international, with the calibre of their managers and leaders. In this chapter, we set out to do three things. First, in section one, we assemble what is currently known about the way organisations in different countries develop their managers, looking primarily at studies in Europe and S.E. Asia. Then in section two, we seek to explain why differences in policy and practice occur, looking first at macro-institutional variables and then at micro, firm-level factors like ownership. In the third and final section, we take stock of current knowledge in the field of comparative management development. Here we argue that, to understand the richness and variability of management development interventions as part of wider HRM strategies, we require a more theoretically informed and sophisticated analysis than has been hitherto undertaken. In particular, we make a case for meso-level analyses in order to understand the role...
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