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Making leadership and management development measure up

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Organizations embark on leadership and management development programmes on the assumption that they will have a beneficial impact at one or more levels, from improvements in individual performance to changes in the organizational itself. Ideally, when they sponsor or implement such a programme they evaluate it. Typically, the most desirable question is deemed to be: ‘What is the impact?’ But is this the right question? This chapter argues that it is not. To explain why, the range of evaluation methods and key issues are reviewed in this chapter. The concept of building organizational capacity through evaluation is introduced. It is argued that, while leadership and management courses can build individual capacity which may benefit organizations, organizations themselves need to build their own capacity in order to leverage the new knowledge and thinking that are brought to the workplace.

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