The role of evaluation in decision-making about future investment in management development

Billions of dollars are invested annually in management development. Organisations invest based on the premise that by developing their staff there will be an ultimate return for the organisation, whether in improved profit, productivity, morale, loyalty, or a combination of factors. The emphasis tends to be less on what an individual student has achieved and more on how well a programme has met its stated objectives with the sponsoring organisation as the ‘client’ of such assessment. Despite the abundance of theoretical models of evaluation, which seem to be good explanatory models, in practice most are rarely used (Holton and Naquin, 2005). In this research I intend to test the assertions made by Holton and Naquin (2005). I will collect empirical data on how companies use programme evaluation to inform their decision-making about future investments in management development, and if no formal evaluation is conducted, how decisions are made, and what evidence is used to support these.

Voller, S. (2010) The role of evaluation in decision-making about future investment in management development, InCULT Conference, Hatfield, 28 June

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