Management Development Programmes

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1344 , Published on 25 December 2012

As the business environment keeps evolving, the dynamics of changing work situations require managers who keep themselves up to date and skilled enough to match the needs and demands of the market. In order to keep their human resource competent enough, the organizations make use of Management Development Programmes as one of the Leadership Development Interventions.


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Management Development Programmes are comprehensive programmes which provide a broad understanding of management and leadership to the participants. MDPs are designed with an objective to equip the managers with the necessary skills and competence so as to prepare them to face the challenges of higher position and to meet their organization’s objectives. They develop an overall understanding of management functions such that the managers are not performing their own functions in isolation. Hence MDPs are used by organizations to enhance their leadership potential, to help an employee become a better leader and a valuable contributor to achieving organizational goals. MDPs may be used to train the current employees to hold position at a higher level or to make the newly hired managers aware of the business. MDPs are used to train and retrain the employees for skill development such as negotiation skills, product knowledge, business etiquette, filling of company issued forms, managing other employees etc. MDPs are hence important interventions to enhance organizational effectiveness.


Types of MDPs vary. In most cases, MDPs are on the job programmes which are conducted at the employee’s workplace wherein after the training, a supervisor is either stationed at the site or visits the employee periodically to review his work. In other cases, employee might be sent to home office, training center or retreat. Also, employees might be sent to educational programmes during their breaks or after the working day ends, on his company’s behalf (which pays for the tuition fees of the programme). These programmes evaluate the employee’s attention to detail and knowledge. Educational requisites for a MDP vary on the basis of the company. The employee’s educational background, work experience as well as history are reviewed to decide on the type of course he should take.

Methodology employed for its implementation

MDPs use various methods in order to bridge the knowledge gap, to build critical communication skills and to instil core company values. Some of them are:

  • Case studies
  • Business games
  • Role play exercises
  • Group discussions
  • Interactive presentations
  • Practical problem solving sessions
  • Brain storming sessions
  • Use of audio-visual aids
  • 360 degree assessment
  • Skill building workshops with themes such as
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Team building
    • Presentation and communication skills

Time frame required for its successful implementation

The duration of MDPs vary from organization to organization depending on the skill set to be developed and on the ability of employees. The duration of these specialized programmes may range from 1 day to 3 months to a year.


MDPs as leadership development intervention offer advantages such as:

For employers

  • It helps in bringing out better performance from employees leading to an increase in company’s marketability and viability
  • It helps in increasing employee motivation, thereby leading to an increase in retention rate as well as rise in levels of achievement of an organization
  • Organization gains a better trained and a more loyal staff
  • Sense of community is developed amongst employees

For employees

  • It helps participants develop strategic and beyond the obvious thinking
  • Interactions with experienced faculty and fellow participants provide new insights and help in quality decision making
  • It provides tool and insights to help participants gain an understanding of different functions
  • It helps in updating the skills and capabilities of managers, making them more confident to face new challenges
  • MDPs make participants better listeners, team players and better leaders
  • It may also lead in developing a participant’s creativity and in developing his ability to innovate
  • It may lead to an employee getting higher salary as a result of better performance
  • Better job security or a promotion might also result as an outcome of MDP


  • Support of organization’s top management is really important as if they do not support participation in MDPs through communication or financial backing, the employees would not be motivated to join the programme.
  • If the organizational structure doesn’t support learning after training, there will be no incentive for employees to try out new skills and behaviours in the workplace.
  • Commitment of employees to the programmes becomes a challenge in case they are involved in the design of sessions as they might perceive the programme to be useless and ineffective. This defies the whole purpose of conducting MDPs.
  • MDPs may turn out to be irrelevant and unable to meet the demands of business in case they are not revised from time to time keeping in mind the changes at organizational level and in the industry.
  • An employee’s continued employment might depend on his performance in MDP where his knowledge and attention to detail are evaluated. Hence, performing in such programmes is really important for an employee.

Industry Examples

Management Development is seen as an important part of organizational competitiveness. Hence most of the companies keep a major portion of their budget for this purpose. Companies such as E*Trade Financial, BP and Microsoft are examples of those organizations which have created MDPs as leadership development interventions. Moreover, companies such as Dow Chemical, Southwest Airlines, LensCrafters have also included development of managers in their employee growth initiatives. The purpose is to build employer reputation, employee motivation and loyalty to the organization.


Management Development Programme as a leadership development intervention helps in updating the skills and knowledge of the employees to perform better at workplace and to manage the functions in alignment with organizational goals and strategies. They are widely used by organization nowadays because of the need to gain competitive edge over others through its human resource. In return they give employees an opportunity to grow and develop themselves. Hence, Management Development Programmes help bring real business benefits to the participants and to their organizations.

This article has been authored by Rishu Raheja from MDI Gurgaon.


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