PurposeThe purpose of this study is to develop and validate a taxonomy useful for classifying the training activity preference patterns adopted by executives and for describing how these patterns relate to important workplace measures. Although many organizations hold that well-trained and developed leaders are important for organizational success, little is known about the patterns of self-developmental activities that such leaders choose to initiate and how such training impacts organizational outcomes. Understanding these patterns may be useful in characterizing leaders in terms of training interest and showing a relation between executive training and valued organizational outcomes.Design/methodology/approachUsing a sample of 4,624 senior executives who completed a training activity and attitude survey, cluster analysis was used to derive a five-type training and development (T&D) taxonomy. Types varied by training activity pattern/attitudes and the proportion of well-trained and less-well-trained executives in each agency were described. The researchers collected an independent sample of employee perceptions of engagement and leader effectiveness and number of equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints within each agency.FindingsOrganizations with higher concentrations of well-trained/developed leaders tend to have employees with more favorable workplace attitudes and higher regard for senior leaders and generate smaller proportions of EEO complaints.Research limitations/implicationsData were collected from 2011 and 2012, government leaders were sampled, and outcome analyses were conducted at the agency level rather than at the individual level.Practical implicationsA link between leader training and organizational outcome is useful for promoting and justifying such training to stakeholders.Social implicationsCharacterizing leaders by training pattern will be useful in examining training usage/interest and in crafting programs tailored to leaders of different patterns.Originality/valueAn executive training pattern taxonomy is unique in the literature and evidence linking such training to outcome is rare.
Journal of Workplace Learning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 13, 2018
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