PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to draw on empirical data to interrogate the correlation between participation in leadership development programmes by individual leaders and the ability of higher education institutions to learn organisationally from such participation.Design/methodology/approachApplying a multi-stakeholder perspective, this paper focuses on the experiences of both senior and entry-level university managers and how these are connected systematically to institutional climates and structures conducive to learning.FindingsThere is a tendency for vice chancellors, directors of human resources and other senior managers to identify participants to sponsor programmes without putting in place mechanisms and cultural processes to incorporate their individual learning into organisational improvement.Originality/valueThe paper raises questions as to how societal needs are served by the organisational behaviours of universities with respect to developing leaders, and what higher institutions might do differently to increase the impact of developing leaders on their organisations. Suggested approaches include facilitating constructive dialogue in an experimental, reflective environment and integrating action learning and mentoring into institutional practices.
The Learning Organization – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 10, 2017
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