Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how a medium sized business has addressed what it has termed a “push‐pull” method of management and organization development, based around an action learning approach. Design/methodology/approach – The paper sets out a methodology that other SMEs might look to replicate in their management and organizational development activities. Findings – Fast‐track development through push‐pull ensures that staff are able to take on areas of enhanced responsibility as a firm grows – “pulling” them into expanded roles. Simultaneously, it develops an entrepreneurial “push” which develops the organization and thus creates expanded roles. This turns the talent management process somewhat on its head by enabling and expecting employees to drive their own fast‐track development. Alignment with business strategies is sought, but there is also a realization that strategies can be created and changed. Research limitations/implications – The paper is descriptive and exploratory, focusing on a single organization, supported by a brief review of relevant literature. Practical implications – Action learning programmes within SMEs can reinforce the “right” behaviour that is required to grow a firm and provide foundations for the people and organization to succeed. Originality/value – Introduces the concept of the “push‐pull” method of management and organizational development, treating the two as linked and mutually supportive.
Journal of Workplace Learning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 22, 2008
Keywords: Management development; Organizational development; Fast track; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Action learning
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