Michael J. Jucius, “Executive development is the programme by which executive capacities to achieve desired objectives are increased.”

Executives play a vital role for growth and development of an organization. They are entrusted with various important functions of the organization i.e., production, finance, marketing, human resources management and research and development.

In fact, every functional department of an organization has its exclusive functions. The effective and efficient functioning of these departments depends on the executives/managers who run the department.

They perform various managerial functions such as planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling.


Learn about:

1. Meaning of Executive Development 2. Importance of Executive Development 3. Objectives 4. Process 5. Methods 6. Techniques 7. Planning 8. Executive Development in India.

Executive Development: Importance, Objectives, Process, Techniques and Other Details

Executive Development – Meaning

“An institution that cannot produce its own managers will die. The ability of an institution to produce managers is more important than its ability to produce goods efficiently”. – Peter Drucker.

Executives play a vital role for growth and development of an organization. They are entrusted with various important functions of the organization i.e., production, finance, marketing, human resources management and research and development. In fact, every functional department of an organization has its exclusive functions. The effective and efficient functioning of these departments depends on the executives/managers who run the department. They perform various managerial functions such as planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling.


The effective execution of all these functions relies on the caliber and capacity of managers. In this complex business context, the internal and external business environments keep changing and posing challenges. Executives need to enhance and update their knowledge, managerial skills and abilities to cater to the changing present and future demands of the organization. To put in nutshell, it focuses on managerial skills such as technical, conceptual and interpersonal skills. Hence, Executive/Management Development has become inevitable in the business world.

The term managerial of executive development has been defined by some eminent scholars as follows:

Michael J. Jucius, “Executive development is the programme by which executive capacities to achieve desired objectives are increased.”

Dale S. Beach, “Managerial development is a systematic process of development and growth by which individuals gain and apply knowledge skill, insights and attitudes to manage the work of organisation effectively.”


On the basis of analytical study of above definitions. It may be concluded that the executive of development of managerial development refers to a systematic and continuous process through which executives learn advanced knowledge and skills to improve their ability and performance in the present jobs and to improve potentialities for future managerial challenges. It is an unending process because there can be no limit to which a person can be developed.

Executive Development – Importance to Modern Organisations

Executive development has become indispensable to modern organisations in view of the following reasons:

1. To Meet the Ever-Growing Challenge:

Managers need to be developed to handle to problems of giant and complex organisations in the face of increasing competition. It helps managers to acquire knowledge skills and abilities (KSAs) required to grapple with complex changes in environment, technology and processes quite successfully they can have a better grip over market force and get ahead of other in the race in a confident manner.


2. Individual Development and Career Planning:

Executive development helps executives to realise their own career goals and aspirations in a planned way. It helps in overall personality development, enhancing their decision-making and problem-solving skills. Executive can show superior performance on the job. By handling varied jobs of increasing difficulty and scope, they become more useful, versatile and productive. The rich experience plus the development programmes help them step into the shoes of their superiors easily.

3. Organisational Development:

Executive development programme help manager to broaden their outlook. Business and industrial leader are increasingly recognising their social and public responsibilities. MDPs help them to view at various problems from all the dimensions and thus help them discharge their responsibilities taking a holistic view of the entire organisation.


4. Improving Human Relations:

The special courses and various executive development programmes help managers to understand how to discharge their duties by handling people (subordinates, peers, superiors, competitors, customers etc.,) in a right way. Also labour management relations are becoming increasingly complex. Executive require new and better skills in union negotiations, collective bargaining, grievance redressal etc., worker are better educated and more aware. More competent managers are needed to manage the modern workforce.

Executive or managerial development means the development of knowledge, efficiency and aptitude of different officers of managerial level so that they may contribute their feeling, cooperation and contribution towards the accomplishment of organisational objectives.

Executive Development – 8 Main Objectives

Main objects of executive development may be as follows:


1. To develop the efficiency of analysing the problems and of taking the related decisions concerned with the problems related to managerial posts and duties.

2. To establish harmony and co-ordination in the changed circumstance.

3. To enable the enterprise to achieve its pre­determined objects.

4. To encourage the executives to adopt the latest technology and process.

5. To implement effective communication system in the organisation.

6. To establish friendly human relations in the enterprise.

8. To develop the efficient and capable managerial officers for the future.

Executive Development – Process or Steps of Executive Development Programme

The essential components or steps of executive development programme are:

1. Ascertaining development needs.

2. Appraisal of present Management Talents.

3. Inventory of management manpower.

4. Planning individual development.

5. Establishment of training and development programme.

6. Evaluating development programmes.

1. Ascertaining Development Needs:

It starts with organisational planning. A critical analysis of the organisation structure in the light of future plans will reveal what the organisation needs in terms of departments functions and key executive positions. The job descriptions and specifications are prepared for all executive positions to know the type of knowledge, skills, training and experience required for each position.

2. Appraisal of Present Management Talents:

Appraisal of present Management Talents is made with a view of determining qualitatively the type of personnel that is available within an organisation itself. The performance of a management individual is compared with the standard expected of him. His personal traits are also analysed to estimate the potential for development.

3. Inventory of Management Manpower:

This is prepared to have a complete set of information about such executive in each position. For each member of the executive term, a card is prepared listing such data as name age, length of service, education, work experience, health record, psychological test results and performance appraisal data etc. The selection of individuals for MDPs it made on the basis of the kind of background they possess.

An analysis of the information will bring to the attention of the management the weaknesses of some of the present executives, the inexperience of shortage of managers in certain functions and skill deficiencies relative to the future needs of the organisation.

4. Planning Individual Development:

The needs of different individuals are different, keeping in view the differences in their physical, intellectual and emotional qualities. The weak and strong points of an individual are known from their performance appraisal reports, and on the basis of these, tailor made programmes are framed and launched.

5. Establishment of Training and Development Programme:

The HR department prepares comprehensive and well-conceived programmes. The department identifies development needs and may launch specific courses in fields of leadership, decision-making, human relations etc., and both inside and outside the organisation.

6. Evaluating Development Programmes:

Executive development programmes consume a lot of money, time and effort. It is therefore, essential to find out whether the programmes have been on track or not. Programme evaluation will cover the areas where changes need to undertake so that the participants would find the same to be relevant and useful for enriching their knowledge and experience in future. Opinion surveys, tests, interviews, observations of trainee reactions, rating of the various components of training etc., could be used to evaluate executive development programme.

Executive Development – 2 Main Methods

The Methods of Executive Development may broadly be divided into two parts:

I. Methods to be adopted on the job; and

II. Methods to be adopted off the job.

The details are as follows:

I. Methods to be Adopted on the Job:

On the job Methods of Executive Development may be as follows:

1. Coaching:

This is a method of training by which an executive learns by doing the job. He is trained by a senior officer who continuously guides him and instructs him. The trainee serves as an assistant to the senior officer so that he may fill up the vacancy which may arise in future.

2. Committee Assignment:

Under this method, the executive is placed on a committee which is to make the recommendations, on a particular aspect. The executives may learn by the discussions in the committee meeting.

3. Position Rotation:

This is the method under which the executive under training is transferred from one job to another so that he may get the knowledge and experience of different types of jobs. This rotation improves his ability and capability. In the words of Bennett, “Job rotation is a process of horizontal movement that widens the experience of manager beyond limited confidence of his own.”

II. Methods to be Adopted off the Job:

Off the job methods adopted for Executive Development Programme are as follows:

1. Lectures:

Under this method, the lectures of experts and scholars of different fields are organised from time to time. Executives of the enterprise are asked attend these lectures and if they have any problems are any point, these problems are also solved by these experts and scholars.

2. Sensitivity Training:

Sensitivity training involves the division of managerial personnel into small groups so as to increase the sensitivity of managerial personnel to the feeling of one another. It provides an opportunity to the managerial personnel to study the impact of their behaviour upon others. It enables them to develop their feeling and spirit of group activity.

3. Meetings and Conferences:

This is a very popular method adopted in India for executive development. Under this method, the meetings and conferences are organised. The problems related to a particular field of managerial activities are discussed and all the efforts are made to find out a solution to these problems.

4. Case Study Method:

Under this method, the managerial executives are assigned the particular cases to study. They study these cases and learn to face the particular situations. This method increases the power of observation among managerial executives.

5. Special Courses:

Under this method, some special courses are administered for the development of executives. These programmes may be arranged by the company itself or by the Universities or by any management institute. Some executives are sponsored to attend these courses. They attend the classes in which a particular field of activity is taught to them and group discussions on the topics are also organised.

Executive Development – 4 Prominent Techniques

The executives who are responsible for getting things done through the efforts of others need training for several reasons. Majority of them occupy senior positions by virtue of exercising responsibility in less senior roles in the same organisation. By winning the confidence of their superiors on account of hard work and loyalty, many of them may have easy access to higher positions, even though they may be lacking in some of the skills required for such positions. The specialists and technical personnel who rise to executive positions need more general managerial abilities as their specialised knowledge may go out of date.

Executive development programmes vary in content and methodology. Some of these are highly structured, tailor-made and have specific focus, while others are completely unstructured, open and provide behavioural insight.

Some prominent ED techniques are discussed below:

1. In-Basket Exercise:

The trainee would find a number of letters and documents in his or her drawer/tray and is asked to act upon them as if he or she is actually in the position to deal with them. This exercise is aimed at developing problem-solving skills.

2. Incidence Process:

A group of trainees is given an incident with details. They have to formulate issues around which discussions may take place. A short-term decision may be made. Then there can be reexamination of the case and a course of action may be suggested by the group. At the end, the group leader may inform what actually happened in the case – giving opportunity to the trainees to compare their formulations with actual happenings.

3. Sensitivity Training:

Also called ‘T’ group or laboratory training, it is largely an unstructured group training programme with no leader, no agenda and no stated goals. The objective is to develop interaction. It is mostly used for training senior executives and top personnel. The group consists of eight to twelve persons who have face-to-face interaction. The emphasis is on here and now. Confrontation is allowed without outside intervention. The interactions and experiences serve as the real substance of the learning process, and improve sensitivity and awareness.

4. Brainstorming:

Brainstorming is a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution of a problem. This method was popularised in 1953 by Alex Faickney Osborn in a book titled Applied Imagination. Osborn proposed that groups could double their creative output with brainstorming.

Brainstorming has become a popular group technique, when applied in a traditional group setting. Because of such problems as distraction, social loafing, evaluation apprehension and production blocking, conventional brainstorming groups are a little more effective than other types of groups but they are actually less effective than individuals working independently. In the Encyclopedia of Creativity, Tudor Rickards, in his entry on brainstorming, summarises its controversies and indicates the dangers of conflating productivity in group work with quantity of ideas.

Although traditional brainstorming does not increase the productivity of groups (as measured by the number of ideas generated), it may still provide benefits, such as boosting morale, enhancing work enjoyment, and improving team work. Thus, numerous attempts have been made to improve brainstorming or use more effective variations of the basic technique.

Ground Rules:

There are four basic rules of brainstorming. These are intended to reduce social inhibitions among group members, stimulate idea generation, and increase overall creativity of the group.

1. Focus on Quantity:

This rule is a means of enhancing divergent production, aiming to facilitate problem solving through the maxim quantity breeds quality. The assumption is that the greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.

2. Withhold Criticism:

In brainstorming, criticism of ideas generated should be put ‘on hold’. Instead, participants should focus on extending or adding to the ideas, reserving criticism for a later ‘critical stage’ of the process. By suspending judgement, participants will feel free to generate unusual ideas.

3. Welcome Unusual Ideas:

To get a good and long list of ideas, unusual ideas are welcomed. They can be generated by looking from new perspectives and suspending assumptions. New ways of thinking may provide better solutions.

4. Combine and Improve Ideas:

Several good ideas may be combined to form a single better idea, as suggested by the slogan ‘1 + 1 = 3’. It is believed to stimulate the building of ideas by a process of association.

Nominal Group Technique:

The nominal group technique is a type of brainstorming that encourages all participants to have an equal say in the process. It is also used to generate a ranked list of ideas.

Participants are asked to write their ideas anonymously. Then the moderator collects the ideas and each is voted on by the group. The vote can be as simple as a show of hands in favour of a given idea. This process is called distillation.

After distillation, the top ranked ideas may be sent back to the group or subgroups for further brainstorming. For example, one group may work on the colour of the product, another group may work on the size, and so on. Each group will come back to the whole group for ranking the listed ideas. Sometimes, the ideas that were previously dropped may be brought forward again, once the group has re-evaluated the ideas.

It is important that the facilitator be trained in this process before attempting to work with this technique. The group should be primed and encouraged to embrace the process. Like all team efforts, it may take a few practice sessions to train the team properly before dealing with the important ideas.

Electronic Brainstorming:

Electronic brainstorming is a computerised version of the manual brainstorming technique. It is typically supported by an Electronic Meeting System (EMS) but simpler forms can also be used like e-mail and other browser based systems, or peer-to- peer softwares.

Using an electronic meeting system, participants share a list of ideas over the internet. Ideas are entered independently. Contributions become immediately visible to all and are typically kept anonymous to encourage openness and reduce personal prejudice. Modern EMS also supports asynchronous brainstorming.


The trainee may receive information from computer on a specific situation/problem. He would formulate his strategies, feed them to the computer, get reaction, and at the end, check his decision with the computer’s result. This exercise is helpful in developing orientation to quantitative techniques.

Role Play:

The trainees are asked to enact ‘the roles they may be called upon to play in their jobs. It is suitable where a situation which is similar to the real life position can be provided in training. The trainees get the feel of real life pressures. The method will be effective only when trainees take their roles seriously.

Business Games:

The trainees are provided information about different aspects of the working of a company like production, finance, marketing, etc. The groups of trainees are then assigned different roles, e.g. one group may look after production, and another group may be concerned with sales and so on. These groups then nm the company, take decisions. The results of these decisions are calculated in terms of profitability.

Social Changes:

The executive of today is living in a dynamic society. The last few decades have witnessed changes of far-reaching importance in our social and community structure. The contributions of psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists have enriched management science in many ways.

Some of the presumptions regarding human nature and the methods of dealing with men have gone out of date. An old fashioned executive may take pride in talking of the good old days when his orders were respected like the command of a military officer and followed unquestioningly and ungrudgingly but the new generation is different.

People in industry are better organised today and conscious of their rights and privileges. The officers come from different strata of the society. Senior positions are no longer restricted to the members of a particular class. The changing social structure demands greater awareness on the part of executives.

Executive Development – Factors to Consider while Planning for Executive Development Programme

Following factors must be carefully considered while planning for Executive Development Programme:

1. Selection of Executive for Development:

The second important step of planning of executive development programme is to select the executives for developments. Under this stage it is decided that who are the managerial personnel requiring training and who require it at first. The executives requiring development must be selected at all the levels of management.

2. Means Available for Development Programme:

Before making a final programme of executive development, it is important to see the available means for the development. The programme must be prepared keeping in view the availability of means of the enterprise.

3. To Get the Knowledge of Executive Capabilities:

Executive Capabilities means, knowledge, efficiency, attitude and behaviour of different executive officers like General Manager, Departmental Managers, Departmental Superintendents etc. Knowledge includes technical and mental knowledge. Efficiency includes the ability to analyse the problems, to take the decisions, to adjust with the conditions of work etc.

Attitudes include the ambitions, the opportunities of the development, the ability to establish the relationship with other persons and to express reaction in this reference. Behaviour includes the behaviour of managerial officers with their subordinates and other persons whom they have to deal with. Before chalking out a programme for the development of executives, the abilities and capabilities of executives must be carefully and thoroughly considered.

4. Other Factors:

While planning for the executive development programme, there are some other factors also which must be considered. These factors are: (i) The time of development programme; (ii) Co-operation of managerial personnel participating in development programmes; (iii) Psychological and social view of the programme.

Executive Development – Executive Development in India

The history of executive development in India is not very old. Industrial development of India was almost nil before independence and therefore, there was no proper arrangement for executive development. Soon after her independence, India emphasised upon industrial development. Our planners were of the firm view that the only way to achieve the object of self-dependence is the industrial development of the country.

Therefore, the path of planned economic development was adopted through five year plans. First Five Year Plan emphasised upon the industrial development of the country and it resulted in the industrial development of the country at a very fast rate. With the industrial development, the need of professional managers was felt for the successful management and administration of industrial enterprises of the country, whether in public or private sector.

The efforts that have been made in our country for the executive development and training may be summarised as follows:

1. All India Managerial Institutions:

On the recommendation of All India Council for Technical Education, the Government of India established Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta. These institutions are affiliated to Haward University and Institute of Technology, Manchester. These Institutions provide the educational, training and research facilities in management so that the trained managers may be made available to the business and industrial enterprises in public and private sector of the country.

2. All India Council for Technical Education:

In 1949, the Government of India established All India Council for Technical Education. On the recommendation of this council a sub-committee for industrial and business administration was appointed. This committee presented its report together in June 1953.

This report contained three main recommendations as follows:

(i) An All India Management Institution should be established.

(ii) A National-Managerial Institute must be established for the operation of management movements.

(iii) An Administrative Employees College should be established.

On the basis of these recommendations, Government of India established an All India Board of Technical Studies in Management in 1953. This board consists the representatives of different industries, business institutions, Universities, technical institutions, professional organisations and Government. This board is responsible to provide managerial education and training throughout the country.

3. Arrangement of Post-Graduate Training:

On the recommendation of All India Council for Technical Education, the Government of India has arranged for the education and training of industrial management and industrial engineering in the following institutions:

(i) Indian Institute of Business Management, Ahmedabad.

(ii) Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

(iii) Indian Institute of Science and Technology, Bangalore.

(iv) Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta.

(v) Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute, Bombay.

(vi) Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani.

(vii) Jamna Lal Bajaj Institute of Management, Bombay.

(viii) Motilal Nehru Institute of Research and Business Management, Allahabad.

(ix) Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore,

(x) Administrative Employees College, Hyderabad.

4. Institutions for the Education and Training on Specific Aspects:

Many institutions have been set up for the Education and Training on some specific aspects.

Main Institutions in this field are:

(i) Institute of Chartered Accountant, Delhi

(ii) Institute of Company Secretaries, Delhi

(iii) Institute of Cost and Works Accountants, Calcutta

(iv) Institute of Production Engineering, Bombay

(v) Institute of Personnel Management, Calcutta

(vi) Textile Research Association, Ahmedabad

(vii) Institute of Rural Management, Anand.

5. Industrial Management Board:

In November, 1957, Industrial Management Board was set up in Industry Ministry of the Government of India.

These Boards are responsible for making the appointments of higher Managerial Executives for Public Sector Undertakings.

6. Arrangement of Managerial Education in Colleges and Universities:

Government of India arranged for Managerial Education in different Colleges and Universities at Post-graduate level. Business Administration and Management Departments have been set up in many Universities, mainly Rajasthan University, Jodhpur University, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras, Hindu University, Delhi University, Bombay University, Madras University and Administrative Colleges to provide Education in Delhi and Hyderabad.

7. Arrangement of Management Training by Private Industrialists:

Many notable industrialists have provided managerial training in their own institutions. Mainly TATA, BIRLA, DALMIA, BAJAJ, J.K. Group, SAHAU JAINS Group etc.

8. National Productivity Council:

In February, 1958, National Productivity Council was set up under the Ministry of Trade and Commerce of the Government of India. This council has made great contribution in stating, developing and co-ordinating different activities related to executive training. This council has arranged for many training programmes in the country and aboard.

9. Small Industries Organisation:

Government of India established Small Industries Organisation in 1955 for providing assistance to the small Scale industries. This organisation is making its contribution in providing management training for the management and administration of small scale industries. It invites the experts of different fields from the foreign countries, and deputes Indian Managerial Personnel to the Foreign Countries.