Executive Development: Concept, Characteristics and Objectives and Other Details!

Concept of Executive Development:

Executive development or management development is a systematic process of growth and development by which the managers develop their abilities to manage. So, it is the result of not only participation in formal courses of instruction but also of actual job experience.


Management development involves relating experience to learning. The main aims of formal education for manager is to increase his ability to learn from experience

Executive Development consists of all the means by which executives learn to improve their behaviour and performance. Flippo defines management development as “the process by which managers and executives acquire not only skills and competency in their present jobs but also capabilities for future managerial tasks of increasing difficulty and scope.”

Executive development is a planned effort to improve current and future managerial performance.

Characteristic of Executive Development:

1. Development is a planned and organized process of learning rather than a haphazard or trial and error approach.


2. It is an ongoing or never ending exercise rather than a ‘one shot’ affair. It continues throughout an executive’s entire professional career because there is no end to learning.

3. Executive development is a long term process as managerial skills cannot be developed over night.

4. Executive Development is guided self-development. An organisation can provide opportunities for development of its present and potential managers. Executive Development is possible only when the individual has the desire to learn and practice what he learns. No amount of coercion can lead to development.

5. Executive Development aims at preparing managers for better performance and helping them to realise their full potential.

Objectives of Executive Development:

(i) To overhaul the management machinery.


(ii) To improve the performance of the mangers.

(iii) To give the specialist an overall view of the function of an organisation and equip them to co-ordinate each other’s efforts effectively.

(iv) To identify persons with the required potential and prepare them for senior positions.


(v) To increase morale of the members of the management group.

(vi) To increase versatility of the management group.

(vii)To keep the executives abreast with changes and developments in their respective fields.

(viii) To create the management succession which can take over in case of contingencies?


(ix) To improve thought process and analytical ability.

(x) To broaden the outlook of the executive regarding his role positional and responsibilities.

Executive Development Objective at Different Levels:

(a) Top Management:

1. To improve thought processes and analytical ability in order to uncover and examine problems and take decisions in the best interests of the country and organisation.

2. To broaden the outlook of the executive in regard to his role, position and responsibilities in the organisation and outside.


3. To think through problems this may confront the organisation now or in future.

4. To understand economic, technical and institutional forces in order to solve business problems.

5. To acquire knowledge about the problem of human relations.

(b) Middle Management:

1. To establish a clear picture of executive functions and responsibilities.


2. To bring about an awareness of the broad aspects of management problem, and an acquaintance with, and appreciation of, inter-departmental relations.

3. To develop me ability to analysis problems and to take appropriate action.

4. To develop familiarly with the managerial uses of financial accounting, psychology, business law and Business Statistics.

5. To inculcate knowledge of human motivation and human relationship.

6. To develop responsible leadership.

(c) Middle Functional Level and Specialists:

1. To use knowledge of business functions and operations in specific field in marketing, production, finance and personnel.


2. To use proficiency in management techniques such as work study, inventory control, operations research and quality control.

3. To stimulate creative thinking in order to improve methods and procedures.

4. To understand the functions performed in a company.

5. To understand industrial relations problem.

6. To develop the ability to analyses problem in one’s area or functions.

Importance of Executive Development:

1. The size and complexity of organisation, both business and non-business are increasing. Managers need to be developed to handle the problems of giant and complex organisation in the face of increasing competition.


2. The rapid rate of Technological and Social change in society requires training of managers so that they are able to cope with these changes.

Automations cut­throat competition, growth of new markets, enlarged labour participation, in management, growing public and government interest in business activities are the major problems that have to be handled.

3. Business and industrial leaders are increasingly recognizing their social and public responsibilities. They require a much broader outlook to discharge their new responsibilities. Executive Development is required to broaden the outlook of managers.

4. Labour management relations are becoming increasingly complex. Executives require new and better skills in union negotiation, collective bargaining and grievance redressal. Workers are better educated and more aware. More competent managers are needed to manage the modern workforce.

5. There is a noticeable shift from owner-managed to professionally managed enterprises. Even in family

Business houses, development programmes are required to tram and develop professional managers.


6. Executives need education and training to understand and adjust to changes in socio-economic forces. Changes in public policy, concept of social justice, industrial democracy, ecology (pollution) ergonomics cultural anthropology are the main socio-economic changes.

Without management development programmes, executives may become obsolete. Executive personnel will not be able to survive in future unless they keep pace with modern management education, research, principles and practices.

7. Management of public utilities, state enterprise, and civic Bodies is being professionalized in order to improve operational efficiency. Similarly, agriculture, rural development and public administration require professional executives.