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LEADERSHIP
THE PATH TO GREATER EFFECTIVENESS
DEVELOPMENT
16-0661
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
The Path to Greater Effectiveness
A R E S E A R C H R E P O R T B Y E F M D ,
N O C A — T H E N E T W O R K O F C O R P O R A T E
A C A D E M I E S A N D T H E S O C I E T Y F O R
H U M A NR E S O U R C EM A N A G E M E N T
CONTENTS
2About This Research Report
3Structure of the Study
5About the Partners
7Executive Summary
12How Do HR Professionals Perceive the Effectiveness of
Leadership Development in Their Organizations?
13Overall Effectiveness of Leadership Development
14Effectiveness of Leadership Development, by Geographic
Characteristics
15Effectiveness of Leadership Development, by Organization
Characteristics
17Effectiveness of Leadership Development, by LD Function
Characteristics
20What Do HR Professionals Consider Important for Improving
the Effectiveness of Leadership Development in Their
Organizations?
21Improving the Effectiveness of Leadership Development
23Improving the Effectiveness of Leadership Development, by
Geographic Characteristics
24Improving the Effectiveness of Leadership Development, by
Organization Characteristics
24Improving the Effectiveness of Leadership Development, by
LD Function Characteristics
26What Changes Are Being Made to Improve the Effectiveness
of Leadership Development?
27Leadership Development Areas Being Developed/Upgraded
by Organizations
28Leadership Development Areas Being Reduced or Stopped
Entirely by Organizations
28Leadership Development Activities Currently Offered
28Leadership Development Methods Expected to Change in
Importance Over the Next Two to Three Years
32What Obstacles Prevent Organizations from Achieving the
Desired Effects on Performance from Current Leadership
Development Activities? What Helps Them Achieve Those
Goals?
33Obstacles to Improving the Effectiveness of Leadership
Development
34Support for Improving the Effectiveness of Leadership
Development
36What Should Be Done to Improve the Effectiveness of
Leadership Development?
37Impact
38Leadership Development Service Portfolio
39Leadership Development Service Operations
42Methodology
46Appendix
78Endnotes
2|2016 EMPLOYEE BENEFITS • 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
ABOUT THIS RESEARCH REPORT
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: THE PATH TO GREATER EFFECTIVENESS|3
Organizations make considerable investments in
developing leaders with the intent of effectively improving
the quality of leadership in organizations. This highlights
the importance of assessing the effectiveness of leadership
development (LD) activities and determining what factors
are most likely to affect the success of these activities.
The aim of this research study is to shed light on valuable
practices in leadership development that can serve as
a foundation for organizations as they foster their top
talent to build stronger, forward-thinking 21st century
leaders. To help guide HR professionals and organizations
in improving their leadership development activities, the
following questions were posed to HR professional in the
U.S. and Europe:
How do HR professionals perceive the effectiveness of
leadership development in their organizations?
What do HR professionals consider important for
improving the effectiveness of leadership development in
their organizations?
How well are current leadership development initiatives
focused on improving the effectiveness of leadership
development?
What obstacles prevent organizations from achieving
the desired effects on performance from current LD
activities? What helps them achieve those goals?
What should be done to improve the effectiveness of
leadership development?
Structure of the Study
This research study maps HR professionals’ perceptions
of a number of key aspects of leadership development.
These 10 aspects are described throughout the report as
the 10 dimensions of leadership development. The research
focuses primarily on the perceived current effectiveness
of these dimension and the importance of the each
dimension in improving LD activities.
1.SUPPORT OF THE CORPORATE STRATEGY.
2.IMPACT ON INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE.
3.IMPACT ON ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE.
4.ACHIEVEMENT OF STATED GOALS.
5.SELECTION OF THE RIGHT PARTICIPANTS FOR LD
INITIATIVES.
6.ENGAGEMENT OF PARTICIPANTS AND STAKEHOLDERS.
7.IMPACT OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL SETUP/STRUCTURE
OF THE LD FUNCTION ON BUSINESS PERFORMANCE.
8.STAFF DEDICATED TO LD.
9.SELECTION AND COLLABORATION WITH EXTERNAL
SUPPLIERS OF LD.
10.LEARNING SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES FOR LD.
10 Dimensions of Leadership
Development
The survey also included items on the following topics:
1.Mapping of the participating organizations with respect
to company and LD organization characteristics.
2.HR professionals’ perceptions of the effectiveness
of their current LD activities in terms of the above-
mentioned parameters.
3.Rating of the importance of the above-mentioned
parameters in terms of achieving higher effectiveness.
4.Mapping of areas of LD that currently have high or low
priority.
5.Mapping of HR professionals’ perceptions of factors
that encourage or prevent the achievement of desired
outcomes of LD.
ORGANIZATIONS MAKE CONSIDERABLE
INVESTMENTS IN DEVELOPING LEADERS
WITH THE INTENT OF EFFECTIVELY
IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF
LEADERSHIP IN ORGANIZATIONS.
4|LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: THE PATH TO GREATER EFFECTIVENESS
The data were analyzed according to the following
segmentations. Observations regarding these breakouts are
only mentioned in the report when relevant.
Geographic characteristics:
» Europe HQ vs. U.S HQ.
» Single-unit vs. multi-unit organizations.
» International vs. single-country operations.
Company characteristics:
» Size of organization: small- (fewer than 1,000
employees) compared with mid- to large-sized (1,000 or
more employees) organizations.
» Financially successful (“very successful” to “extremely
successful”) vs. less successful (“not at all successful” to
“successful”) organizations.
» Importance of LD to the CEO’s strategic agenda (“very
important” to “extremely important” vs. “not at all
important” to “important”).
LD function characteristics:
» Dedicated central function for LD (e.g., a corporate
university/academy) vs. informal LD function.
» Maturity of the dedicated central LD function (10 years
or less vs. more than 10 years).
» Financial resources of the organization compared with
other organizations in the same industry (higher than
average vs. average and lower than average).
This international study was a collaborative effort of
EFMD, NOCA – Network of Corporate Academies and the
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is
based on responses from a total of 422 HR professionals
from organizations headquartered in 25 countries with
operations in 14 countries, on average. Participants
responded to an online survey.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: THE PATH TO GREATER EFFECTIVENESS|5
About the Partners
EFMDis an international not-for-profit membership
organization based in Brussels, Belgium, with over 860
member organizations from academia, business, public
service and consultancy in 84 countries. EFMD is a unique
forum for information, research, networking and debate on
innovation and best practice in management development
and is recognized globally as an accreditation body of
quality in management education. Learn more at efmd.org.
Online:efmd.org
EFMD Research & Surveys:efmd.org/research/joint-
research
EFMD Research on Twitter:@EFMDNews
EFMD Research on LinkedIn:linkedin.com/company/efmd
EFMD Research on YouTube:EFMDVIDEOS
EFMD
Rue Gachard 88 - box 3
1050 Brussels
Belgium
Phone+32.2.629.0810
E-mailinfo@efmd.org
NOCA – Network of Corporate Academies, in association
with DSEB. The Danish Society for Education and Business.
NOCA is an association of more than 85 companies and
organizations based in Denmark. The purpose of NOCA is
to facilitate sharing of knowledge among the members,
while NOCA contributes to building bridge between
research and practice. The focus is on HR and HR-related
issues, and the activities aim at strengthening HR in the
member organizations. NOCA is an association where
HR researchers and practitioners meet and share their
knowledge and experiences, thereby creating value for the
individual company.
Online:noca.dk/en
NOCA – Network of Corporate Academies
Fiolstraede 44
DK – 1171 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone+45.33.13.18.00
E-mailnoca@noca.dk
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)is
the world’s largest HR professional society, representing
285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly
seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider
of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and
advancing the practice of human resource management.
SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the
United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and
United Arab Emirates. Visit us at shrm.org.
Online:shrm.org
SHRM Research & Surveys:shrm.org/research
SHRM Research on Twitter:@SHRM_Research
SHRM Research on LinkedIn:LinkedIn.com
SHRM Research on SHRM Connect:community.shrm.org
SHRM Headquarters (USA)
1800 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone+1.800.283.7476
E-mailSHRM@shrm.org
SHRM China
11th Floor, Building A, Gateway Plaza
No. 18 Xiaguangli, North Road East Third Ring
Chaoyang District
Beijing, 100027
Phone+86.10.59231033
E-mailSHRMChina@shrm.org
SHRM India
Gurgaon, Sector 26
Haryana 122002
Phone+91.12.44200243
E-mailSHRMIndia@shrm.org
SHRM MENA
Dubai Knowledge Park
Block 9 - ground floor
Executive Office 21
PO Box 502221
Dubai, UAE
Phone+971.050.104.6330
E-mailSHRM.MEA@shrm.org
KEY FINDINGS
Overall, HR professionals rated internal staff dedicated to leadership
development (LD) the highest overall with respect to effectiveness;
engagement of participants and stakeholders was rated the lowest. The latter
is a clear concern in times of growing attention to social and informal learning.
Almost one-half of HR professionals indicated that improving LD’s support
of corporate strategy (48%) and improving engagement of participants and
their stakeholders (e.g., their direct supervisors) (47%) were very important for
improving the overall effectiveness of LD in their organizations.
Engagement of participants and their stakeholders proves to be the single
most challenging factor for organizations.
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