The assessment of formal management development: A method, a baseline and the need to incorporate learning styles
Purpose - To assess the impact of a course on the development of management competencies for students over the duration of the course, by examining changes in the competencies of the students. The potential impact of student learning styles was also examined in the study. Design/methodology/approach - A "Pre, Post, Then" design and a combination of paired sample t-tests, and alpha and beta change statistics were used to examine the change in competencies over time. Findings - This study found that even a standard subject design had a significant and substantial impact on the management competence development of the students. Practical implications - From the perspective of students-as-products, the base line provided here allows for the testing of alternative designs of educational systems, whereby alternative designs have to prove a benefit above and beyond that of a basic teaching system. Therefore, the present study should assist the field of management development to create a range of design options. Originality/value - This study applies a powerful and under-utilised research method to provide a base line of the amount of management development that can occur in a typical formal management course, but is unique in that it includes the impact of the students' learning styles.