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Applying holistic principles in management development

Shefy, E and Sadler-Smith, E (2006) Applying holistic principles in management development Journal of Management Development, 25 (4). pp. 368-385.

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Purpose - In preparing managers for the uncertainty, threats and opportunities posed by the challenge of frequent and unexpected changes in organizations and markets, an alternative to a traditional Western viewpoint is a holistic approach that embodies balance and harmony, sees more subtle relationships and avoids the tensions of opposites. The purpose of this paper is to report the derivation and application of six holistic principles for management development (quieting the mind, harmony and balance, relinquishing the desire to control, transcending the ego, centeredness, and the power of softness) derived from a non-Western philosophy. Design/methodology/approach - The six principles were implemented in a management development program in a small high-tech company. The reported effects upon the managers' role perceptions and behaviors were captured in immediate and delayed evaluations by means of face-to-face interviews. Findings - The analysis of the interview data identified four underlying values that managers reported emerging from their involvement in the program: emotional awareness, shared perspectives, interpersonal sensitivity and benevolence and fulfilment. Research limitations/implications - The research is an action-based single case study which was evaluated longitudinally using participants' perceptions. Further work is now required to apply these principles more widely and assess them using pre- and post-test measures of attitudes and behaviors and upward/360 degree assessments. Practical implications - The broader impact of a holistic approach for management development in terms of personal and spiritual fulfilment as well as its significance of corporate issues is discussed. Originality/value - The paper presents a challenging and innovative approach to developing managers holistically and provides a counterbalance to the predominant approach of much management education and development. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Shefy, E
Date : 19 April 2006
DOI : 10.1108/02621710610655837
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 14:46
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 13:18

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