Many organizations have created leadership development programs for their employees; however, organizations often fail to evaluate how meaningful the program is to participants. Using a qualitative, single-case study approach, the focus of the study was to recognize the degree to which participants in a leadership development program found the program to be meaningful; participants considered the terms meaningfulness and benefits to be interchangeable. Seven themes emerged in the study from the 12 participants interviewed: (a) retention, (b) mentoring, (c) meaningfulness, (d) loyalty, (e) benefits, (f) leadership development program, and (g) changes. Retention was a theme discussed by numerous participants with regard to program managers overseeing the leadership development program, location of the workplace, and better opportunities for employment. Participants gauged program meaningfulness by knowledge gained, relationships built, and the training and development received. Loyalty was identified as participants felt valued by the organization and received promotions as a result of going through the program. Benefits identified by participants included the opportunity to further one’s education, build a professional network, and pursue additional training. Participants in the leadership development program identified the evaluation process and the perception of participants in the program as very popular themes. Lastly, participants in the leadership development program identified possible changes they would like to see made to the program. The findings of this study identified four areas for future research and practice. For leadership development programs to be meaningful to participants, organizations must be open to participant feedback, implement a comprehensive evaluation process, and align the program with the organizational mission.
|Subjects||Management; Labor economics; Industrial arts education|
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