Professional development for middle managers
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Citation:Davies, S. J. (2007). Professional development for middle managers. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Educational Management, Unitec New Zealand, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1305
This qualitative research project aims to examine a problem that concerns the professional development requirements of middle managers in a New Zealand multi-site state sector organisation from the middle managers’ perspective. The organisation’s (allocated pseudonym is Justcorp) business plan stated as a strategic priority that it needed to build the capacity of its employees for the realisation of its vision. The objectives for this priority focussed on the organisation’s recruitment and retention, strengthening leadership, providing comprehensive training packages and enhancing team functioning. To deal with this, ten middle managers with different responsibilities relating to the core business have been employed across the three sites of Justcorp. These middle managers were responsible for the management of staff, resources and service to clients which placed them in a vital role in Justcorp. For this research, ten participants from the three national sites were interviewed on their recent experiences surrounding their professional development and how it had affected their work. They were asked to identify the skills and abilities that were important for the middle manager’s role and to describe how in the future professional development could be delivered and organised in Justcorp. The interview findings were further discussed by a focus group involving five of the initial ten participants. This research found that all ten participants had undertaken some activities of professional development. The impact on their work varied according to suitability of the activity to their tasks and opportunities available to them in Justcorp. In response to how future professional development requirements could be addressed participants focussed on the attributes that middle managers required for their role and how a process could be developed. Participants recognised leadership and management education and training as essential elements of their development. The factors enabling and inhibiting the provision of middle managers’ professional development were identified and were generally considered as lacking a process. The conclusions from this project and the key research aims that guided it were directed at how to adequately provide a model of professional development for middle managers in Justcorp. The model needs to commence at induction and cater for the development of the individual, improve middle management practice and assist Justcorp in the achievement of its vision.