• Leadership development for managers in turbulent times

      Hall, Roger D.; Rowland, Caroline A.; Hall Consultancy; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-09-12)
      Purpose In a turbulent economic climate, characterised by pressures to improve productivity and reduce costs, leadership and performance management have a more central role in helping to ensure competitive advantage. This paper explores current demands on leaders; and endeavours to explore linkages between management education and agile leadership Design/methodology/approach Taking a grounded theory approach, this paper uses the concepts of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) to investigate the impact on desired attributes of leaders and the extent to which this is underpinned by current management education programmes. It draws on the VUCA model of agile management to examine current practices and experiences and considers future trends. Empirical research includes case studies and analysis of management syllabuses. Findings Syllabuses do not reflect the attributes that organizations expect leaders to possess and are content driven rather than process focussed. VUCA is not yet mainstream in academic thinking. Practical implications There is a disparity between the output of Business Schools and the expectations of organizations. This may affect productivity. It is suggested that the use of live consultancies may provide a more beneficial management development experience. Originality/value This research opens an international debate that seeks to assess the relevance of current management education to the needs of organizations for agile, high performing leaders