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The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development, Third Edition by Marian N. Ruderman, Ellen Van Velsor, Cynthia D. McCauley

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Chapter 9. Evaluating Leader Development

Jennifer W. Martineau

Tracy E. Patterson

Many organizations spend significant amounts of time and money on the development of leaders, and they want to know whether these investments are worthwhile. As providers of leader development, we also want to know whether our programs are meeting clients' needs and how we can improve the impact of our work.

High-quality evaluation of leader development can be challenging for two primary reasons. First, it is often difficult to identify the most critical factors to evaluate because stakeholders vary in how well they can identify observable outcomes expected from leader development. Second, isolating the effects of leader development from other forces is challenging. Because leader development occurs in the context of everyday organizational change and work, multiple forces—economic conditions, policy changes, organizational changes, and others—affect the expected outcomes of leader development. However, because leader development is a process in which organizations invest significant resources, it is critical to assess its impact and continuously improve the practice of leader development.

In this chapter, we present the Center for Creative Leadership's (CCL) approach to evaluation and share our experience in evaluating leader development initiatives—initiatives that focus on the development of individual leaders, groups and teams of leaders, and, increasingly, leadership at collective levels of organization, ...

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