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The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Training, Development, and Performance Improvement by Sigmar Malvezzi, Nuno Rebelo dos Santos, Jonathan Passmore, Kurt Kraiger

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19Leadership Development and Organizational Success

Thomas Garavan, Fergal O’Brien, and Sandra Watson

Introduction

Human resources and in particular leadership resources have been identified as critical to the success to organizations (Mabey, 2013; O’Connell, 2013; Nyberg et al., 2013). Given the importance of leadership skills and behaviors, organizations have made considerable investment in a variety of leadership development practices. These practices are implemented to promote, encourage, and assist in the development of skills, knowledge, and self-awareness to optimize an individual’s leadership potential and performance (Garavan, Hogan, & Cahir-O’Donnell, 2009; Martineau, Hoole, & Patterson, 2006). Investment in leadership development is assumed to contribute to organizational performance; however there are many theoretical and empirical questions concerning its effectiveness and numerous researchers have highlighted that little is known about its outcomes and the processes in leadership development that contribute to organizational outcomes (Lockwood, 2006; Brungardt, 1997; Storey, 2011). O’Connell (2013) argues that leadership development lacks a clear definition, its theoretical base is weak and there is relatively little agreement about the key constructs involved. This contrasts with the perspective of leadership development practitioners who argue that it makes business sense as an investment in a key talent group (Conference Board, 2006) and many organizations ...

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