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Exploring observational learning in leadership development for managers

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Management Development
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)164-181
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Purpose: Observational learning within the leadership development of managers is undertheorized thus far. This article develops a theoretical argument that builds out from a relational leadership perspective to centre on processes affecting observational learning.
Approach: Our contribution is to draw together research to build a holistic model of observational learning. A further contribution is to apply this model to the context of leadership development.
Findings / theoretical model: We examine processes associated with attention, availability, access, attainability, motivation and social comparison with significant others in particular contexts. We take a temporal perspective to examine the ways that such interaction appears to be most prominent at particular times.
Practical implications: We conclude by outlining the opportunities for applying this understanding of observational leadership learning within management development arenas
and explore future directions for research.
Originality/value: Observational learning has been relatively overlooked. Though we often ‘know’ that leaders develop through experience, the role of observational learning in this experience is not well understood. This article is intended to provide a stimulus for exploring this important area in terms of shaping thinking and designs for management development