Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Managerial Studies and Perceived Job Performance: An Israeli Case Study

Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Managerial Studies and Perceived Job Performance: An Israeli Case Study

Article excerpt

This paper was designed in order to know how far skills needed for the future manager (according to the literature) correspond to what managers' students perceive as important, and how courses of a management training program perceived contributing in performing a managerial job effectively. Data were collected from a sample of 190 managers from the public sector, who participated in the Bar Ilan University (Israel), managerial training program, from 1986/87 to 1989/90. The participants were requested to complete an attitude survey questionnaire. Findings largely reflect the world of the future manager mentioned in the literature. As regarding the usefulness of the managerial training program to job performance, findings indicate that the management training program correspond only partially to what is needed for performing one's job effectively. Too much time was devoted to transmitting knowledge rather than indoctrinating skills.

The problem of evaluating the quality of training given to students in management programs has received some attention in recent years (Maimon, 1980; Waters, 1980; Hoyle, 1984; Albanese, 1989).

It is, however, difficult to find reports on empirical investigations concerning the degree to which academic studies of management develop the skills and qualifications in their students, required for successful performance of managerial roles, i.e. the degree to which studies in management do, in fact, assist the graduates in performing their job.

Most of the studies deal with the effects of management programs on the career of their graduates, which are measured in terms of salary or income and promotion within the organizational hierarchy (Weinstein & Srinivasan, 1974).

Previous studies have already criticized the American schools of management for the low practicability of the training that they generally provide (Leavitt, 1975). The main point in these criticisms is that management schools concentrate on teaching certain techniques, knowledge and approaches which are often incompatible with the way enterprises are managed. (Bigelow, 1983); Waters et al, 1983).

Ottaway (1985) contends that there appears to be a general consensus within the American business community that the education of the management student largely fails to provide him/her with a realistic view of organizational life. He further maintains that the failure of the training management programs to provide a realistic perspective of corporation life may well rest in the use of traditional teacher/classroom-centered pedagogues which do not adequately utilize the student's ongoing work environment as a learning resource.

The pedagogy he suggests does actively incorporates this ongoing work experience as an integral part of the management education process.

According to Kirkpatrick (1975), the following four criteria could be utilized in evaluating the effectiveness of a training program:

1. Reactions - refers to the attitudes and perceptions of the participants in a training program;

2. Learning - refers to the principles, facts and technique understanding and absorption;

3. Behavior - refers to the utilization of what is learned during the training period; and

4. Results - refers to the cost-effectiveness of the training program in terms of quality, quantity, the participant's morale etc.

According to these criteria for evaluating a training program, the present study seeks to test empirically the following research questions:

1) What are the personal objectives of the student-manager in joining the training program?

2) What are the student-manager's perceptions of the knowledge and skills required in performing his job effectively?

3) What are the student manager's views regarding the contribution of the management courses to his job performance?

The Conceptual Framework

In order to evaluate any management course, it is important to have a conception of the roles of the manager of tomorrow. …

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