Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




In the current business environment, leadership development is being recognized as an important strategic initiative for organizations faced with the challenge of filling critical leadership positions and ensuring their leaders have the capacity to lead their organizations' into the future. Most of the research on leadership development has focused on practices in large companies. The purpose of this research is to study the best practices for leadership development in medium-sized companies. Eleven leadership development professionals were interviewed. Those professionals worked for companies in a variety of industries, with annual revenues of between $300 million and $2 billion. During the interviews, the professionals described their companies' leadership development programs. They also talked about the reasons for offering a leadership development program, future trends in leadership development, the strengths of their programs, their current challenges, and recommendations for companies designing a new program. The results show that medium-sized companies offer similar leadership development elements (mentoring, coaching, classroom training, 360-degree feedback, and action learning) as large companies. However, due to financial constraints, medium-sized companies' programs are executed on a smaller scale than large companies.


SC 11.MAL.2009.Hanzal.BA