Off the Job Management Development Methods

There are many management development techniques that an employee can take in off the job. The few popular methods are:


Case Studies try to simulate decision-making situation that trainees may find at their work place. It reflects the situations and complex problems faced by managers, staff, HR, CEO, etc. The objective of the case study method is to get trainees to apply known concepts and ideologies and ascertain new ones. The case study method emphasize on approach to see a particular problem rather than a solution. Their solutions are not as important as the understanding of advantages and disadvantages.

Procedure of the Case Study Method

The trainee is given with some written material, and the some complex situations of a real or imaginary organization. A case study may range from 50 to 200 pages depending upon the problem of the organization.

A series of questions usually appears at the end of the case study.

The longer case studies provide enough of the information to be examined while the shorter ones require the trainee to explore and conduct research to gather appropriate amount of information.

The trainee then makes certain judgment and opines about the case by identifying and giving possible solutions to the problem.

In between trainees are given time to digest the information. If there is enough time left, they are also allowed to collect relevant information that supports their solution.

Once the individuals reach the solution of a problem, they meet in small groups to discuss the options, solutions generated.

Then, the trainee meets with the trainer, who further discusses the case.

Case Study method focuses on:

Building decision making skills

Assessing and developing Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSAs)

Developing communication and interpersonal skills

Developing management skills

Developing procedural and strategic knowledge


Under this, scheme an atmosphere is created in which the participants play a dynamic role. Usually management games consist of several teams which represent competing groups. Each team consists of 2 to 6 persons.

Each team has to make discussion and to arrive at decisions concerning such as production; pricing, research expenditure. The participants are assigned such roles as Managing Director, General Manager etc. They make decisions affecting price level, production volume and inventory levels etc. These business games are intended to teach trainees how to take management decisions in an integrated manner. The results of their decisions are then compared by a computer programme. The participants learn by analyzing problems and by making trial and error method.


Equipment simulators are the mechanical devices that necessitate trainees to use some actions, plans, measures, trials, movements, or decision processes they would use with equipment back on the their respective work place. This is the technique of working up a real thing, in which a situation is created and attempt is to made to make it resembled to the actual situation. So a duplicate atmosphere but like original sense is created. Trainees are assigned different roles in that situation and they

The literature on socio-technical approaches to organizational development provides guidelines for the design or redesign of tools. Human Resource professionals involved in propose of simulators and their pre-testing should engage those who will be using the equipment and their supervisors. Their input can help in reducing the potential resistance, errors in the equipment and more importantly, it also increases the degree of reliability between the simulation and the work setting.

Equipment simulators can be used in giving training to:

1. Air Traffic Controllers

2. Taxi Drivers

3. Telephone Operators

4. Ship Navigators

5. Maintenance Workers

6. Product Development Engineers

7. Airline Pilots

8. Military Officers


In this method, each team of trainees is given the different files of correspondence of the business problems. These are also called business papers like memoranda, reports and telephone messages and other general papers which come across the table of the manager. The trainees are asked to study them, analyse them and make their comments on the file. Procedure of the In-basket Technique In this technique, trainee is given some information about the role to be played such as, description, responsibilities, general context about the role. The trainee is then given the log of materials that make up the in-basket and asked to respond to materials within a particular time period.

After all the trainees complete in-basket, a discussion with the trainer takes place.

In this discussion the trainee describes the justification for the decisions.

The trainer then provides feedback, reinforcing decisions made suitably or encouraging the trainee to increase alternatives for those made unsuitably.

This technique focuses on:

    • Building decision making skills

    • Assess and develops Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSAs)

    • Develops of communication and interpersonal skills

    • Develops procedural knowledge

    • Develops strategic knowledge

5. SENSITIVITY TRAINING/ T group training

Sensitivity training is about making people understand about themselves and others reasonably, which is done by developing in them social sensitivity and behavioral flexibility.

    • Social sensitivity in one word is empathy. It is ability of an individual to sense what others feel and think from their own point of view.

    • Behavioral flexibility is ability to behave suitably in light of understanding.

Procedure of Sensitivity Training

Sensitivity Training Program requires three steps:

1. Unfreezing the old values –

It requires that the trainees become aware of the inadequacy of the old values. This can be done when the trainee faces dilemma in which his old values is not able to provide proper guidance. The first step consists of a small procedure:

a. An unstructured group of 10-15 people is formed.

b. Unstructured group without any objective looks to the trainer for its guidance

c. But the trainer refuses to provide guidance and assume leadership

d. Soon, the trainees are motivated to resolve the uncertainty

e. Then, they try to form some hierarchy. Some try assume leadership role which may not be liked by other trainees

f. Then, they started realizing that what they desire to do and realize the alternative ways of dealing with the situation

2. Development of new values –

With the trainer’s support, trainees begin to examine their interpersonal behavior and giving each other feedback. The reasoning of the feedbacks are discussed which motivates trainees to experiment with range of new behaviors and values. This process constitutes the second step in the change process of the development of these values.

3. Refreezing the new ones –

This step depends upon how much opportunity the trainees get to practice their new behaviors and values at their work place.