Perceived Effect of Leadership Development Program on Business Results of Governmental Agency

Gloria Solomon, Walden University


Organizations invest billions of dollars in leadership development programs (LDPs) to train leaders to manage business challenges, such as new global markets, changing economic conditions, and shifting technology. Although organizations are investing in LDP training, there is little effort to evaluate LDP outcomes and the effect LDPs have on organizational business results. The purpose of this study was to examine a specific LDP in a government agency to determine its perceived effect on that agency's business results. The conceptual framework used for the study was Kirkpatrick's evaluation model. The central research question dealt with the perceptions of managers of attendees and of attendees on the effect of a specific LDP on their U.S. government agency's business results. A qualitative, embedded, case study approach was the research method chosen. The study sample consisted of 5 managers of individuals in the government agency's staff who attended the LDP and 7 individuals who attended the LDP. The data collection process consisted of semistructured interviews with participants from the 2 identified groups. Data analysis included coding and thematic analysis by means of the constant comparative method. The findings revealed that the majority of managers perceived the LDP did not affect the agency's business results; whereas, the majority of LDP attendees perceived their participation in the LDP did affect the agency's business results. A recommendation for future research is to use multiple cases (i.e., LDPs) in a study for enhanced credibility. The implications for positive social change of this study include the potential of LDPs to develop leaders better equipped to improve follower's performance and satisfaction and organizations' business results to the benefit of society.