Leadership Development at IBM
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Human Resource, Organization Behavior Case Studies
This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
IBM launched its first manager development program in 1999 and named it Basic Blue. On completing the Emerging leaders program, each candidate was supposed to take on his/her first management role, known as 'Basic Blue'. The Basic Blue program involved an intensive examination of the individual manager's strengths and weaknesses and involved peer-to-peer training. After participation in the Basic Blue program, there were a range of developmental programs available which could be opted for based on the needs of the individual...
According to J. Randall MacDonald, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, IBM Corporation, "The ability of an organization to look ahead and identify the skills it will need in the future, and then rapidly develop a critical mass of individuals with those skills in a cost-effective manner, will be a core competency for those companies looking to compete in the globally integrated world."...
Risk of the Insularity?
Over the decades, IBM had received several accolades for its efforts to nurture leadership development at the company. The success of IBM leadership development was its orientation toward building leadership competencies for the near future. The leadership development initiatives and the succession planning helped the company immensely in making a smooth transition when a CEO retired from his post. At IBM, leadership development was used as a tool to socialize managers on key corporate values and build a strong, coherent culture...
Exhibit I: Operational & Financial Performance of IBM for the Period 1992-2001