Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Novak, Ralph S.||Green, Gerald G.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Business Administration




The majority of information and research relative to managerial development programs has been concentrated on large businesses. There is an equal need for the small businessman to utilize such programs. Dun and Bradstreet revealed that 97.3 per cent of all small business failures mere due directly to identifiable human weaknesses (incompetence) of the owner-manager. The purpose of this study was to analyze the prominence and extent of utilization of management development practices in small businesses. Reflecting the major problem, the study attempted to ascertain the followings: 1. The main reason why some small businesses do not utilize management development programs. 2. The most popular and successful types of managerial development programs employed. 3. The classification and percentage of management that utilize management development programs. 4. The frequency of utilization and the annual costs of management development programs. The primary source of information was a mail questionnaire sent to two hundred small businesses located within a thirty-five mile radius of Joliet, Illinois. The companies surveyed were broken down into classification (manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and services) and size (small-small, medium-small, and large-small) to facilitate comparisons. Additional information was obtained through library research and interviews. The study indicated that small businesses do not utilize managerial development programs to any great extent. Results indicated that most respondents were content with their present managerial staff. The majority of the firms that were not presently employing any form of managerial development program were not considering instituting such a program in the future. The limited size and facilities within the company were reported ty the majority as the major factor for not employing any type of development program. It also appeared that little emphasis was placed on the costs of development programs. Interviews revealed that no definite policies were employed regarding the choice of program participants. Top management, however, was given priority in attending most programs. Most small businesses employ on-the-job training techniques, especially utilizing the methods of understudy, coaching, and job rotation. Of the external programs utilized, management seminars and institutes were considered the most popular. The majority of the respondents felt they did not have the available funds to employ professional managerial development specialists. It was deemed most important that small businesses become cognizant of the need and benefits which managerial development programs can produce.


Includes bibliographical references.


84 pages




Northern Illinois University

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