Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Novak, Ralph S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Education and Administrative Services


Executives; Small business


Over the last decade there has been a great amount of material written concerning the need for training and developing executive personnel and the utilization of development techniques in large businesses. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which small firms utilize development programs, and the importance which they ascribed to the training and development of executives. Five factors were investigated to facilitate this determination. They were: 1. To determine the extent to which small manufacturing firms have executive development programs as comparted to large firms, 2. To determine the extent to which small manufacturing firms plan for the succession of executive personnel as compared to large manufacturing firms, 3. To determine the extent to which small manufacturing firms fill management vacancies by promotion as compared to large manufacturing firms, 4. To determine the extent to which executive development methods and techniques are used by small manufacturing firms as compared to large firms, 5. To determine the extent of educational and training experience the incumbent top executives have had since graduation. The study indicated that small manufacturing firms in Rockford rarely utilized formal executive development programs. Indications further revealed that the presidents of small firms made little effort to plan for the succession for managerial personnel in the near future. Results revealed that many chief executives of small firms did not recognize a need for executive development. Several presidents of small firms indicated that immediate day-to-day problems had to be solved before plans for the future could be made and that management personnel could be obtained when the need arose. The study revealed that small firms did use a few executives development technique on an informal basis. Most executives from small manufacturing firms indicated that they attended seminars and used a form of understudy method to train new managers. Small firms did not, however, indicate that any other development techniques were used to any great extent. Large firms in comparison, revealed that a wide variety of executive development techniques were used in conjunction with formal development programs. The comparison of large and small firms appeared to indicate that small firms had ascribed little importance to executive development and in many cases were not aware of a need for executive development training.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 67-68)


xi, 81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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