Title: The impact of content and structure on a case-based approach to developing leadership skills

Authors: Shane Connelly, Matthew T. Allen, Ethan Waples

Addresses: Department of Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 455 West Lindsey Street, Room 705, Norman, OK 73019, USA. ' Department of Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 455 West Lindsey Street, Room 740, Norman, OK 73019, USA. ' Department of Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 455 West Lindsey Street, Room 740, Norman, OK 73019, USA

Abstract: Case studies are frequently used in a number of organisational training settings. However, there has been little empirical study of how these cases can be most effective for developing leadership skills. The present study tests the impact of case content and structural features on the acquisition and transfer of leadership skills. Content features include explanations for failure, lessons learned and making forecasts. Structural features include chunking information, advanced organisers and presenting related types of information together. Results suggest that training using case studies is most effective when both case content and structural features are either present or absent. Having content without structure can hinder performance. Furthermore, participants in the case-based training conditions outperformed participants in the principle-based training conditions on a learning task. The implications for the development of Tacit Knowledge and leadership skills are discussed.

Keywords: case-based reasoning; CBR; case studies; instruction; leader development; leadership skills; learning; tacit knowledge; training; content; structure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2007.017112

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2007 Vol.2 No.3, pp.218 - 249

Published online: 13 Feb 2008 *

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