• C M. Grimard Universit
  • Sabrina Pellerin Universit


leadership, action learning


University leadership courses or corporate leadership development programs traditionally offer classroom-based instruction pertaining to the theories, attributes, and behaviors of leaders. Although these activities may spark increased awareness and understanding of leadership, this learning is not easily transferred to the workplace. Indeed, transference of learning is a significant issue not only in traditional leadership education and training, but in any learning program that take learners away from the context in which they will be applying their new skills. To address these deficiencies in transference, we propose an action learning approach that invites individuals to undertake practical exercises in their personal or professional lives as a means of building leadership skills


Amagoh, F. (2009). Leadership development and leadership effectiveness. Management Decision, 47(6), 989-999. doi: 10.1108/00251740910966695

ATD. (2013, December 12). $164.2 Billion Spent on Training and Development by U.S. Companies. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Baldwin, T. T., & Ford, J. K. (1988). Transfer of training: A review and directions for future research. Personnel Psychology, 41(1), 63-105. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.1988.tb00632.x

Brockbank, A., & McGill, I. (2004). The Action Learning Handbook: Powerful Techniques for Education, Professional Development and Training. New York: Routledge.

Brotheridge, C. M., & Long, S. (2007). The

Chakrabarti, M. (2009). Leadership development

Conger, J., & Toegel, G. (2002). Action learning and multi-rater feedback as leadership development interventions: Popular but poorly deployed. Journal of Change Management, 3(4), 332-348. doi: 10.1080/714023841

Cromwell, S. E., & Kolb, J. A. (2004). An examination of work?environment support factors affecting transfer of supervisory skills training to the workplace. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 15(4), 449-471. doi: 10.1002/hrdq.1115

Day, D. V. (2000). Leadership development: A review in context. The Leadership Quarterly, 11(4), 581-613. doi: 10.1016/S1048-9843(00)00061-8

Day, D. V., Fleenor, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Sturm, R. E., & McKee, R. A. (2014). Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25 years of research and theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 63-82. doi: 1048984313001197

DeRue, D. S., & Wellman, N. (2009). Developing leaders via experience: the role of developmental challenge, learning orientation, and feedback availability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(4), 859-875. doi: 10.1037/a0015317

Dotlich, D. L., & Noel, J. L. (1998). Action Learning: How The World

Fulmer, R. M. (1997). The evolving paradigm of leadership development. Organizational Dynamics, 25(4), 59-72. doi: 10.1016/S0090-2616(97)90037-1

Grimard, C. & Pellerin, S. (2017). 101 Exercises for Developing your Leadership. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.

Gurdjian, P., Halbeisen, T., & and Lane, K. (2014). Why leadership-development programs fail, McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from:

Hernez-Broome, G., & Hughes, R. L. (2004). Leadership development: Past, present, and future. People and Strategy, 27(1), 24.

Hirst, G., Mann, L., Bain, P., Pirola-Merlo, A., & Richver, A. (2004). Learning to lead: The development and testing of a model of leadership learning. The Leadership Quarterly, 15(3), 311-327. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2004.02.011

Marquardt, M. J. (2000). Action learning and leadership. The Learning Organization, 7(5), 233-241. doi: 10.1108/09696470010352990

Marquardt, M. (2006). Action Learning. American Society for Training and Development.

McCall, M. W. (2004). Leadership development through experience. Academy of Management Executive, 18(3), 127-130. doi: 10.5465/AME.2004.14776183

McCall, M. W. (2010). Recasting leadership development. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3(1), 3-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9434.2009.01189.x

Morrison, J. L., Rha, J., & Helfman, A. (2003). Learning awareness, student engagement, and change: A transformation in leadership development. Journal of Education for Business, 79(1), 11-17. doi : 10.1080/08832320309599081

Moxley, R. S., & O

Mumford, M. D., Marks, M. A., Connelly, M. S., Zaccaro, S. J., & Reiter-Palmon, R. (2000). Development of leadership skills: Experience and timing. The Leadership Quarterly, 11(1), 87-114. doi: 10.1016/S1048-9843(99)00044-2

Myatt, M. (December 19th, 2012). The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails, Forbes. Retrieved from:

Pedler, M. (2016). The State of the Art. In M. Pedler (ed.), Action Learning in Practice (4th ed., p. xxi-xxvii). New York: Routledge.

Quatro, S. A., Waldman, D. A., & Galvin, B. M. (2007). Developing holistic leaders: Four domains for leadership development and practice. Human Resource Management Review, 17(4), 427-441. doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2007.08.003

Raelin, J. A. (1997). Action learning and action science: are they different? Organizational Dynamics, 26(1), 21-34. doi: 10.1016/S0090-2616(97)90025-5

Revans, R. (2011). ABC of Action Learning. Gower Publishing.

Revans, R. (2016). Action Learning: Its Origins and Nature. In M. Pedler (ed.). Action Learning in Practice (4th ed., p. 5-14). New York: Routledge.

Robinson, G. S., & Wick, C. W. (1992). Executive development that makes a business difference. People and Strategy, 15(1), 63-76.

Rowland, D. (2016). Why leadership development isn

Scott, K. S. (2017). An integrative framework for problem-based learning and action learning: Promoting evidence-based design and evaluation in leadership development. Human Resource Development Review, 16(1), 3-34. doi: 10.1177/1534484317693090

Skipton Leonard, H., & Lang, F. (2010). Leadership development via action learning. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12(2), 225-240. doi: 10.1177/1523422310367800

Smith, P. A. (2001). Action learning and reflective practice in project environments that are related to leadership development. Management Learning, 32(1), 31-48. doi: 10.1177/1350507601321003

Volz-Peacock, M., Carson, B., & Marquardt, M. (2016). Action learning and leadership development. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 18(3), 318-333. doi: 10.1177/1523422316645884