Integrating "Action-Based" Learning into Executive Development Programs

Gary Bonvillian, Thomas F. Pray


This paper describes one model for developing and delivering an "action-based" experiential learning exercise in the application of Total Quality Management (TQM). The exercise involves a daylong experience where a group of mid- and upper-level managers, enrolled in a 15 week, non-credit, management development program, visited one of Motorola's manufacturing sites in Elma, New York. In addition to witnessing, first hand, how "empowered principles" altered management methods and improved the financial viability of the division, participants were given the opportunity to provide feedback to site executives. The extension of the simple "plant tour" to an audit of TQM resulted in a more meaningful experience for program participants and also the Elma site.

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