Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Organization News PhD Defences BSS

Personal growth in organizational contexts

The effectiveness of a personal growth training for employees and leaders
PhD ceremony:Mr T. (Thomas) Kowalewski
When:February 02, 2015
Supervisors:R.P.M. (Rafael) Wittek, Prof Dr, prof. dr. S.M. (Siegwart) Lindenberg, PhD
Co-supervisor:dr. G.G. Anthonio
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Personal growth in organizational contexts

Among the many approaches that are available when organizations seek to enhance the performance of their workforce, the focus on self-improvement, personal development, or personal leadership has gained increasing prominence throughout the last decades. These approaches regard personal growth as a necessary requirement to increase general effectiveness at the workplace and are applied to both leaders and employees alike.

Whereas there is a variety of anecdotal evidence on the usefulness of personal growth trainings readily available to the interested reader, scientific research on these techniques is scarce. Critics state that the self-improvement industry is an unregulated sector and that even though the products marketed by this industry are popular and widely used, they are often neither backed up by evidence nor are they built systematically on scientific research. In response to this lack of sound knowledge, numerous scholars have pointed out the importance of working towards evidence-based management methods in organizational contexts to avoid the risk of unintended consequences and to assure that investments result in the achievement of desired outcomes.

At the hand of the popular personal growth training ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen R. Covey, Thomas Kowalewski’s dissertation investigates the usefulness of personal growth trainings as a tool for employee and leader development within organizations.