Document Type

Theses, Masters


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Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) to the Technological University Dublin, 2007.


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the process of strategic development in professional associations. The thesis will apply the generic model as developed by Johnson and Scholes [1999] ton one professional association and seek to understand the process of strategic development within that association. According to Johnson and Scholes ‘the strategic development of organisations is better understood typically in terms of continuity or momentum of strategy; once an organisation has adopted a particular strategy, it tends to develop from and within that strategy, rather than fundamentally changing direction’ [Johnson and Scholes, 1999:45]. The thesis conducts a literature review in two areas, that of professional associations and that of strategic development. It also covers a short history of the profession of training and development. The primary research is conducted through the medium of one professional association in Ireland. The professional association chosen, the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD), has been in existence since 1969 and draws members from those working in the field of training. The primary research examines the strategic development of the IITD through structured interviews with relevant personnel and the use of questionnaires based on differing strategic perspectives identified by Bailey and Johnson [1995]. What emerges from the study is that there is a further pattern of strategic development, not previously identified in the literature, that of a cycle of Discontinuous Development. This is evidenced in the repeated instances of developments being identified, plans proposed to tackle them only to come to naught, with the same developments being posed all over again by subsequent committee. This pattern of development has hindered genuine progress within this association. Finally, the thesis draws conclusions from the research, and makes a number o f recommendations to the IITD for more effective systems and structures.


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