This study of a sample of firms based in a region of Scotland, examines the characteristics of organizations that are early adopters of management development methods. The survey results show that organizations that are early adopters of one or more of four fashionable management development techniques—open learning, computer-assisted learning, action learning and outdoor management training are also characterized by a sophisticated approach to human resource development and the use of other 'high performance' HRM practices. Such findings are consistent with the literature on innovation that points to rational-technical factors influencing the decision-making process of early adopter organizations in contrast to institutional factors such as social conformity that are more important in influencing late adopter organizations. However, the data also point to the limitations of using an early-late stage adoption framework for the diffusion of techniques such as those used in management development.
Martin, G., Beaumont, P., & Staines, H. (1998). Determinants of early and late adoption of management development practices: evidence from Scotland. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 6(2), 132-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb028881