Succession planning: developing management potential in a social services department

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes a best-practice initiative designed to develop management potential in a local authority social services department. Entitled 'the aspiring managers' programme', it aimed to assist the department with its succession planning using positive action approaches to develop the management potential of staff from minority and traditionally disadvantaged groups within the existing workforce. Nineteen staff were sponsored onto a specially commissioned in-house Certificate in Management Studies in Health and Social Care. A scheme of work-based learning and management mentoring provided practical support to develop participants' management experiences and skills. At the end of the programme an exploratory evaluation using questionnaires and one-to-one interviews within a qualitative paradigm documented participants' experiences of the scheme and the advantages or problems of such an approach to developing diversity in the social care workforce. Within six months of completing the 'aspiring managers' programme', eight participants succeeded in gaining first-line management posts. The use of mentoring and the direct involvement of participants' line managers in delivering specialist areas of the curriculum contributed to quality of support, success and ownership of this particular positive action initiative. This paper aims to contribute to understanding of management development practices in social care organisations, and highlights the need for future research into securing a more representative workforce within care organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages12
JournalDiversity in Health and Care
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2006


  • management development
  • mentoring
  • positive action
  • diversity
  • equality
  • social care
  • succession planning


Dive into the research topics of 'Succession planning: developing management potential in a social services department'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this