An investigation into succession



This thesis is based on an probe into sequence planning in little to moderate-sized administrations within the Information Technology ( IT ) industry.

The chief country of research is centred on whether these administrations develop employees sufficiently to travel into polar functions or whether they must go on to trust on external enlisting for senior places.

An extra inquiry raised by the study is whether runing within the IT industry brings its ain distinctive features.


A study, by agencies of postal questionnaire, was chosen as the agencies of aggregation of primary informations. This questionnaire was distributed to human resource directors and officers runing within the IT industry.

In add-on to this information aggregation, usage was made besides of secondary archive study informations.


The findings of this study rather clearly show that, despite statements to the contrary, true sequence planning exists in really few administrations.

Sequence planning theory and best pattern are ignored to the extent that existent top degree committedness is difficult to happen and really small HR engagement exists other than at operational degree.

Findingss show that small has changed over the old ages in that whatever sequence planning exists in administrations, it remain in the authorization of senior direction, operated by and for them. There is small grounds to demo that this has been widened to include more junior degrees within administrations.

Notwithstanding the fact that sequence planning exists within the senior ranks, there is small grounds to demo that it really works. External enlisting continues to be the norm and keeping rates of senior forces do non demo any existent benefit.

The specific jobs of deficiency of chance and resource, faced by little to moderate-sized administrations, are exacerbated within the IT industry, which brings its ain issues of employee high outlook and restlessness.


1.1. Sequence Planing – What is it?


“ Sequence planning is doing certain that the administration develops and keeps the right people for cardinal occupations. … … … .. More successfully, it defines the competences needed for the hereafter and develops them in everyone who has the capableness. This provides a pool of endowment from which replacements to of import occupations can be drawn. ”

The Industrial Society ( April 1997 ) [ 1 ]

Staff turnover dictates that all administrations have a demand to make full employee vacancies ; cardinal functions non excluded. Advanced administrations look beyond a basic enlisting procedure and understand the value of a system that identifies high potency in current employees, every bit good as recognizing leading spreads in the administration. Having acknowledged these demands, good administrations put in topographic point a development construction that seeks to reply these demands. This complete procedure is known as Succession Planning.

Of class, where such a procedure is portion and package of mundane life in an administration, most likely it is non restricted to the hierarchy of the company. An expected effect of this state of affairs is a civilization of ongoing development of employees from top to bottom, taking to a uninterrupted procedure of sequence planning throughout the administration.

1.2. Sequence Planing – Why is it of import?

The brief that good leading has a direct affect on organizational public presentation lies at the bosom of the move towards sequence planning.

We live today in a fast-moving, high pressured, competitory society, where the slightest advantage may give a company a valuable aggressive border.

If a company is to turn and spread out into new countries and markets, it is of import that the administration is built on a strong foundation. The best and strongest foundation for an administration is a pool of capable, gifted persons, who have grown with the administration ; absorbing its cognition and its civilization, ready to travel up through the company into polar leading functions.

Administrations that do non supply this ‘home grown ‘ endowment, and perchance lose valuable cognition and expertness along the manner, may hold to seek replacings from outside ; with this class of action runs the hazard of enrolling the incorrect individual.

This latter happening could be a catastrophe, peculiarly when a incorrect pick is made at a senior degree. This state of affairs could take to serious break in an administration and, depending on the importance of the employee concerned, the consequence could be terminal diminution.

1.3. Research Aim

“ Sequence planning is seen as a important procedure by most major using administrations ” ( Hirsch 2000, p.ix ) [ 2 ]

The purpose of this research is to set up whether, despite the sensed benefits of sequence planning, most little to moderate-sized administrations fail to foster sufficient ‘home-grown ‘ endowment and have to look outside their ain administrations to make full cardinal senior places.

An alternate, but every bit distressing state of affairs is the assignment of persons on the footing of category, length of service, household history, etc. , without the developmental support.

This state of affairs surely exists within the writer ‘s administration at the present clip. There is small, if any, work being done among the senior direction squad to develop the leading accomplishments of the replacements to the chief functions ; although it does look that in the instance of the primary place, the pick has been made! More significantly, this state of affairs continues down throughout the administration and, in many sections, it is hard to see which persons would hold the qualities necessary to be able to stem into senior functions if the demand arose. This province of personal businesss creates serious concerns for the way and hereafter of the administration. All this exists in an administration, which claims that a civilization of development exists and, if questioned superficially, would be of the sentiment that sequence planning occurred.

1.4. Scheme

The research method chosen was data aggregation by agencies of postal questionnaires to be sent out to the HR Officers / Managers in little to moderate-sized high tech companies / administrations in the UK and India private sector. Where necessary, the postal questionnaires are to be followed up with telephone reminders and completed via telephone calls or electronic mails.

1.5. Outline Structure

Literature Review

2.1. History of Succession Planning

Historically, sequence be aftering systems were the exclusive state of the upper echelons of male, class-dominated society. Whether or non this served society well is an arguable point ; the fact that it existed in a class-ridden paternalistic age is non up for argument.

The traditional theoretical account of sequence planning, as identified in The Industrial Society ( 1997 ) , is for the Board of identify, in secret, a list of two or three possible replacements for the senior functions. Harmonizing to Holbech, no more than two or three per cent of the work force were deemed to hold direction or executive potency ( Holbech, 2003 ) [ 3 ] . There are considerable, well-documented, drawbacks associated with this procedure – for illustration, direction may go on to take ‘clones ‘ of themselves, perpetuating a civilization with a reluctance to alter. Without fresh blood, conveying new thoughts, administrations may get down to stagnate. The disadvantages brought approximately by this traditional theoretical account may be distilled down to two statements ; the administration hazards losing exceeding endowment ( with the associated effects ) and employees miss out on development and fail to carry through their possible.

Chris Watkin of Hay Group maintains that “ the roots of talent direction can be found in the outsourcing of the pervious decennary. ” ( Carrington 2004 ) [ 4 ] The decrease of alumnus enlisting strategies in the early 1990s meant administrations frequently did non hold the right employees in topographic point to travel into the senior places. This state of affairs was all right for a piece but, long-run, it proved to be really expensive and non to successful. ( 2004, p.26 )

Watkin besides says that the enlisting slow-down that had occurred over the past twosome of old ages has highlighted farther the demand for administrations to do more of their current employee endowment. ( ibid p.26 )

Surely, within the writer ‘s industry ( IT ) , the deficiency of available endowment during this period has been a serious ( and dearly-won ) concern. Decidedly, it is cheaper to develop current employees than to buy-in expensive campaigners with great possible but small cognition of the Company ‘s merchandises and specific engineerings. The CIPD ( 2004, p.1 ) [ 5 ] support this position by proposing that possibly it was better to develop loyal employees who understood the administration and its civilization.

Harmonizing to Rothwell ( 2001, p.5 ) [ 6 ] , one of the first authors to appreciate the demand to be after was Henri Fayol ( 1916 ) , whose 14 points of direction indicate that direction has a duty to guarantee the “ stableness of term of office of forces. ” Fayol besides said that if the demand were ignored, cardinal places would stop up being filled by ailment prepared people.

The universe is now a much different topographic point than in Fayol ‘s clip but the basic dogmas of his thought remain. Harmonizing to the Corporate Leadership Council ( CLC ) [ 7 ] , from 2000 to 2002, many administrations struggled in the hard economic clime.

Despite this, a figure of companies continued to stand out, sometimes exceling their net incomes outlooks. The CLC believe that the ground for this was the quality of their senior executives ; they were successful in making a steady supply of endowment at a clip when others were neglecting to maintain up. The CLC go on to state that this distinction may keep the key to organizational success. ( 2004 ) [ 8 ]

The state of affairs predominating within corporate direction today, non surprisingly, puts Board direction sequence in the spotlight. Harmonizing to Carey and Ogden in Berger & A ; Berger, managers, as defenders of the involvements of stockholders, of course are concerned with the on-going wellness and success of the corporate endeavor. Capable leading is critical to this aim, which means that sequence must be considered first and foremost and basically a duty of the board. ( 2004 p.243 )

Despite this, the CLC found that merely 20 % of reacting HR executives were satisfied with their top-management sequence procedures. Ram Charan thinks that this is merely inexcusable and goes on to state that a board that has been in topographic point for six or seven old ages but does non hold a pool of qualified campaigners and a robust sequence procedure is a failure. ( 2005, p.74 ) [ 9 ]

2.2. Construct Endowment throughout the Administration

If an administration is to be in a place to supply a uninterrupted pool of gifted employees from which the leaders of tomorrow must be chosen, it is of import that the sequence direction procedure is non restricted to the senior degree. There is a demand to place and train possible throughout the administration.

Sisson and Storey thinks that preparation and development were the edifice blocks of a ‘learning administration ‘ and, harmonizing to many, the existent key to developing competitory advantage. ( 2000, p.147 ) [ 10 ]

Harmonizing to Carey and Ogden, the familiar position of sequence is around altering leading at the top, “ one CEO [ 11 ] moves out of the corner office and other moves in ” . In world, this is merely a fraction of the whole organizational development image. The most critical characteristics of the leadership-development procedure take topographic point beneath the top degree, frequently non seeable to people outside the administration. ( ibid, p.247 )

Obviously, a long-run end of an administration may be to widen the sequence planning/ direction procedure down through the organizational beds. Hirsch talk about devolved sequence planning where local or functional directors are pro-active with respect to the development of replacements for functions within their control. This may be extended in a more calculated manner with a consequence that although the corporate Centre considers merely the top degrees, the majority of the administration follows suit. ( 2000, p.12 ) [ 12 ]

A former Vice-President at General Electric commented,

“ The act of making a outlook of development within a company makes for more effectual operations, even before the alteration takes topographic point. Peoples function better in a developmental manner. ” ( ibid, p.248 )

Conger and Fulmer were of the sentiment that sequence planning and leading development ought to be two sides of the same coin. They went on to inquire that, if this were the instance, why do many companies handle them as if they were wholly separate issue? ( 2003, p.76 ) [ 13 ]

Identifying possible replacements, without the structured leading development in topographic point may take to failure for the selected campaigner and catastrophe for the administration.

More and more administrations, including really successful High Street retail merchants such as Tesco and Asda in UK and Pantaloon, K Raheja Group in India have a policy of advancing from within. Harmonizing to Zneimer in Human Resources Magazine, Asda grooms its brightest endowment for the clip when they will step into the places of those presently sitting on the board or in the direction grade merely below. They are encouraged to come in a development programme that taps into the accomplishments of external managers and internal wise mans. This ethos is encapsulated in Asda ‘s Accelerated International Management ( AIM ) enterprise, whereby those deemed to be ready are given top occupations abroad. ( 2004, p.34 ) [ 14 ]

Surely, it can non be an accident that successful companies have home-grown CEOs: –

  • Tesco– Sir Terry Leahy – 25 old ages
  • GlaxoSmithKline– Joule P Carnier – 14 old ages
  • AstraZeneca– Sir Tom McKillop – 34 old ages
  • BP– Godhead Browne – 38 old ages
  • Pantaloon India– Kishore Biyani – 22 old ages
  • Beginning: Management Today, December 2003 ( updated ) in Zneimer ( 2004, p.37 ) [ 15 ]

As Zneimer points out, the sequence policies of Asda and Tesco contrast greatly with that of Marks & A ; Spencer, which has gone amiss in recent old ages. Alternatively of go oning to ‘grow their ain ‘ , they have been ‘spending a luck on a revolving door CEO sequence policy ‘ , which has resulted in a twosome of really high profile failures. ( 2004, p.34 ) [ 16 ]

This difference in lucks high spots really good the benefits of a good sequence direction procedure. Ram Charan points out in the Harvard Business Review that, in Europe, 70 % of outside CEOs, who departed in 2003 were forced to vacate by their boards, as compared to 55 % of insiders. In the US, these figures were 55 % and 34 % , severally. ( 2005, p.74 ) [ 17 ]

2.3. Management Committednesss

All of the theory and best pattern covered in this study will come to nought if direction committedness is non secured and followed through. Rothwell makes the point that a programme will be effectual merely when it has the support of its stakeholders ; they must execute every bit good and have the procedure. ( 2001, p.116 ) [ 18 ]

Lucy McGee quoted in People Management, the European caput of HR at Matsushita observed, “ Without support from the CEO, you might every bit good non trouble oneself ” . ( 2004, p.49 ) [ 19 ]

The DDI Study, Succession Management Practices, found that effectual sequence direction systems are more likely to be found in administrations which, among other things, involve the CEO ; have the support of senior direction and affect line direction in placing campaigners.

The McKinsey survey of ‘the war for endowment ‘ in corporate America, cited by Hirsch in Succession Planning Demystified, contends that with endowment comes concern success:

“ You can win the war for endowment but first you must promote endowment direction to a firing corporate precedence. ”

Harmonizing to a study conducted by Consultancy Fairplace, as cited in Human Resources Magazine, talent direction is non acquiring the support it needs. In Human Resources Magazine ‘s sentiment, this suggests a deficiency of committedness to talent direction. ( 2004 ) [ 20 ]

It is recognised that non all administrations, peculiarly those in the sector organizing the mark of this study, are able to fund sequence direction programmes along the lines of those afoot at companies such as Asda and Tesco.

Succession direction, nevertheless, truly need non be a great trade of money. In fact, deficiency of support for this issue is non by and large based on deficiency of budget but more a map of clip. Without precedence given to this issue, direction keeps its focal point on client demands and is excessively busy responding to concern crises to give the necessary attending to the sequence direction procedure. A great trade of direction fails to gain that by ever concentrating on the urgent ( non on the of import ) alternatively of deputing, they are losing out on an of import development procedure.

Of class, there are legion ways that a sequence planning procedure may be set up and it is non necessary to include such expensive techniques as external executive coaching. Indeed, little to moderate-sized companies may still pull off to instil a civilization of development without resort to such methods.

2.3.1. Battling The Lack of Support:

Obtaining direction committedness to a sequence direction programme will non come easy or rapidly. HR professionals must be prepared to give clip and attempt to the undertaking if they are to be successful.

In order to win, it is of import to show a demand and develop a concern instance for sequence direction. Rothwell believes that a sequence direction programme will be successful merely when it has the support of its stakeholders ; so, in order for it to work they must have the procedure. ( 2001, p.116 ) [ 21 ]

Harmonizing to the Corporate Leadership Council, there are increased internal and external concern tendencies, which are coercing companies to concentrate attending on sequence direction. Fig. 1 outlines current concern tendencies that may be used to do a instance for a sequence direction procedure.

Where top direction support is hard to obtain, Rothwell suggests that the best scheme is to win over ‘idea title-holders ‘ to back up the cause. Ideally, such title-holders come from well-respected top directors who, perchance, have experienced work-related jobs as a consequence of the deficiency of a replacement to a critical function. ( ibid, p.69 )

2.4. The Role of Human Resources

If HR truly is to lend at a strategic degree and take its topographic point at the top tabular array, it must lift to the challenge. Spear Richards, composing in Personnel Today, suggests this is the challenge of “ presenting the right people in the right topographic point at the right clip and at the right cost ” and goes on to state that HR ‘s ability to make this could be the key to future organizational success. ( 2004, p.15 ) [ 22 ]

Surely, much has been written on the part that HR is able to do to concern. Lucy McGee believes that HR must educate its administration ‘s leaders to understand that concern programs for growing and alteration merely do n’t stand up without a serious committedness of their clip and energy to developing people. ( 2004, p.48 ) [ 23 ]

The overpowering considered sentiment about the function of HR seems to be as a title-holder of the procedure, steering instead than taking ownership. This position is in agreement with the CIPD, which feels that, although sequence planning demands to be owned by directors, led by the CEO, HR has a critical function in back uping and easing the procedure. ( 2004, p.5 ) [ 24 ]

Conger and Fulmer are of the sentiment that, although in most companies, HR is the primary proprietor of the sequence planning and leading development procedure, this is a error. They believe that, in order to be successful, these procedures need multiple proprietors. It is merely by active committedness from the top and non merely gratuitous support – which directors will feel this is a cardinal activity, which must be taken earnestly. ( 2003, p.83 ) [ 25 ]

Conger and Fulmarus glacialis besides says that it is non realistic or desirable for the CEO and their executive squads to hold exclusive duty. HR needs to be involved in order to convey with it the necessary clip and expertness. ( ibid, p.83 )

Surely, Hirsch found that, although the general function of HR could be described as ‘facilitator ‘ , the term truly did non make justness to the scope of activities carried out. Hirsch besides says that a undertaking conducted by the Careers Research Forum qualified ‘facilitator ‘ in this context as shown in figure 2.

HR as Facilitator

Procedure interior decorator: Advising on how information should be collected and collated. Framing dockets and inquiries.

Procedure Manager / Facilitator: Direct personal engagement in doing certain meetings happen and, on juncture, moving as ‘referee ‘ in guaranting the treatment is wide-ranging and nonsubjective.

Good and scruples:Looking further to the hereafter ; inquiring ‘seriously hard ; inquiries ; foregrounding jobs that executives may prefer non to see.

Direct personal intercession as agent: Knowing people good plenty to be able to propose replacements, campaigners for vacancies ; development chances for persons and act uponing executives to take these suggestions on board.

Counselor: Trusted to assist executives speak through their issues and to assist persons work out their calling waies.

Information support:Keeping quality information, which delivers a direct service when internal campaigner hunt is required or more general inquiries are asked.

Figure 2: Hirsh, 1998 ( in Hirsch 2000, p.44 )

Despite this general understanding refering the of import function of HR within the sequence direction procedure, the CMI study found that it is rare for HR managers to hold board-level influence. At the terminal of 2004, merely 11 companies in the FTSE 100 had HR managers on their Boardss. ( CMI, 2005 )

A big figure of administrations are looking now to direction tools, some web-based, to help in their sequence direction programmes and there is a overplus of talent direction package systems on the market. Lance Richards argues, nevertheless, that we should pay no attentiveness to the package salesman who offers elaborate, expensive bundles – they are nice but non required. HR should get down the sequence planning procedure, if merely in a simple paper and pencil format – sometimes, the first measure is both the simplest and the hardest to do. Richard ‘s advice is non to dumb-down sequence planning but to demo that it can be done merely and “ without passing the GDP of Denmark in the procedure. ” ( 2004, p.15 ) [ 26 ]

2.5. Succession Management Process

So, where does all this sentiment and theory brings us? Almost without exclusion, good pattern points towards a formal sequence planning procedure, at the bosom of which lies leading / employee development.

Harmonizing to Hirsch, sequence be aftering sits inside a much wider set of resourcing and development procedures, called ‘succession direction ‘ . Succession direction encompasses links to concern scheme, resourcing supply and demand, accomplishments analysis, engaging procedures and direction development ( including alumnus and high-flyer programmes ) . ( 2000 p.ix ) [ 27 ]

Michael Liebeman in Rothwell supports this position ; he feels that sequence planning should non stand entirely but should be paired with sequence direction, which assumes a more dynamic concern environment. ( 2001, p.31 ) [ 28 ]

For this position of sequence direction to be genuinely successful, it is critical that it be engrained in the civilization of the administration and operation at all degrees.

Conger and Fulmer see this as a file-rule procedure, with the four subsidiary regulations resting on the cardinal regulation of development.

They believed that sequence planning and leading development are natural Alliess that portion a fundament end of acquiring the right accomplishments in the right topographic point. ( 2003, p79 ) [ 29 ]

2.6. Implementing the Procedure

Having secured direction committedness, arguably the most hard undertaking of all, the following measure is to implement the procedure.

2.6.1. Designation

When looking at a sequence be aftering / direction system for the first clip, it is critical to set up the places that the administration wishes to include in the procedure. The choice of persons may be linked to peculiar cardinal stations or identified as holding high potency.

Conger and Fulmer suggested that by unifying sequence planning and leading development into a individual system, companies are able to take a long-run position of the procedure of fixing in-between directors, even those below the manager degree, to go general directors. They suggested that these systems should concentrate on linchpin positions-roles that are indispensable to the long-run wellness of the administration. ( ibid, p79 )

Whatever the standards, it is of import that the procedure is tied in to concern scheme and the hazard posed by the loss of an officeholder is considered when making a determination.

2.6.2. Composition of Team

It is imperative that the composing of the sequence be aftering / direction squad is such that sufficient weight is attached to the procedure to guarantee its success.

In add-on to regular squad members, most likely the CEO / MD, senior executives / directors and, sooner, HR, it may be a good thought from clip to clip to back interested parties. Not merely will this supply valuable input into choice of campaigners but besides secure the aid in distributing committedness to the procedure throughout the administration.

Top degree / company committedness and HR engagement are explored in more inside informations in other countries of this study.

2.6.3. Measure for Success

Once the sequence be aftering / direction scheme is in topographic point, it is of import that the administration puts steps in topographic point in order to guarantee that the system is runing expeditiously and besides to foreground any chances for betterment.

Conger and Fulmer found that sequence direction systems were effectual merely when they reacted to altering demands. They went on to state that none of the best-practice companies in their survey expected that their sequence direction system would be able operate without alteration for more than a twelvemonth. ( 2003, p.84 ) [ 30 ]

An extra of import ground for supervising the system is to show any success and, thereby, supply information to prolong direction committedness.

2.6.4. Retention

Once an administration has found its high performing artists and leaders of the hereafter, it is of import to retain these employees and to guarantee non merely that their aspirations are fulfilled but besides that their endowments are used to the best advantage of the administration.

Remember that merely as administrations are interested in high performing artists, high performing artists are acute to be associated with administrations with a strong repute. In the field of IT in peculiar, this repute extends to cutting-edge engineering and merchandise development. Administrations need to keep the involvement of these persons if they are non to be lost to more attractive rivals.

In add-on to the attractive force of personal development, one issue of major importance is the topic of acknowledgment / wages and administrations need to give important consideration to honoring high performing artists.

It may be necessary to look at alternate / extra methods of compensation, for illustration, stock options ; performance-related fillip strategies ; fiscal support for professional development.

What is of import is that high performing artists feel recognised and rewarded in relation to their perceived worth and at degrees that are viewed as competitory in the market place. Harmonizing to Susanna Mitterer of TMI, composing in People Management, “ Pay attending to how your inducement and fillip strategies are designed, doing certain all agencies of wages are just, consistent and transparent. ” ( 2004 ) [ 31 ]

Time has moved on but the anticipation theory of Victor Vroom and impressions of equity expounded by Jacques and Adams still pealing true today.

2.6.5. Employee turnover

Although it may be argued that some turnover is acceptable, even desirable, rather clearly inordinate turnover is to be avoided. The cost to the administration may be seen on many foreparts and, in many instances, may non be recognised or considered. In add-on to the oft-championed countries of enlisting, preparation, impermanent / contractors costs, there are issues such as lost productiveness, client dissatisfaction and direction clip, every bit good as the really of import country of loss of accomplishments and cognition, both explicit and tacit. This concluding issue, which is of peculiar significance in this study, is of critical importance to engineering administrations, runing as they do in such a knowledge-rich environment.

There are many grounds for voluntary turnover in an administration and harmonizing to the CIPD study, deficiency of development or calling chances accounted for 37 % of voluntary expirations in the UK. Additionally, 41 % highlighted increased acquisition and development chances as a measure taken specifically to turn to staff keeping.

And, eventually,

2.6.6. Make it crystalline

It is of import that the whole procedure is every bit crystalline as possible. Conger and Fulmer were of the sentiment that, although this was a sensitive issue to pull off, it was the right position to take. They believed that, if employees knew what was expected of them to make a peculiar degree, they would be able to take the necessary action. Not doing the procedure transparent and the standards for inclusion perfectly clear, leads to misinterpretations, feelings of inequality and discontent.

Lucy McGee, composing in People Management, believes that there is a echt urgency at the minute for sequence planning and that every director must go a ‘talent agent ‘ – “ staining, fostering and buttonholing for people with leading potency ” – and offers her 12-point usher. ( 2004, pp.48-49 ) [ 32 ]

2.7. The Small / Medium-Size Business Viewpoint

Although, as mentioned antecedently in this study, the smaller administrations frequently can non afford to implement such patterns as, for illustration, executive coaching, the basic rules of sequence direction remain unfastened to all.

Having said this, there are certain limitations confronting the smaller administrations. In add-on to the likely restrictions on cost, there are the obvious limited developmental chances, which could take to possible troubles in keeping of able and ambitious employees. A effect of this is the decreased pool of endowment from which possible leaders may be drawn.

The smaller administration may besides happen its senior staff stretched in many different waies, which could take to difficulty in obtaining committedness to the issue of sequence direction. Obtaining this committedness, and happening ways to extenuate the peculiar jobs highlighted above, is a function to be embraced by HR.

Harmonizing to the Corporate Leadership Council, there are a figure of jussive moods and patterns that the smaller administration may see to better the state of affairs, as shown in Figure 3.

Although, rather clearly, these actions are to be advised in all state of affairss, with respect to little administrations they become all the more relevant.

2.8. The IT Viewpoint

The IT industry in general is a really immature, fast-moving and dynamic industry. A low mean age, coupled with proficient expertness, brings with it developmental and calling aspirations that need to be satisfied and will ‘wait for no adult male ‘ . It is of import that Companies recognize this and organize policies consequently, in order that they are able to prolong the demands for proficient and career promotion. For this ground, a civilization of ongoing development, whilst of import and highly desirable in all industries, takes on a more critical function in high engineering administrations.

It may be that the peculiar jobs confronting the smaller company are exacerbated when the company affected sits within the IT sector.

Additionally, it could be argued that turnover rate within the IT industry takes on a somewhat different chromaticity. Employee turnover needs to be low plenty so that it is non a existent and expensive concern but merely high plenty to guarantee that the administration is non allowed to stagnate and is ever accessing new thoughts. A company that lives by invention and increased engineering demands to convey new people into the administration and it may be that a turnover rate less than that which prevails in times of stableness would non be the best for the administration.

2.9. The Case against Succession Planning

Although sequence be aftering / direction is about universally acknowledged and supported, it is distrusted still in some quarters, perchance as it carries with it associations to the old-style, traditional position of sequence planning.

One effect of this traditional position is the construct of the ‘glass ceiling ‘ . Harmonizing to Rosabeth Moss Kanter in Rothwell ( 2001, p.9 ) [ 33 ] ,

“ Because of the state of affairs in which directors map, societal similarity tends to go highly of import to them. The construction sets in gesture forces taking to the reproduction of directors as the same sort of societal person. And the work forces, who manage, reproduce themselves in sort. ”

Rothwell besides says that, as a effect, white males tend to pick as replacements other white males. ( ibid, p.9 )

Although the term ‘glass ceiling ‘ has tended to hold the intension of mention to adult females, in world this may besides be a effect of category. In the instance of sequence be aftering the armed forces, historically, have been the perfect illustration. Although one may reason that recently the choice and development within the armed forces now allows for existent potency to come through, the initial choice of ‘officer stuff ‘ still has its roots in the category system, which may hold the consequence of excepting possible endowment. This position is supported by Mary Chapman quoted in Personnel Today Training Magazine, “ In the 2004 research, occupation experience contributed merely every bit much as unconditioned ability. What you gain from experience is more extremely valued than personality. ” ( Training Magazine, 2005 ) [ 34 ]

Rothwell extends this position to state that sequence planning may be affected besides by internal company political relations, where direction may utilize the corporate ladder to advance friends while penalizing enemies, irrespective of endowment or makings. If allowed to run unbridled, Rothwell believes that “ corporate political relations can replace public presentation and potency as an advancement standard. ” ( op.cit, p.69 )

It is of import that formal procedures, which allow objectiveness to come through, replace subjective determinations of this sort.

There is besides possible concern that, in such a dynamic universe, the accomplishments selected for their importance today may non aline with future demands, go forthing contemporary determinations obsolete.

2.10. Internal Vs External Candidates

Despite all the good theory refering sequence planning, do non presume that the internal campaigner is ever the right pick. If companies are to hold entree to fresh thoughts and non let themselves to stagnate, it may be argued that there must be some external influence.

As Ram Charan says, ‘ … … Sometimes, an external campaigner exists who is, really merely, the best available pick. ‘ Ram Charan besides says that merely as external recruits are non ever bad appliers, internal campaigners are non ever good and, sometimes, can show a greater hazard.

Research Methodology

3.1. Research Strategy

In add-on to transporting out a study, the writer conducted a hunt of stuff published on the topic of sequence planning and sequence direction, utilizing old research, the CIPD, textbooks, trade publications and the Internet.

Access to similar research carried out by the Corporate Leadership Council ( 2003 ) [ 35 ] , provided a footing from which the questionnaire was adapted.

The method chosen for the study was one of quantitative informations by usage of a postal questionnaire addressed to the HR Officers / Managers, every bit far as possible by name, in little to moderate-sized hi-tech companies / administrations in the UK and India private sector. IT is the industry in which the writer of this study operates ; whether or non it brings its ain distinctive features remains to be seen.

In the context of this study, little to moderate-sized administrations are taken to be those with an one-year gross revenues turnover of less than 100 million GBP and an employee degree of up to 500.

In add-on to the informations obtained by usage of the postal questionnaire, usage was made besides of secondary archive informations.

The writer of this study utilized a list of participants of an IT sector salary study, which provided 106 companies in the chosen sector. For inability in some instances to obtain personal contact inside informations, 99 merely of the list of participants were circulated, 21 of which were sent by electronic mail. Following electronic mail, postal and telephone reminders, the concluding sum of questionnaires received was 21, merely over 21 % of the sample surveyed. Although this response is non peculiarly good, bearing in head the method used and the attempt required by respondents to finish some of the replies, it was non surprising.

It was noted that the email path produced the best response without the demand for followup.

3.2. Rationale

The advantages and disadvantages of qualitative informations versus quantitative informations were measured and it was considered that the aggregation of such informations, by agencies of a postal study, would be the most appropriate method by which accurate informations could be elicited.

The chief advantage of utilizing a postal questionnaire in this instance was the easy entree to a suited list of respondents within the IT industry. Additionally, it was moderately cheap and a comparatively simple and expeditious manner of making respondents who covered the length and comprehensiveness of the UK. To utilize any other signifier of study in these fortunes, e.g. telephone, would hold been highly hard, non to state expensive and time-consuming, to carry on.

The chief disadvantages for the writer of the usage of postal questionnaires were the trouble in obtaining personal contact inside informations of the HR representatives and the by and large low response rates. Bias can be a peculiar job with low response rates for, as suggested by Hussey & A ; Hussey, those who respond may hold a peculiar involvement in the subject and, hence, are non representative. ( 1997, p.163 ) [ 36 ]

The writer tried to extenuate the job of low response by utilizing telephone followup every bit good as postal and email reminders to arouse responses.

Harmonizing to Oppenheim, utilizing postage casts on the initial study, as opposed to commercially franked envelopes, tends to help response. Additionally, Oppenheim considered the inclusion of a stamped return envelope indicates trust and will increase response rates. ( 2000 pp. 104-5 ) [ 37 ]

The usage of namelessness and confidentiality besides were a consideration. Confidentiality is rather easy to offer as this concerns merely the handling of the existent information and, in many instances, verification of entire confidentially should be sufficient. In a figure of cases, nevertheless, HR representatives may be proposing less than attractive positions of their administrations and the usage of namelessness would be a incentive, hopefully, to promote completion of the questionnaire. In order to do the questionnaires every bit anon. as possible, they were identified by figure, instead than name. complete namelessness is really hard to offer, nevertheless, as this would non let for the follow-up reminders. As followup is an indispensable constituent in this type of informations aggregation, the writer chose to offer to destruct company inside informations following concluding completion ( as may be seen on the questionnaire screen sheet ) .

Qualitative information was considered at the beginning but discounted in this instance as it was felt this would falsify the consequences. When questioned, most people agree that sequence planning is a good thought and until faced with difficult informations could be of the sentiment that this occurs, to a lesser and greater extent, in their administrations.

3.3. Questionnaire Structure

The questionnaire was divided into five subdivisions and used to set up:

  • General & A ; Training ;
  • Sequence Planing / Management Process ( Section 1 ) ;
  • Company committedness to procedure ( Section 2 ) ;
  • Culture of development ( Section 3 ) ; and
  • Effectiveness of procedure ( Section 4 ) .

The determination was taken to utilize pre-coded or closed inquiries in the study. As maintained by Oppenheim, this would be easy to treat, do group comparings easy and be utile for proving specific hypotheses. ( ibid, p.115 )

One chance merely was provided to respondents to do any extra remarks.


4.1. Secondary Datas

In order to back up in findings secondary informations was used from following beginnings to the informations obtained from the questionnaire: –

  • CLC ( Corporate Leadership Council ) : High Impact Succession Management: From Succession Planning to Strategic Executive Talent Management, 2003.
  • DDI ( Development Dimensions International ) : Sequence Management Practices.
  • CIPD: Recruitment, Retention and Turnover, 2004.
  • CMI ( Chartered Management Institute ) : Management Development Works: The grounds, 2005

4.2. Questionnaire

There were many troubles to acquire back the questionnaires from all companies, though sufficient information was collected to back up comparing and analyse.

Different subdivisions were made in questionnaire to be answered at different degrees of employees.

Sections three and four were designed to be answered by Executive or senior direction degree employees. While subdivisions two and one were designed for center and junior direction degree employees severally.

4.2.1. Section One

Question 1.1: My administration has a sequence be aftering / direction procedure / process in topographic point, either formal or informal?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry was asked in order to recognize the sensed benefits of sequence planning.

Responses: Almost all respondents answered this inquiry.

Analysis: 87 % of respondents believe that their company operates sequence planning in formal or informal manner.

CLCSurvey showed that 88.64 % people agreed to the presence of formal or informal planning procedure being. While CIPD study shows 78 % of UK respondents set abouting either formal or informal sequence planning and this figure is 86 % in Ireland.

It seems rather clear from this analysis that most administrations recognise the benefits of sequence planning.

Question 1.2: How long have the sequence be aftering / direction procedure / process been in topographic point?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry was asked in order to supply grounds with respect to the term of office of sequence planning every bit good as supplying informations for farther inquiries.

Responses: Almost all respondents answered this inquiry.

Analysis: 62 % of respondents believe that their company operates sequence planning for up to 5 old ages or less. While this figure was 67 % in CLC study. The DDI study supported this position with a figure of 75 % of companies with a formal program had them in topographic point for five or less old ages.

4.2.2. Section Two

Question 2.1: Please bespeak which of the undermentioned signifier the sequence be aftering ‘team ‘ .

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry is intended to seek and set up the purported degree of committedness to the procedure by bespeaking the deepness of forces involved.

Responses: This inquiry was answered by all respondents who think their administrations have sequence planning procedure.

Analysis: Seventy-nine per centum of those respondents owing sequence planning programmes had MD/General Manager involved. Board and Senior direction rank was reasonably even at 86 % and 83 % severally, where HR representatives at 36 % . 11 % respondents did non cognize about sequence planning squad in their administration.

Having looked at DDI study supported this statement by demoing that they found 88 % of programmes involved CEO while 93 % had support of senior direction.

By itself, this information has small intending other than to confirm the averment by the administrations that succession be aftering programmes exist, although the DDI findings are more encouraging in that they speak of seeable support of senior direction.

Question 2.2: How often does the sequence planning squad meet to place and discourse employees in the sequence be aftering programme?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry was posed in order to set up and seek if existent committedness to the procedure existed. Although sequence be aftering squads may be set up, unless regular meetings take topographic point, it is hard to believe the committedness is sincere.

Response: This inquiry was answered by all respondents.

Analysis: 52 % respondents believe that sequence planning squad meets merely yearly and 25 % thinks bi-annually. None of the respondents think that these meetings held less than quarterly footing, where 12 % respondents do n’t cognize if they meetings are held at all.

After looking at these responses, writer believes that it shows a deficiency of HR and senior direction engagement.

The CLC study found that 52 % met merely yearly, with 29 % bi-annually and 12 % quarterly. Very few administrations reported monthly or hebdomadal squad meetings.

Hence yearly or bi-annually meetings seem better than hebdomadal or even monthly sequence planning meetings.

Question 2.3: Approximately how much clip each month do the MD / GM spend on this procedure?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry was designed to set up the sum of existent top-level committedness given to the procedure.

Responses: All respondents answered this inquiry.

Analysis: It ‘s rather hard to acquire responses on such inquiry as much of the work could travel without allowing HR know about it. That ‘s why 29 % of respondents do n’t cognize about it. Hence most of the responses received are either by trusting on some director or their ain appraisal.

CMI research shown that, many HR directors are incognizant of the extent of development activities being undertaken by directors in their administrations. Merely 14 % thinks that MD / GM might be passing more than a twenty-four hours every month on the procedure.

CLC happening with respect to this inquiry shows that 16 % of respondents passing two yearss + on the procedure. These figures do little to back up a position that existent committedness is shown by really senior people in the administrations.

Question 2.4: Approximately how much clip each month do HR forces spend on this procedure?

Purpose for the inquiry: Hour frequently has the primary duty for the development demands of employees and carries out most of the leg-work around the procedure. The responses to this inquiry should offer good indicant of whether this is true sequence planning procedure with HR engagement or simply a choice procedure where determinations are reached at top degree.

Responses: All respondents answered this inquiry

Analysis: Bearing in head the fact that HR forces were responsible for finishing this questionnaire, it may be that there is inclination to bias in the responses!

Despite this, 32 % of those reported that they spend two to five yearss per month on the procedure, whilst 14 % thinks between six to ten yearss.

The responses from the CLC study are truly rather interesting in that they show 26 % disbursement two to five yearss on the procedure, with a surprising 25 % at six yearss and above ( including 24 % over 11 yearss ) .

One account for this could be that the questionnaire in this study was circulated merely within the IT industry, which tends to be populated by employees with a proficient prejudice and for whom frequently self-development is portion and package of the function.

Despite this disagreement in responses, the entire clip spent would look to bespeak high HR engagement. Some of the other responses ( Q 3.3 ; Q 4.6 ) nevertheless, conveying into inquiry the degree of this engagement. This position is borne out by CMI study, which found that many HR directors are incognizant of the extent of development activities being undertaken by directors in their administrations.

4.2.3. Section three

Question 3.1: What degree of direction is included in your sequence planning procedure?

Purpose of the inquiry: To demo if administrations are serious about existent sequence planning.

Responses: Answered by all respondents.

Analysis: 43 % of respondents say that procedure was applied to executive / board degree merely, with extra 29 % widening to senior direction, while 14 % for in-between directors, 10 % for junior directors and 5 % for all degrees.

CLC study showed that 44 % and 32 % at executive and senior degrees severally, where as 8 % at junior and 2 % for all degrees. It seems rather clear from these responses that, in the bulk of administrations, sequence planning is restricted still to executive and senior direction degrees.

Question 3.2: Which places or people are typically included in your administration ‘s sequence planning procedure?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry was asked with purposes to cognize if sequence planning / direction procedure was linked to administration schemes.

Responses: This inquiry was answered by all respondents.

Analysis: The chart shows that 100 % of places above a certain degree are included in the sequence planning procedure, with 43 % agrees for high possible employees. This comes really close to CLC, which reported 93 % and 55 % , severally. Linkage to specialist accomplishments and sourcing troubles fell off rather well in both sets of informations, lifting in the instance of important impact to 29 % merely in the primary informations and 44 % in the CLC study.

The response refering nexus to specialist accomplishments, peculiarly within the IT sector, was highly surprising, although this may non be viewed individually from high potency in the heads of the respondents.

The linkage with impact to the concern, reported at 29 % in the primary informations, although lifting to 41 % in the CLC study, is rather dissatisfactory.

Question 3.3: At what phase does your administration typically place an employee for inclusion in the sequence planning procedure?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry was designed to demo if civilization of identifying and developing talent early exists or employees get involved in the procedure merely if they have risen sufficiently in the administration.

Responses: All respondents answered this inquiry.

Analysis: 10 % respondents say that employees were identified while engaging, while 29 % says in first two old ages. 37 % thinks in 3 to 5 old ages. Merely 7 % respondents believe who had been in administration for 6 to 10 old ages. 20 % respondents could n’t reply this inquiry.

The responses from the CLC were markedly different in that they showed a slow start for employees with merely 2 % being identified on hiring, 15 % within the first two old ages, 31 % in both 3 to 5 old ages and 6 to 10 old ages and 22 % in 11 old ages + .

The difference could be possible because of primary informations being obtained within the IT industry. Constantly, employees are selected for specific engineering accomplishments and the brightest more easy identified.

Although these consequences vary, it seems evident still that designation of campaigners for sequence planning is linked to come on within an administration and non recognised on hiring or operation in the lower degrees.

Question 3.4: To what degree of employee does your administration set up single development programs?

Purpose of the inquiry: Designed to set up if committedness to civilization ‘ of development.

Responses: This inquiry was answered by all respondents.

Analysis: 30 % respondents believe that development programs exists for all employees in their administrations, while 5 % and 7 % thinks at degrees one and two severally. The balance of 58 % covered executive and senior direction degrees merely.

These responses show some links to old inquiry 3.1, although development programs are extended to employees non included in the formal sequence be aftering procedure.

The writer ‘s ain administration has a procedure of self-assessment for all degrees, where employee and directors draw up Learning and Development plans jointly. Despite this mandated procedure, the extent to which this is carried through is highly ‘patchy ‘ and has small acceptance in the heads of the ordinary employee.

This position is supported by HR study, which reports that merely 36 % of administrations surveyed speak of measuring the endowment they have already in topographic point.

The CIPD study supports this position by describing that deficiency of development or calling chances is quoted by 37 % of respondents as the ground for employee turnover.

Question 3.5: Bash you agree that a civilization of sequence planning exists in your administration?

Purpose of the inquiry: To set up if a feeling of civilization of sequence planning exists, despite responses to other inquiries.

Responses: This inquiry was answered by all respondents.

Analysis: 29 % of the respondents agree, to a greater or lesser extent, that a civilization of sequence planning exists. To some extent, this is rather surprising, bearing in head merely 5 % of all degrees of employees were reported as being included in the sequence planning procedure.

One account for this moderately high degree could be that a nexus is being made, mistakenly, between the extension of development programs to 29 % of employees and a sequence direction civilization. Additionally, the inquiries have been asked of HR representatives and non the general employee population.

4.2.4. Section Four:

Question 4.1: How many old ages, on norm, have members of your senior squad been with your administration?

Purpose of the inquiry: This is the first of the inquiries designed to set up the effectivity or otherwise of the sequence planning procedure, albeit at a senior degree.

Responses: All respondents answered this inquiry.

Analysis: 21 % of respondents reported an mean term of office for their senior squads between one and three old ages. This rose to 33 % with a four to six twelvemonth term of office and 42 % between seven and twelve old ages. None of the respondents had senior squad members with more than 15 old ages service.

These responses were about a reversal of the informations obtained from the CLC study, where 32 % of the administrations reported employees with 16+ old ages service, with an extra 26 % with 10 – 12 old ages.

One likely ground for this complete turnaround in information is the difference in the industries covered by the studies. The IT industry of the primary informations, although non restricted to late created concerns, in the chief tend to hold a younger mean age, with impatient calling aspirations. For this ground, employees of some sectors within the IT industry either move up the direction construction comparatively rapidly or travel on.

This job is exacerbated within the small/medium concern sector, as febrility chances exist for patterned advance, peculiar with respect to really senior places.

Question 4.2: How many old ages, on norm, have members of your senior squad been in their current places in your administration?

Purpose of the inquiry: To cognize whether or non organisation involved in existent employee development by demoing advancement of senior squad.

Response: All respondents answered this inquiry.

Analysis: 21 % of respondents said between 1 to 3 old ages term of office, 38 % said 4 to 6 old ages, 25 % said 7 to 9, 13 % said 10 to 12 and 4 % said 13 to 15 old ages. No member of senior squad reported to be in current place for more than 15 old ages.

The CLC studies 38 % for between 1 to 3 old ages, 34 % for 4 to 6 old ages and 28 % for up to 12 old ages, and no member with more than 12 old ages.

One possible ground for the long service of some senior employees in the primary information is the nature of the administrations questioned. Small to medium administrations tend to hold proprietor or laminitiss on the direction squad who may hold remained with the company since its origin and this may curtail the advancement of more recent eager campaigners. In the instance of engineering companies, this may be exacerbated in that some of the administrations are comparatively recent with the laminitiss still in topographic point.

Despite this, overall the advancement of the senior squad members seems non unreasonable, although without cognition of the size of the senior squads within the administrations it is hard to be dogmatic.

Question 4.3: What % of your senior squad is due to retire within the following five old ages?

Purpose of the inquiry: This was supportive inquiry for Question 4.6.

Responses: This inquiry was answered by all respondents.

Analysis: 96 % of respondents said that non more than 10 % of employees were due to retire within following five old ages. 88 % of them reported 5 % or lupus erythematosus in which 63 % reported that no member of senior squad was due to retire.

This information was conflicting with CLC informations, which shows merely 9 % of respondents without any senior squad members due to retire. 19 % between 1 to 5 % of squad members, 21 % shows between 6 to 10 % members with 24 % describing up to 20 % of their senior squad due to retire within five old ages.

Although the hapless response to the questionnaire may hold had some bearing on the primary informations, it is rather likely that this disagreement is accounted for by the low mean age of engineering employees, even among senior forces.

Question 4.4: What per centum of your senior squad was hired from outside the administration direct into their current places?

Purpose of the inquiry: To happen out whether sequence planning is used efficaciously or they still need to trust on outside enlisting bureaus.

Responses: Answered by all respondents.

Analysis: Merely 4 % of respondents said entire internal assignments. 17 % of respondents said between 1 to 10 % external enlisting ; 42 % said between 11 to 40 % ; 13 % said between 56 to 70 % ; 17 % said 71 to 85 % on external enlisting.

This information was rather similar to CLC study. These figures for external enlisting seem rather high but it ‘s non surprising as there is general understanding about the short length of clip that sequence planning procedures have been in topographic point.

Coupled with this is the length of clip senior squad members have been with the administration, which in some instances supersedes sequence planning procedures. ( Refer Q4.1 )

CIPD reported that 87 % of the UK study respondents now advertise places internally. This increasing fancy for internal enlisting seems to hold done small to help in this country and, despite the suggested factors impacting the responses, early indicants of the effectivity of the sequence planning are non peculiarly encouraging.

Question 4.5: What % of the senior squad hired from outside direct into their places have remained with the administration after two old ages in the function?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry is designed to demo good choice and development.

Responses: Answered by all respondents

Analysis: 42 % of respondents reported between 86 % and 100 % keeping, with a farther 25 % claiming between 71 % and 85 % . 33 % of respondents study rather hapless keeping, with 16 % retaining merely 26 % to 55 % of senior squad member hired direct into functions.

The keeping rates reported by the CLC study were much higher, with 74 % claiming 86 % to 100 % staying after two old ages in the function.

Once once more, a ground for the difference in keeping rates could be the industry under reappraisal. Applicants for places within the IT industry, arguably more than any other, are selected for specified proficient accomplishments and this choice standard may be at the disbursal of a good civilization tantrum. Besides here once more, the place may be made worse by the fact that small/medium administrations may non hold the chances to back up an impatient work force.

Question 4.6: For about what per centum of your senior squad have replacements been identified?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry is designed to bespeak whether the sequence planning procedure is working or non.

Responses: Answered by all respondents.

Analysis: This inquiry scores comparatively ailing, with merely 13 % of respondents claiming between 86 % and 100 % designation of replacements. This figure rises to 25 % maintaining that 71 % to 85 % are identified.

There were a high per centum of respondents who did n’t cognize the reply which shows deficiency of HR engagement in the procedure.

The CLC study consequences had a similar form overall with 39 % describing 86 % to 100 % designation, with 15 % claiming 71 to 85 % . There were no ‘do n’t knows ‘ recorded, which in a study of 276 administrations is rather surprising. This may be accounted for by the degree of the respondents to the CLC study, which was indicated as being Senior HR Executives and their squads.

Although, these responses indicate possible coverage for inquiry 4.3, in relation to the primary informations there is no extension beyond the immediate identified retired persons. This would look to bespeak that the sequence planning is neglecting at its basic degree.

Question 4.7: On norm, how long does it take to make full a senior squad vacancy in your administration?

Purpose of the inquiry: This inquiry is designed to formalize the procedure. If replacements have been identified early, the mean clip to make full vacancies should be really low.

Responses: Answered by all respondents.