This study examines the effects of increasing trainee participation during a management development program. The value of trainee participation is frequently advocated in the literature and can be supported from both adult learning and social-cognitive theories. Despite the widespread belief that participation is beneficial, surprisingly little empirical evidence exists to support this proposition. Sixty-four managers were assigned to either participation or control groups. Participation was manipulated by encouraging quality verbal participation in discussions through the use of self-monitoring. Despite increased levels of participation in the participation condition, no differences were observed between the participation and control groups with respect to reactions to the program, learning, or application of program material back on the job. The actual level of trainee participation did correlate significantly with reactions to the program. The practical and future research implications of these findings are discussed.