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Abstract

This research examined leadership development (LD) and leadership development programs (LDPs) in three selected Thai businesses. The research purpose was to identify and explore the features, leaders' competencies, activities and programs, key elements, and critical issues of LDP in these organizations. A case-study approach was employed as the research method. The data were collected through company documents, questionnaires, and interviews of managers who were directly responsible for leadership development in their organization. Three levels of LDPs were commonly found among the studied companies: those organized for supervisors, managers, and executives. Leaders' competencies were derived from the companies' vision, mission, and values, business drivers, and top management judgment. Development activities included formal training, development activities, and self-initiative undertakings. Common key elements of LDPs were support from top management, adherence to human resource development (HRD) and business strategic plans, and emphasis on coaching and mentoring. The critical issues included top management trust in employees' abilities; competence and independence of local internal staff; evaluation of LDP effectiveness; level of engagement by potential company leaders; and costs of building, executing, and evaluating LDP.