Learning how to lead from King David? On the gap between declared and real content in training

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: The initial purpose of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of intra-organizational training for developing leadership skills and the techniques used to assimilate course content. The study aims to understand incongruities in training and assess their impacts on training effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative research methods were used to assess a five-day course in the Israeli Defense Forces entitled, “Developing leadership skills in the spirit of the Bible.” Triangulation of data was achieved through observations, interviews and conversations with participants. Grounded theory and thematic analysis were used, respectively, to interpret and analyze the data. Findings: Results suggest that the course did not support the development of leadership skills. The analysis revealed two themes representing different domains: form (training techniques) and content (values). Combining the two themes indicates an incongruity between the declared and actual content of the training course. Further, this incongruity is supported by the training techniques that were used in this course. Practical implications: A clash of values may ensue that leads to long-term confusion and difficulties for participants of the training course and the organization. Originality/value: The study makes several theoretical contributions to the literature focusing on the importance of congruence between declared and real training content, and between form and content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-507
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Training and Development
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 17 Jun 2020


  • Grounded theory
  • Israel
  • Leadership
  • Organizational development
  • Qualitative
  • Thematic analysis
  • Training
  • Values


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