An Assessment of Succession Planning at the State Bar of Texas
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Succession Planning is a growing trend in both the public and private sector as the nation's population continues to age and more senior managers retire. A growing labor gap exists between the younger employees and the experience necessary to fill vacant positions. The State Bar of Texas is among the many employers who have experienced high turnover rates and increasing retirements. To address the potential labor gap, the Bar created the Fellows Program as a means to attract and retain top talent for future leadership positions. This applied research project assesses the State Bar of Texas Fellows Program based on the practical ideal type framework developed through a literature review. The ideal type model for succession planning programs contains seven categories: Top Management Participation and Support; Needs Driven Assessment; Formal Professional Development Opportunities; Focused Individual Attention; Dedicated Responsibility; Extension to all Levels of the Organization; and Existence in the Strategic Plan. The Fellows Program Assessment is performed through the case study research design and uses multiple sources of evidence. Document analysis, participant observation, and focused interviews enhance the validity of the research through a triangulation of data. The assessment results indicate that the Fellows Program addressed one of the seven model categories listed above. Future recommendations include greater communication with leadership on the goals of the program and a more thorough study of the training needs of the participants, as well as greater accountability and assigned responsibility.