This study examined whether a mixed-cohort of billable and non-billable (e.g., marketing, human resources, accounting, technology) participants in a high-potential development program is beneficial to the organizations that utilize this development approach and to the participants in such programs. This research focused on professional service firms with time-defined and structured high-potential programs. This study utilized a mixed-method design and gathered data in two phases: a survey and a focus group. These methods were used to obtain participant sentiments of participating in their respective high-potential programs. Twenty-five high-potential professionals completed the survey and six participated in the focus group. The study found that participants benefited from the mixed-cohort experience to varying degrees. In addition, the study concluded that professional services firms may also benefit from this approach when high-potential programs are thoughtfully designed and communicated.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Professional corporations; Organizational change; Career development

Date of Award


School Affiliation

George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gary Mangiofico