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My approach to writing my learning journal for week six was extremely slack and my title – Rise and Fall of Motivation – represented the downside to finishing off first half of semester two with tests, assignment, and a journal all due. Feedback from two of my peers and Peter represented how horrific my journal really was, all because I didn’t have the motivation to write it and just wanted to get something in. Rather I should have put in more time and effort. So in a way what I learnt from last week and this week was to plan out each journal properly, not to be slack, aspire to goals I have set myself, and look its midday Thursday and I’m writing it up. However what I truly learnt this week is the concept of double loop learning.

Before reading the article by Michael Synnott on Reflection and Double Loop Learning: The Case of HS2, I had no idea the term single loop and double loop learning existed. I knew that everyone learnt in different ways, but I guess that’s the funny thing university has taught me. Every theorist has a different name for theory, paradigm, or concept they create.

Further indulging myself in double loop learning I have found out that double loop learning is when an individual, or organization is able, in having attempted to achieve a goal on different occasions, to then modify or reject the goal if need be.

Argyris (1977) applied the term ‘double loop learning’ to describe “how organizations reflect on their development” in the same manner that my team reflect on each aspect of decisions in MikesBikes. Argyris went on further to explain that double loop learning has a key component and that being reflection. From these two sentences from the reading it became clear to me that going back to Daudelin’s first reading – Learning from Experience through Reflection - that reflection is an even bigger component than I first realized. Not only to reflect my own actions. Relatively reflecting on individuals actions in my team whether they be in relation to MikesBikes, university work, or personal situations.

Over the last seven weeks I have been able to develop a sense of cohesion between our team. Even though there were disputes, differences, and divided individuals, our group has come a long way at acknowledging everyone’s input whether it be useful or not as useful. Goes along the saying that there is no such thing as a bad question.

Reflection was tested and outlined hugely yesterday in class when our team were discussing what strategy to take when choosing to increase or decrease the retail price of a bike that had sold extremely well in our market. Our first initial reaction was to decrease the price so we could continue high levels of sale, nevertheless when we realized that our retail price was higher, product awareness lower, and actual sales and total revenue higher than two other competitors, we decided that decreasing retail price may adversely affect our current strategy. Reflection was shown here because we went further into the details of competitors rather than browsing the surface of a topic. Hence we now engage closely in all decisions. As outlined above the goal was deciding to change the price of our bike and if so how much. Learning and reflection through double loop learning has shown a new way to develop strategies when deciding upon decisions.

As R&D director I have now come to the conclusion that following Diagram 2 of Synnott (2013) article is a helpful tool when reflecting and giving feedback to my team. Firstly the underlying assumptions is that we want to increase SHV and this can happen in many forms. Secondly I need to take into account goals, values, and strategies of members and our company so that everyone can head in the right direction. Finally the results will hopefully show with a result of our underlying assumption to increase SHV. This is an ongoing process and will now be used for the rest of my decisions.

Double loop learning will be applied again today in class when we make our final decisions before the roll over at 17:00 but for now I can say our team is on the right track to learn as much as we can from MGMT 300.


Synnott, M. (2013). Reflection and double loop learning: The case of HS2Teaching Public Administration, 31(1), 124--134. doi:10.1177/0144739413479950

1 Comment

  1. It is great to see that you have developed a good understanding of the weekly reading, particularly how you understand and explain double-loop learning. In fact, in university, most of the theories we learned are based on text books and lectures, and therefore we tend to have blurred understanding of what we have learnt. This is why we always need to be able to apply these knowledge to the real life.

    Good luck with the rese of the semester!!