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Like most students, I find that between university, my job and my personal life, I have little spare time.  As of late, the majority of this time has been dedicated to watching episode after episode of Suits.  It is perhaps not surprising then that the minute I began reading Argyris' (1991) theories on single and double loop learning all it reminded me of was my favourite character of the show - Harvey Spector.

 

For those of you that don't watch Suits, Harvey is an arrogant, intelligent, skilful lawyer who thinks he can win every case he takes on.  Argyris (1991) notes that highly skilled professionals like this are prone to single-loop learning - solving problems (like legal cases) in the external environment (the court) without any inward questioning or reflection.  Because people like this are confident in their own abilities and rarely fail, Argyris believes they do not - and perhaps cannot - learn from their failures.  Certainly I can see this attitude in both Harvey and people I've encountered in real life: those that see failure as a weakness rather than a learning experience, and choose to protect their ego over improving themselves.

 

In my own group, I feel that this style of learning is evident in some respects, along with double-loop learning.  While engaged in a team meeting it is mostly single-loop: identifying problems with our recent MikesBikes performance and coming up with ways to fix them.  It is not until we are on our own that we begin to engage in double-loop learning, the main form of which I would consider to be these journals, which are a platform for all the 'why?' questions we each silently harbour thought-out group meetings.  For example, "Why did we assume playing with shares was a bad thing?" "Why didn't we consider the other ways to raise factory capacity aside from buying more plant?".

 

While Argyris's article has merits, in all honesty I feel a little overwhelmed by theory at this point in the course.  I am all about reflection and structure, but at some point I don't want to relate an author's views to my team functioning, I simply want to reflect on my own thoughts and musings during the week.  Look at this journal entry, how does this relate to Daudelin?  The truth?  It doesn't.  Because after 7 weeks of using her framework I've decided to try something different. This week  I don't want to confine my thoughts to a four stage process, it can seem awfully restrictive and black and white in comparison to a course that is anything but.

 

Reference:

Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learnReflections, 4(2), 4-15

2 Comments

  1. Hi Beth, you have been the first off the block when it comes to the submitting your learning journal to this wiki and you have done it again  - you are a champion!

    I like the fact that you offer a good balance of theory with your own personal experiences because it allows me that little peek into you. To be honest, I do not know Harvey Spector or the programme episodes of 'Suits'.  My bad ...

    I am pleased that you did not mention Daudelins learning of reflection and I agree with you, four stage processes is not enough and does not work for me either.

    I enjoyed reading your review, straight bullet, meaning up the guts and not mucking around for anyone.  I believe you were able to identify that there is a problem, complimented your thinking process in problem solving with the Argyris reading and then cementing your own train of thought by questioning every time to gain an understanding or advantage point to feel success.

    I really like your professional approach of your analysis in group think of the double loop learning too - wow, this is mean and has made me wonder about this managerial concept because when you are alone, you reflect, you learn and you grow.

    I do not have anything extra to state or an area for you to improve; and I know what Peter might say, that I am biased.  The answer is no - I am very opinionated and I will comment where I see or feel the need to.  Please check out Peter's small blurb for this week and I have sent this to you via email.  

    Thanks for being Fusion Partnership's HRM -  I think by the end of this MikesBikes competition; capacity, shares, readings, course and the simulation will offer concrete experiences and valued expectations that will undoubtedly effect our personal lives, relationships and future career pathways leaving behind university study. 

    Kia manuia - good luck!

     

     

  2. Hey Beth, 

    After reading not only this journal but previous ones of yours, your flowing and easy to read writing style is evident. Personally I like how you have stepped away from the norm or "Daudelin" and her interesting take on reflection (I still can't picture Daudelin as a female). But in commenting on Daudelin's structure you have still touched on previous experience, even though it is my observational experience through watching Suits (awesome show might I add), and you have related the reading into group experience, which, in a way still touches on Daudelin's structure. 

    I really like how you are questioning so much about the course and MikesBikes, because I too am constantly doing this, especially whilst writing my journal, and from what I have learnt from previous mgmt papers this sort of questioning displays your critical thinking. I also liked how you focused on one of the readings and bought it back round to the group work and other aspects outside of the course (Suits), as in doing this you have focused well on the single/double loop learning idea, and it shows depth within your writing. 

    Finally I wil just mention that I am still a little confused about the feedback process, and although we have been ding it for several weeks now, there hasn't been a whole lot of guidance through this, so I hope my feedback has helped you a little, if I was to fault anything it would be not following Daudelin to a tee, because that's "supposedly" what we are supposed to be doing, however I personally prefer your journal they way it has been written.

    All the best for MikesBikes I hope your team nails it (because its my team too (smile) hehe)