One of the prominent themes throughout the course has been the ability to reflect on our own learning. It is definitely something I have become more conscious of as I have progressed throughout the semester. It was interesting to further analyze this area within this week’s readings and gain a fresh insight into the concept of learning. Argyris, (1991) suggests that this concept is being viewed with a fundamentally narrow scope. The focus is being directed towards problem solving when in fact more onus needs to go towards individual behavior and the external environment. I can definitely see the benefit in using this model, as it identifies a potential limiting factor effecting our learning which is the inability to reflect on the problem solving process. I feel that without this crucial step, no improvements will take place in relation to how we are learning. By completing learning journals each week I feel that we are witnessing the benefits of this process and are applying this as a team towards the Mikes Bikes Simulation. This has helped the team to work more cohesively as a unit while also enabling as to identify and act on our past mistakes.
Another very interesting point made by Argyris, (1991) was that many top managers and executives actually struggle in their ability to complete this learning process effectively. Reasons for this were that these individuals do not often experience failure and are also at times critical of others opinions even when they are delivered by those with greater expertise in a specific area. Despite this being a surprising discovery, I certainly recognize the reasons behind this conclusion. My interpretation is that it is clear that employees within these positions would do little to initiate reflective practices and would be unwilling to contemplate the opinions and ideas of others when making business decisions. I don’t however completely agree that upper management are necessarily more effected by these problems effecting our learning. There are undoubtable many managers out there who are open to applying new theories and ideas and I think that this is a distinguishing factor in what makes an executive valuable to a company. In terms of the Mikes Bikes experience I do not think that our team is set back by these complications. As we continue to work through the reflective nature of the course we are continually becoming more open to each other’s ideas while simultaneously challenging our own. This again has helped to strengthen the quality of decisions made by our team each week.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4—15