Facilitating management learning: Developing critical reflection through reflective tools

  • Gray D
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The aim of this article is to explore how the practice of critical reflection within a management learning process can be facilitated through the application of reflective processes and tools. A distinction is drawn between reflection as a form of individual development (of, say, the reflective practitioner) and critical reflection as a route to collective action and a component of organizational learning and change. Critical reflection, however, is not a process that comes naturally to many managers and may have to be learned or facilitated, either in formal classroom contexts, or through learning processes such as coaching, mentoring and action learning. The article discusses some of the tools available to learning facilitators, in helping a group or client towards a more critically reflective understanding of their situation and organization. These include processes such as storytelling, and reflective and reflexive conversations, and the use of tools such as reflective metaphors, critical incident analysis, reflective journals, repertory grids and concept mapping. Such tools provide an aid to critical reflection, which is seen as one process that mediates between experience, knowledge and action.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Coaching
  • Critical reflection
  • Facilitated learning
  • Management development
  • Mentoring
  • Reflective tools

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