‘SAGA’: a method to support the practice of critical action learning

Bernhard Hauser, Russ Vince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Critical Action Learning (CAL) is undertaken with an awareness of the persistent tension in organisations between the desire to learn and defences against learning. Attempts to learn in organisations are inevitably bound up with the specific emotional and political context that organisations create, as well as the impact that this has on the outcomes of learning. A key question that arises for CAL practitioners therefore is: what methods or approaches can be used to engage directly with underlying emotions and established power relations? In this paper, one answer to this question is provided. The ‘SAGA’ (Situation, Assumptions, Gut feelings /Emotion, Actions) method is explained and discussed. This model has been designed to engage with emotions and power relations as an integral aspect of action learning. Four examples of SAGA in practice are presented. It is argued that the method offers action learning practitioners an effective approach to CAL, as well as supporting the ongoing process of rethinking and developing it.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAction Learning: Research and Practice
Early online date1 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2024


  • change
  • Critical action learning
  • emotions
  • learning
  • power relations
  • the SAGA model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Business,Management and Accounting

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