The contradictions of impact: action learning and power in organizations

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Abstract

In this polemical essay, Professor Russ Vince argues that it is important to understand the contradictions that can be generated by Action Learning. This method is a powerful and effective approach to managers’ learning that can underpin transformations of management practice. However, any method for learning, no matter how convinced we are of its efficacy, is tied to organizational power relations and their effects. It is likely that the radical potential of Action Learning sits side-by-side with the political purpose that the use of the approach might serve. Power relations create contradictions in how learning methods are felt, used and understood. Engaging with the contradictions of Action Learning has the potential to improve its impact and effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalAction Learning: Research and Practice
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

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