The Upside of the Downside: How Utilizing Defensive Dynamics Can Support Learning in Groups

Peter Simpson, Robert French, Russ Vince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we suggest that it is important in management education to work with the defensive dynamics in learning groups. Through a consideration of the dynamics within complex systems, we argue that the ways in which these defensive dynamics are worked with may determine the levels of learning attained. This work requires a recognition that defensive dynamics within groups can limit learning, an awareness of the nature of such dynamics, and skill in adopting appropriate strategies in relation to them. Both staff and learners can contribute to this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-470
Number of pages14
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this