Management Learning introduces the context and history of management learning and offers a critical framework within which the key debates can be understood. The book also provides an incisive discussion of the values and purpose inherent in the practice and theory of management learning, and charts the diverse external factors influencing and directing the processes of learning. The volume concludes with a look forward towards the future reconstruction of the field.

Interpreting Action Learning

Interpreting action learning

There can be no learning without action and no (sober and deliberate) action without learning.

(Revans, 1983: 54)

Revans's dictum seeks to heal the split of mind and matter, defining knowing as inseparable from doing, and learning as dependent on action. Through an unflagging exhortation to action learning, Revans has become a major influence for many practitioners of adult learning and organizational development. This chapter begins with attempts to define action learning and follows with four criticisms of the idea. Three different interpretations of what action learning may be illustrate some of the roots of these criticisms and the chapter concludes with a suggestion that the third of these interpretations — action learning as social construction — may help us beyond the ...

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