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.
Chapter 3: The Arena Thesis: Management Development as a Pluralistic Meeting Point
The Arena Thesis: Management Development as a Pluralistic Meeting Point
Many conventional explanations of learning activities within organizations assume a unitarist perspective. That is, they assume that at a theoretical or practical level, any particular learning activity can or should be tied to a specific purpose. However, as is discussed in Chapter 1 by Stephen Fox and Chapter 6 by Ian Cunningham and Graham Dawes, management learning is a considerably more complex, uncertain and multi-faceted process. While the predominately unitary perspective has enabled researchers and practitioners to make some progress in advancing management learning, for example the articulation of learning theories shaping interventions (Burgoyne and Stuart, 1977), it has ultimately limited our efforts to ...