Reflective Learning

Title: Reflective Learning
Author: Philip Boxer & Richard Boot
Category: Published
Publication Year: 1980
Where Published: Beck J. & Cox C. (eds) “Advances in Management Education”, Wiley.

Reflective Learning is a method of facilitating learning from experience. So why not stick to the more commonly used term ‘experiential learning’? There are a number of reasons for this and in this paper we hope that by describing what we mean by reflective learning those reasons will become clearer. A useful starting point might be to state one of our basic assumptions, which is that experience alone is not learning and does not guarantee that learning will take place. It is no use providing people with ‘experiences’ either in the classroom or in the workplace in the hope that they will learn. Whether or not they learn will depend on what they ‘do’ with that experience. This fact is recognised in the old cliché that there is a difference between the man who has lived one year thirty times and the man who has lived thirty years once.
For us the major aspect of learning is not change in overt behaviour as a result of experience, but the process of discovering new, personal meanings in that experience. Those meanings may lead to new forms of personal action and so be observable in terms of changed behaviour, but equally they may not. The stage in the cycle that influences the quality of learning from experience (i.e. the extent to which it leads to new meaning) is reflection the process of thinking back on, reworking, or searching for meanings in experience.

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Developing the Quality of Judgement

Title: Developing the Quality of Judgement.
Author: Philip Boxer
Category: Published
Publication Year: 1978
Where Published: Personnel Review, Vol 7 No 2 36-39.
Abstract:

This paper considers how the gap between ‘academic’ knowledge and ‘practical’ experience can be bridged in the context of a manager’s exercise of judgement. It examines the role of the manager from three different perspectives, in order to explain why the gap has a tendency to appear; and it then suggests the concept of a decisionmaking framework as a model of the means by which a manager exercises judgement. After describing the nature of this framework and its constituent elements, the paper considers the effects of different developmental methods on the framework, and therefore on the quality of judgement. The paper concludes that support must be given to a new institution-based educational perspective, if the aim of developing the quality of judgement is to be achieved, and thereby the gap bridged.

 

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Designing Simulators for Strategic Managers

Sunday, 02 December 1979 14:36
Title: Designing Simulators for Strategic Managers.
Author: Philip Boxer
Category: Published
Publication Year: 1979
Where Published: Journal of Management Studies, 16(1) 30-44.
Abstract:

The activity of strategic management is important because it is the activity through which the structure of an organisation is developed and adapted in relation to its environment. The activities within an organisation are systematised within structures because they enable the organisation to ensure the effectiveness of those activities, and there already exist teaching methods appropriate for training managers in the operation of such structures. Few teaching methods exist however for teaching managers about structure itself. This paper initially discusses what structure is, and then goes on to describe an approach to the support of managers learning about structure: how structure can be related to the activities of managers, and how managers can explore the implications of adopting alternative structures within their organisation. The paper puts forward symbols for describing structure. It is then shown how the symbols can be combined by a manager to describe a particular organisational context in the form of a simulator, and how the resulting design can be transformed into the form of a computer program. This enables the resulting simulator to be used by the manager to explore the implications of adopting particular structural choices as he has defined them within the organisation. Finally, the nature of the teacher’s role is considered when supporting the learning of managers using this approach.

 

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Managing Metamorphosis

Title: Managing Metamorphosis
Author: Philip Boxer
Category: Published
Publication Year: 1979
Where Published: Proceedings of the 25th International Meeting of the Society of General Systems Research, Springer-Verlag.
Abstract: The concept of managing metamorphosis is developed as the conscious process of exercising strategic control. It is argued that for such structural change to be managed, both those effecting and affected by change must be able to consider the ideological assumptions implicit in their actions. It is further argued that the form of language present in consciousness can be disabling in its inability to support such consideration, and therefore restricts the manager’s ability to experience stability within himself and quality outside himself by making him dependent. The use of media which extend the properties of language by being trebly articulated is described, and the ability of such media to support the development of intentionality is explained. It is concluded that such media can be used to enable the development of consciousness and the managing of metamorphosis.

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Reflective Analysis

Title: Reflective Analysis
Author: Philip Boxer
Category: Published
Publication Year: 1979
Where Published: International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 11, 547-583

The paper describes a method of computer assisted reflective learning capable of being used by managers. The method enables managers to explore the value of their past experience in relation to a particular problem context; to consider how their own experience relates to that of other managers; and finally to create design criteria for strategic options within a problem context capable of commanding a consensus between the managers. The paper concludes that the method represents a new departure in the use of computers for supporting strategic management.

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GETTING BEYOND THE DEFENCES AGAINST INNOVATION