The Reflective Manager Abstract Reflection and the effect of its application in relation to organization learning have attracted a growing attention. It is recognized that reflection is the vital content for either individuals or organizations learning process. It is believed that reflection is a very important component to accomplish successful working behavior. Moreover, reflection is the crucial practice in the process of exploiting learning organizations. In this report, the concepts of reflection and critical reflection will be discussed and the reflection in practice within organizations will be investigated as well.
In addition, the emphasis of the article is the application of reflection and reflection practice on organizations. The objective of the report is to evaluate the application of reflection theory and to research what is the impact of practicing reflection on organizations. Keywords: Reflection, critical reflection, organization learning, working behavior, reflection practice Introduction More and more people nowadays pay their interest in the application reflection and critical reflection in an organization.
The concepts of reflection and critical reflection are not specific but there are no common and recognized definition for reflection and critically reflection. Based on the purpose of investigation how reflection and practice reflection affect and enhance organizational activities and performance, reflection many general defined as the learning theories involve a review of one’s experience and an analysis of thinking and action while the description of critical reflection in accordance with recognizing one’s self objective and interests and learning about assumptions, background and performance enhanced oriented actions.
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As early as in 1983, Schon firstly brought the concept of reflection into the professional area and gave the definition of reflective practice said the application of knowledge to practice with the consideration of self-experiences. Reflection acts the most important role in converting one’s experience into knowledge according to Kolb’s research on experiential learning (Kolb, 1984). Reynolds pointed out in 1998 that form that time on, reflection was deemed to be the essential part in the process individual and organization learning, particularly when with reference to learning as exploitation rather than deriving information.
The difference between information and knowledge is that knowledge is integrated information with experience, judgment and skills. Reflection persistently turns out as a recommended method of assisting individuals and organizations know better about what they do and understand in practice of the knowledge that learned from practice (Loughran, 2002). Reflective practice is a vital element of lots of occupations courses while the critical reflection currently becomes a pivotal component of lots of graduate managerial degrees (Swan, Bailey, 2004).
Cunliffe stated that managers can exploit more cooperative, reliable moral approaches of management by more critically considering about their conception and action or in another words more critically reflection. It is believed that critical reflection is focused on more interest. The beginning of theory of critical reflection is developed by Jurgen in 1972. In 1999, Brooks stated that critical reflection benefits in enhancing work practices, assessing organizational objectives and policies. He pointed that the basic ability of critical reflection is to critically ask questions.
The measurement of whether critical reflection benefit to working practice is a practical approach of evaluating the contribution of critical reflection. A means raised by Argyris and Schon that called double-loop learning offers such evaluation. It can be concluded by questioning critically, sating an opinion and requesting feedback from one’s audience, trying with new working approaches and action and taking new viewpoints. The contemporary collaborative has existed as the crucial way of working relations and acted as the major role in establishing society institution.
The corporation between companies has reduced the influence of state, family residential and moral community in order to accomplish a dominant position. The growing influence of Commercial Corporation has restrained the conflicts among different institutional requirement. The practice of commercial corporation suffuse current life by offering individual identity, organizing experience and time, impacting knowledge creation and education and supervising news creation and recreation.
Some authors argue that the influence of management on people’s lives and the impact in forming ethic, economic and environmental restrictions is generally too significant for their actions to be directed by a limited, helpful shape of justifiability (Alvesson and Willmott, 1992). Critical refection insists on facing the hided interests and ideologies and on exploring objectives of questions that contribute to message management thinking and activities.
Critical reflection objects to the kinds of conceptions that cultivate the logical necessary of authoritarianism in organizations, the unchallenged value added to gain of economic and the conservation of unfair in treasure and right. Critical reflection challenges compliance to the concepts like unavoidable cost of improvement, general knowledge or reality argued by Collins in 1991. Education originations and individuals that deliberately retain ethically pauperized courses for managers as meriting of defiance and acting in contravention of ones’ self-interests should be criticized and noticed (Reed, Anthony, 1992).
Reed and Antony insist that managerial teachers and organizations should encourage mangers to foster the awareness of difficulties that they encountered so as to help them be conscious of self-significance and self-responsibility. Mangers have to be stimulated to consider the uncontrollable sophistication that confronts them without colorable help of skills and objectives. The objective of reflection concerns with the investigation of impact of political and civilizational processes on development and learning being integrated into any kind of managerial education, particularly when authority and franchise are not distributed fairly.
Since some people are continuously confront with contempt because of their gender, age and religion while policies of developing and practice are depended on some mechanical measurement, critical reflection should be applied in order to provide wise structure for tough these processes. Critical reflection offers the flexibility based on a more living analysis method. It is apprehensive if managerial education does not involve critical reflection. Reflective practices In order to investigate the impact of reflection on the connection between organization and learning various levels of reflective practice will be presented.
The connection between practice and reflection has been discovered. There were lots of existing trials to connect various kinds of reflection to organization learning. Mezirow described a detailed scheme that classifies seven levels of reflection. For instance, the first level is reflection form daily experience of one’s awareness of seeing, thinking and action while the last level is critical reflection form consciousness. Jarvis stated that the concept of Mozirow is restricted to the interpretation of individual, numinous conversion but not social transform although it is useful.
Other authors stressed that the aim of reflection practice ought to have social activities although it is an in mind process (Kemmis 1985). Kemmis described reflection with three levels, the technical reflection, the practical reflection and finally the critical reflection. For the first level, the technical reflection is problem solving oriented with the process of selecting available approaches to accomplish certain result. For the second level, the practical reflection relates choose the correct and appropriate result. While for the third level, the critical reflection concerns the content of historical thought.
It is said that the critical reflection offers the fundamental of a justice society. Similarly, Hindmarsh illustrated three levels of reflection to survey the graduates in transferring from students to occupation employment. Furthermore, to understand the previous reflection practice levels, take the technical reflection, the principle of this level is unquestioned. For instance, students may be required to finishing a specific studying styles questionnaire or the favorite list of the teaching group so as to develop lessons based on personal learning style.
While for the practical reflection level, there is still no questioning at this level. For instance, a specific form of learning style may be selected for reason that its fundamental learning principle is sustaining of an organization atmosphere that the course is meant to improve. Finally, at the level of critical reflection, underlying conceptions that become the basis of learning style are suspected form an academic or ethical viewpoint. For instance, this kind of learning style may be selected from a way of comprehending distinction in learning methods and an option made based on more related to supportive research.
Alternatively, both of these should be rejected for the consideration of its invalidation to interpret the impact on leaning method of age, gender or class and its original dependence on classing, enhances a possibly discriminatory method of being employing with personal difference. Take group work as an example of reflection practice, it was usually applied in managerial development to enhance combination and intimacy by concentrating basically on personal and interpersonal action, inspiring self-shown and an analysis of individual experience without any gregarious or civilizational interpretation.
However, a more critical way can be used by offering a contextualized concentration and designing expositive structures which capacitate a gregarious and moral analysis. All of these examples have elucidated the three levels of reflection. Moreover, Russ and Vince described another three levels of reflection practice. The first level is the individual in an organization, the objective of reflection at this level is to discover and conclude the role than a person act and the organization that manage the presentation of the role.
The concentrate on role provides chances for managers to understand the methods their jurisdiction is built and limited in an organization. A role offers the structure that person and organization satisfy. Although the transformation of self-experience declares the peculiarity of the individual, planting personal experience in the role stresses the relationship to the organization. It is not possible that reflection on one’s personal experience will create progress and learning itself.
However, it is possible to remind conceptions or power connections into problem at the time when reflection is pursued based on relating person, one’s role and organization in one’s mind (Shapiro, Carr, 1991). The second level is team or sub system, the objective of reflection is to discover and absorb connections between the edges of other and self, and between the edges of branches. The concentrate is on the clannish procedure of belonging, describing, striving for democracy, and the straits concerned with traveling across the edges of various organizations.
This provides chances for managers to get experience from the creation of governmental activity with mutual commitment or separation, via corporation and competition, and through organization meshwork or nations. This level of reflection is on sub systems which are usually operated within the branch. Within the entire organization, reflections of inter groups of sub systems are more collective which usually break the communication among different components. The third level of reflection is the entire organization, the objective of this reflection is to discover and absorb connections across inside and outside construction.
It is in relation to the organizational action produced via personal and mutual authority and flectional experiences. The concentrate is on the process of systematism that the road to create an organization. The reflection at this level is to provide chances for managers to investigate aware and unaware flectional and governmental procedure that draw the organization characteristics. Reflection practice research on a company A company with an expectation of high economic growth and development in generally not likely to encounter commerce failure which produce seldom pressure on mangers.
The organization seems not to be confronted with failure and risk and therefore managers are in an environment without risk awareness. Nowadays organizations unawares help to silent or unconfident managers that are afraid of failure and risk hence segregate themselves in a self-empire. In order to deal with such organizational issues, the company has raised an idea of organization learning and learning organization. For example, the staff of the company can profit from training and learning during working.
This kind of learning is covered to the entire company and that has affected on its working teams. It leads to the company an improvement in workers attitude and practice as well which indicates the organization is learning. While on account of personal learning all over the company, the influence on the company itself is therefore organization learning. For the company the organizing learning process is hard rather than personal learning. The process is designed started with the creation of the initiative of ‘rebuilt the company’ and hence inspires lots of staff’s enthusiasm.
However, new entry employees met the barriers from the power relations like some senior managers which brought some disappointment that resulted in the failure implement of the initiative. Then the company raised a democratic reflection process objected to change the situation, which removed the rooted authority relationships that define the organization. The difficulties the company encountered in learning and change results from managers’ personal cognition of reflection, and the comprehensive organizational dynamic via which these cognitions are produced and enhanced.
The personal viewpoints of managers about reflection relates in reality contains keeping away from what is occurring, reconsidering about what was finished and investigating individual thought. The point of reflection is on assessing something from past but not within the present. To conclude, the reflection practice within the company is supposed to be an individual responsibility. It can be described as the work of managers, whether the manager is free so as to consider about the problem or issue and which way the manager sued to deal with the problem.
Although these individual reflections from managers can create growth and change for the company, it is the organization success form individual. One failure aspect for the company is that it is lack of the ability to produce a process of organization reflection which will raise the progress from individual to organizational. The limitation of the learning ability for the company should be broken by developing the ability of reflection to an organization level. Conclusions
This report has an overview of how the application reflection and reflections practice are encouraged and benefit to the organizations for learning, change and critical. In general, the main conclusion is that reflection and reflection practice are the essential components of individual learning and organizational learning and are aspects of competitively advantages. In this report, the concept of reflection has been discussed on the basis of some literature review, and the distinction between reflection and critical reflection has been compared as well.
In the section of reflection practice, the report has presented some different description about the levels of reflection practice. In spite of these arguments, reflection practice may be classified from individual oriented to organizational reflection. Reflection is action in mind with the objective of investigating one’s action in a certain situation. It is said that within organization, good staffs are those who are critical reflective. However, with the examination on individual reflection and organization reflection, it shows that there is a difference between them.
According to the example given in the previous paragraph, the company relied on individual ability of reflection can be shifted to be depended on the organizational ability of reflection so as to enhance the ability of learning and changing for the organization. In a word, reflection can benefit to either individual learning or organizing learning but organizations should make more effort to shift the reflection levels so as to get competence and advantage in the global commerce environment. References 1. Argyris, C. and Scho? n, D. A. (1996), Organizational Learning II.
Theory, Method, and Practice, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, New York, NY. 2. Alvesson, M,, & Willmott, H, (1996), Making sense of management: A critical introduction. London: Sage, 3. Cunliffe, A, L, (2004), On becoming a critically reflexive practitioner. Journal of Management Education, 28(4), 407-426, 4. Feminisms and Critical Pedagogy. New York: Routledge. McClaren, P. L. (1987) `Education as Counter Discourse: Towards a Critical Pedagogy of Hope', The Review of Education 13 (1): 58-68. 5. Hoyrup, S. (2004). Reflection as a core process in organisational learning.
The Journal of Workplace Learning, 16 (8) pp. 442-454. 6. Kemmis, S. (1985). Action research and the politics of reflection. In D. Boud, R. Keogh, ; D. Walker (Eds. ), Reflection: Turning experience into leaming (pp. 139-163). London: Kogan Page. 7. Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Kosmidou, C. and Usher, R. (1992) `Experiential Learning and the Autonomous Subject', in D. Wildermeersch and T. Jansen (eds) Adult Education, Experiential Learning and Social Change. Amsterdam: VUGA/Uitgeverij BV. 8.
Loughran, J. J. (2002). Effective reflective practice: In search of meaning in leaming about teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53, 33-43. 9. Mezirow, J. (1981) 'A Critical Theory of Adult Learning and Education', Adult Education 32: 3-24. 10. Steen, H (2004) The Journal of Workplace Learning Vol. 16 No. 8, 2004 pp. 442-454 ‘Reflection as a core process in organisational learning’. 11. Woerkom, M. , Nijhof, W. , & Nieuwenhuis, L. (2002). Critical reflective behaviour: a survey research. Journal of European Industrial Training 26 (8) pp. 375-383.
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