Cockburn-Wootten, C. & Henderson, A. (2006). Sustaining competing professional identities: Measuring action learning 'outcomes' in an educational context. Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, 2(2), 28-50.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/1887
This paper builds on an initial investigation of the process of action learning in a university Management School in New Zealand, where the focus is on sustainability and innovation. Students are encouraged to engage with entrepreneurial practice and develop critical thinking skills. In this study, we recognise the impact of the organisational context both on our own professional practice as teaching staff and on learning outcomes for staff and students. The emergent nature of action learning outcomes makes the measurement of their effectiveness problematic. Research questions cannot be determined at the outset but are generated in consultation with the research participants. Despite aiming to be collaborative, our focus groups and interviews made explicit the tensions existing in the professional identities of staff. Their expert knowledge as researchers and teachers was challenged by an action learning approach. Consequently, this paper is an example of ongoing critical reflective practice. We conclude that measuring the effectiveness of action learning outcomes is context-dependent and consider the implications for the teaching of critical management studies. The process of action learning must be considered a key outcome. Individual reflection on professional identity and practice may be as important as the organisational learning and explicit knowledge gained.
Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
This article has been published in the journal: Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability. Used with permission.
- Management Papers