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ERIC Number: EJ932494
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1476-7333
"I Think We Should Take This Offline...": Conversational Patterns that Undermine Effective Decision Making in Action Learning Sets
Donovan, Paul
Action Learning: Research and Practice, v8 n2 p103-115 2011
Collective decision making is an increasing requirement in organizations where the emphasis is on team work at every level. It is, however, very complex and difficult to achieve in practice. Too frequently, important discussions are bypassed or, while the majority of the meeting participants remain mute, decisions are being made by a vocal few. In other words, the meeting may at first appear to be inclusive in its decision making but the reality may be starkly different. In addition, very little is known about how senior executive groups go about attempting to develop collective decisions. In this action learning action research (ALAR) study, which extended over a six-month period, conversational patterns were identified in which the AL set engaged at precisely the point where they failed to achieve their aim of openly addressing important issues. Through an analysis of three of these patterns, and drawing on the work of Argyris and others, this article demonstrates how difficult topics were avoided by the group, thereby compromising the executives group's capacity to engage in effective collective decision making. (Contains 1 figure and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand