Published Online:https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2002.8509336

In this article, I consider John Dewey's dual reformist-preservationist agenda for education in the context of current debates about the role of experience in management learning. I argue for preserving experience-based approaches to management learning by revising the concept of experience to more clearly account for the relationship between personal and social (i.e., tacit/explicit) knowledge. By reviewing, comparing, and extending critiques of Kolb's experiential learning theory (ELT) and reconceptualizing the learning process based on poststructural analysis of psychoanalyst Jacque Lacan, I define experience within the context of language and social action. This perspective is contrasted to action, cognition, critical reflection and other experience-based approaches to management learning. Implications for management theory, pedagogy, and practice suggest greater emphasis on language and conversation in the learning process. Future directions for research are explored.

REFERENCES

  • Agger B., 1991. Critical theory, poststructuralism, postmodernism: Their sociological relevance. Annual Review of Sociology, 17: 105–131. Google Scholar
  • Argyris C., Schon D. A., 1978. Organizational learning. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Google Scholar
  • Astley W. G., Zammuto R. F., 1992. Organization science, managers and language games. Organization Science. 3: 443–460. Google Scholar
  • Baker P., Jensen, Kolb D. A., 2002. Conversational learning: An experiential approach to knowledge creation. Westport, CT: Quorum Books. Google Scholar
  • Bell E. L., Nkomo S. M., 2001. Our separate ways: Black and while women and the struggle for professional identity. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Google Scholar
  • Boyatzis R. E., Cowen S. S., Kolb D. A., 1995. Innovation in professional education: Steps on a journey from teaching to learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Google Scholar
  • Carlsson B., Keane P., Martin J. B., 1976. R St D organizations as learning systems. Sloan Management Review 17: 1–15. Google Scholar
  • Dehler G. E., Welsh M. A., Lewis M. W., 2001. Critical pedagogy in the “new paradigm.” Management Learning, 32: 493–511. Google Scholar
  • Dewey J., 1938. Experience and education. New York: Touchstone. Google Scholar
  • Dixon N., 1994. The organizational learning cycle: How we learn collectively. New York: McGraw-Hill. Google Scholar
  • Fisher D., Rooke D., Torbert W. R., 2000. Personal and organizational transformations: Through action inquiry. Boston: Edge\Work Press. Google Scholar
  • Freedman R. D., Stumpf S. A., 1980. Learning Style Theory: Less than meets the eye. Academy of Management Review, 5: 445–447.AbstractGoogle Scholar
  • Geertz C., 1983. Local knowledge: Further essays in interpretive anthropology. New York: Basic Books. Google Scholar
  • Goleman D., 1998. Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam. Google Scholar
  • Greer T., Dunlap W. P., 1997. Analysis of variance with ipsative measures. Psychological1 Methods, 2: 200–207. Google Scholar
  • Grosz E., 1990. Jacques Lacan: A feminist introduction. New York: Routledge. Google Scholar
  • Harland R., 1987. Superstructuralism: The philosophy of structuralism and post-structuralism. New York: Methuen. Google Scholar
  • Heron J., 1992. Feeling and personhood: Psychology in another key. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Google Scholar
  • Holman D., Pavlica K., Thorpe R., 1997. Rethinking Kolb's theory of experiential learning: The contribution of social constructivism and activity theory. Management Learning, 28: 135–148. Google Scholar
  • Hopkins R., 1993. David Kolb's learning machine. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 24: 46–62. Google Scholar
  • Hunt D. E., 1987. Beginning with ourselves: In practice, theory and human affairs. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books. Google Scholar
  • Kayes D. C., 2001. The fractured figure eight: Exploring the relationship between social and personal knowledge. In Crossan M.Olivera F., (Eds.), Organizational learning and know/edge management, 4th International Conference. New Direction: 317–382. London, OT: Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario. Google Scholar
  • Kegan R., 1994. In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Google Scholar
  • Kegan R., Lahey L. L., 2001. How the way we talk can change the way we work: Seven languages for success. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Google Scholar
  • Klein G., 1998. Sources of power: How people make decisions. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Google Scholar
  • Kolb A., Kolb D. A., 2002. Bibliography on experiential learning theory. Retrieved January 20, 2002, from http://www.learningfromexperience.com/Research_Library/ELT_bibjul01.pdf. Google Scholar
  • Kolb D. A., 1984. Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Google Scholar
  • Lacan J., 1977. Ecrits: A selection (, Sheridan A., Trans.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Google Scholar
  • Lengnick-Hall C. A., Sanders M. M., 1997. Designing effective learning systems for management education: Student roles, requisite variety, and practicing what we teach. Academy of Management Journal. 40: 1334–1368.LinkGoogle Scholar
  • Mezirow J., 1991. Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Google Scholar
  • Miettinen R., 1998. About the legacy of experiential learning. Lifelong Learning in Europe, 3: 165–171. Google Scholar
  • Nonaka I., 1994. A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization Science, 5: 14–37. Google Scholar
  • Osland J. S., Kolb D. A., Rubin I. M., 2001. Organizational behavior: An experiential approach (7th ed,). Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Google Scholar
  • Reason P., (Ed.). 1994. Participation in human inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Google Scholar
  • Revans R. W., 1980. Action learning: New techniques for management. London: Blond & Briggs. Google Scholar
  • Reynolds M., 1999. Critical reflection and management education: Rehabilitating less hierarchical approaches. Journal of Management Education, 23: 537–553. Google Scholar
  • Schon D. A., 1983. The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books. Google Scholar
  • Senge P. M., 1990. The fifth discipline: The art & practice of the learning organization. New York: Currency Doubleday. Google Scholar
  • Sims R. R., 1983. Kolb's experiential learning theory: A framework for assessing person-job interaction. Academy of Management Review, 8: 501–508.AbstractGoogle Scholar
  • Torbert W. R., 1972. Learning from experience: Toward consciousness. New York: Columbia University Press. Google Scholar
  • Van der Heijden K., 1996. Scenarios: The art of strategic conversation. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Google Scholar
  • Van Maanen J., 1995. Style as theory. Organization Science, 6: 133–143. Google Scholar
  • Vince R., 1998. Behind and beyond Kolb's learning cycle. Journal of Management Education. 22: 304–319. Google Scholar
  • Vince R., In Press. Emotion, power and learning: Towards an organizational orientation in human resource development. In Woodall J.Lee M.Steward J., (Eds.), New frontiers in human resource development. London: Routledge. Google Scholar
  • Vygotsky L. S., 1978. Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Google Scholar
  • Wegner D., 1987. Transactive memory: A contemporary analysis of group mind. In Mullen B.Goethals G. R., (Eds.), Theories of group behavior: 185–208. New York: Springer-Verlag. Google Scholar
  • Wenger E., 1998. Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. New York: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  • Wyss-Flamm E. D., 2002. Conversational learning in multicultural teams. In Baker A.Jensen P.Kolb D. A., (Eds.), Conversational learning: An experiential approach to knowledge creation: 139–163. Westport, CT: Quorum Books. Google Scholar
  • Yahya I., 1998. Willcoxson and Prosser's factor analyses on Kolb's (1985) LSI data: Rejections and re-analyses. British /journal of Educational Psychology. 68: 281–286. Google Scholar