Creating space for Reflexivity at an MBA

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While executive programmes, including MBA studies, have proliferated in recent years, there
has been an increasing focus on how executive teaching contributes to contemporary
challenges facing executives in their everyday life as organizational heads. In particular,
researchers on management learning have called for a balance between hard and soft skills,
practice-oriented reflexivity, and new ways of bridging theory and practice. The present paper
answers this call by focusing on how a relational and social construction approach can assist
the development of executive programmes in order to accommodate the need for more
reflexive practices in the everyday life of the executive. The paper addresses how reflexivity
can be supported during MBA programmes, which is demonstrated by a longitudinal
experimental effort where the authors of the paper applied seven different management
learning practices to a Danish MBA programme. The point of departure for the application
consists of three premises: 1) Management learning is a situated, relational, contextual and
problem-based practice where the organizational challenges of executives must be explored
from within their real business situations; 2) management learning emerges from incidents,
phenomena and ways of relating that represent not anticipated or unexpected insights by which
the executive is struck; 3) management learning revolves around reflexivity. The paper arrives
at two significant findings and a question for future research. First, reflexivity is not and cannot
be perceived as a planned or progressive process. Second, reflexivity is a relational practice
that involves unsettling taken-for-granted assumptions and perceptions. Third, the occurrence
of reflexivity in management learning seems to depend more on process than content in
management learning – however, further research on the relationship between the how and
what of management learning is warranted
Original languageEnglish
Publication date28 Mar 2019
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019
EventEuropean Academy of Management: Exploring the future of management - ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 26 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 19


ConferenceEuropean Academy of Management
Internet address

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