Re: Double-loop learning

Magnus Larsson (
Wed, 30 Oct 96 07:21:49 +0100


I've done some work involving double loop learning, not that I have
documented it as research, more as part of consultacy work. I am not sure
what connection you see to constructive alternativism. If you elaborate a
bit on that, maybe I could give some comments from my expereince.

Magnus Larsson

At 15.55 1996-10-30 +1300, you wrote:
>Hi PCP folks,
>This list seems to have been very quiet for a while. I thought some=20
>of you might like to put your minds to something (especially=20
>management and organisational folks), so here goes.....
>Has anyone in the PCP field done anything relating to Chris Argyris'=20
>concept of Double-loop learning? First, I haven't been able to find=20
>very much clear cut material on double-loop learning, and have a=20
>rather impoverished understanding of it? Second, it seems to me that=20
>the double-loop processing concept might have some relationship with=20
>the constructive alternativism concept, or related concepts.
>This sort of thing seems important to the Organisational Behavior=20
>class that I teach. Hence I'd like to know more about it and also=20
>find out if any other PCP'ers have also thought about it.
>I know that someone is now going to respond with "Excuse my=20
>ignorance, Robin, but what is double-loop learning?" Part of my=20
>answer to that is "Well, that is what I'm trying to find out." The=20
>second part of my answer is: I understand it refers primarily to=20
>problem solving and decision making processes, particularly by=20
>managers. Managers become rewarded (with promotions and=20
>success, etc.) for making relatively quick, and off-the-cuff=20
>solutions and decisions. They may not address the alternatives. =20
>They're thinking only "inside the box." Hence they have only=20
>processed the problem they face through a single loop.
>A second loop occurs if they consider the problem from an alternative=20
>point of view. Perhaps even role play from another point of view.=20
>Perhaps think about he problem from a different academic discipline. =20
>I do this all the time, and often think of it as a constructivist=20
>way of behaving. Any other thoughts? Any references you can tell me=20
>Dr. Robin Hill
>Senior Lecturer & Research Leader
>Department of Business Studies
>The Waikato Polytechnic
>Private Bag 3036
>Hamilton 2020
>New Zealand
>Fax. NZ (07) 834-8802
Magnus Larsson
Department of applied psychology Adress: Exercisgatan 5
Lund University 211 49 Malm=F6
Sweden Sweden