Reflective practice in management education

Reflective practice in management education

Considerable literature demonstrates that many new managers experience moments of ‘positive shock’, where they adjust their expectations and assumptions about what it means to be a manager.

This research frames such moments of reflection as crucial for management development and education. It examines how multi-perspective research techniques such as hermeneutics and qualitative phenomenology can be used to inform management education and development, especially in areas of diversity, reflective practice and self-development.

Researcher expertise

Professional Development, Hermeneutic Research, Diversity, Reflective Practice.

Who this research helps

CEOs, senior executives and managers of all types of organisations.

Research overview

Examines how multi-perspective research techniques such as hermeneutics and qualitative phenomenology can be used to help:

  • Managerial researchers and practitioners communicate useful and beneficial insights
  • Organisations use management research to educate managers and leaders and develop their professional skills and resilience
  • Organisations to cope with diversity and develop a global mindset.

Research streams

The hermeneutic circle

The word ‘hermeneutic’ refers to the art of ‘making meaning’. The circle offers a way of making sense of the research experience through the circular process of immersing ourselves in and reflecting on it.

The hermeneutic circle provides a particular approach to professional practice research that recognises research as:

  • More than a set of methods, tools or techniques
  • Being attuned to and involved in the world
  • Full of passion as it is of reason.

This research method is heavily embedded in MGSM’s doctoral program, with students from all disciplines attending and contributing so they can experience, develop and reflect on their research journey.

Work emerging from this research area:

  • Informs the pastoral care, and coaching and workshop programs that empower our doctoral scholars
  • Enables professional researchers visiting from other Australian universities to embrace all aspects of their personal research experience.

The global mindset

Examines the challenges of working with differences in culture, gender, age, functional specialisation or nationality. And identifies the competencies required for working with the new and unfamiliar in today’s complex and uncertain global environment.

The need to understand and manage diversity is common to all business functions. Strategic leaders must be able to:

  • Perceive opportunities present in embracing differences
  • Understand the talents and competencies of managers who operate in a global network
  • Require appreciate local and habitual ways of doing things more effectively.

Reflective practice in management education

Considering reflection on its own to be empty and action on its own to be blind, this research stream examines:

  • How the artistry and discipline of management moves between reflection and action
  • Why awareness of this is vital to managers’ education and development.

Management self-development

Concerns self-development processes relevant to managers. A particular focus is intrapersonal skills, such as how we:

  • Deal with stress
  • Manage and organise ourselves in the face of multiple and conflicting demands
  • Manage reactions to feedback and insights about ourselves
  • Engage in self-regulatory actions to improve our capability and skills.
  • Deal with emotional lives alongside such pressures and expectations. 

This research is particularly interested in high performers and discovering whether self-directed experimental learning influences performance - and the role the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ) plays in this.

Find a Reflective Practice research academic.

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