Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

What is Reflection-In-Action? A Phenomenological Account


Author Info

  • Dvora Yanow
  • Haridimos Tsoukas
Registered author(s):


    Building on the work of Donald Schön and phenomenological treatments of practice, we propose a phenomenological theory of reflection-in-action that develops this concept further, thereby transcending a number of limitations we find in his theorizing. Our theory includes: an appreciation for the evaluative dimensions built into competent practice that encourage, if not require, reflecting; a further theorizing of the character of surprise; and a fuller delineation of the character of improvisation in relation to practice and its surprises. We begin with a phenomenological account of cognition in relation to work, especially in its form of professional practice. We reframe Schön's arguments in phenomenological, especially Heideggerian, terms and take account of relatively recent theorizing about knowledge-based work, illustrating these discussions with a vignette drawn from field research in the world of practice. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these arguments for practitioners as well as for further theorizing. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2009.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 8 (December)
    Pages: 1339-1364

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:46:y:2009:i:8:p:1339-1364

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. M. Laura Frigotto & Marco Zamarian, 2013. "Resilience and specialization in volatile environments:evidence from the Italian Air Force Tornado crews learning practices," DEM Discussion Papers 2013/17, Department of Economics and Management.
    2. Yina Mao & Chi-Sum Wong & Kelly Peng, 2013. "Breaking institutionalized corruption: Is the experience of the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption generalizable?," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 1115-1124, December.
    3. Sanna Hilden & Kati Tikkamäki, 2013. "Reflective Practice as a Fuel for Organizational Learning," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 76-95, July.
    4. Mary Crossan & Daina Mazutis & Gerard Seijts, 2013. "In Search of Virtue: The Role of Virtues, Values and Character Strengths in Ethical Decision Making," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 113(4), pages 567-581, April.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:46:y:2009:i:8:p:1339-1364. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.