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What is Reflection-In-Action? A Phenomenological Account

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  • Dvora Yanow
  • Haridimos Tsoukas
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    Abstract

    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.

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    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

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:46:y:2009:i:8:p:1339-1364

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    Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380

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    Cited by:
    1. 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, vol. 30(4), pages 1115-1124, December.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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, vol. 113(4), pages 567-581, April.

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