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Executive Summary Essay

772 words - 4 pages

To: Professor H.
From: V Feliciano
Date: 11/27/2014
Subject: Executive Summary- “Teaching Smart People How to Learn” by Chris Argyris, Harvard Review

The purpose of this summary is to explore the importance of learning in the corporate world. Much of the business success largely depends on learning; however, this resource tool has shown to be problematic for some. High commitment workers need to consider their behavior critically, identify possible ways they unintentionally contribute to the organization problems, and learn how they can solve these issues.

Looping: A Defense Mechanism?

In order to understand the learning process, such terms as “single loop” ...view middle of the document...

Much of these difficulties derived from internal aspects than the external. Once the bar was shifted to focus on the individuals’ performance, something went wrong. Defensiveness is used as a self-protection mechanism to guard themselves from embarrassment of having to admit any misconduct. Repeating cautious actions, in the effort of the manager, to turn the workers attention to its own faults show that defensiveness had become a reflexive routine. The end product was an unproductive discussion.

Behavior Theory

To go in depth of the issue, professionals need to first understand the dynamics of defensive reasoning and why they are so susceptible to it. Their attitudes about change or improvements are not the downfall but how the way they reason with others. A set of rules called a “theory of action” is developed by the individuals to plan and implement their own behavior. Usually these actions become so ingrained in the personality makeup that they are unaware that they are using it. There seems to be several
core values that contribute to the human tendency to design one’s action:

* Control oneself independently
* Downplay negative feelings
* Maximize the positives over the negatives

The main objective of all these values is to avoid feeling threaten or embarrassed.
Professionals are often subjected to performance evaluations, which measure their behavior against a formal standard. A poor evaluation can spark defensive reasoning for the entire organization.


Although people may be genuinely devoted to refining their performance,...

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