Argyris and Schon's Theories for Action Essay

Pages: 4 (1350 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership

¶ … Argyris and Schon's Theories for Action

Over the last ten years, the amounts of leadership in business have been increasingly brought to the forefront. Part of the reason for this, is because many managers and administrators have been lacking the ability to effectively lead their organization. Where, many managers and executives will often pay lip services to having effective leadership, yet in practice they are not demonstrating the necessary characteristics to motivate employees. A good example of this can be seen with a study, which showed that 73% of businesses say that their employees are their greatest asset. However, when you look at where employees rank in the priorities of the business, 98% have them ranked in sixth place. (Chitwood, 2004) This is significant, because it shows how there is a lack of leadership at many business. To help managers be able to address this issue, Argyris and Schon's theory was developed. This provides managers with specific steps, to help improve the underlying amounts of leadership at any organization. To fully understand how this can help provide leadership training requires; examining this theory by looking at: the concrete experience, reflective observations, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights, as to how Argyris and Schon's theory can help to improve the overall amounts of leadership at any organization.

Concrete Experience

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The ideas of Argyris and Schon's theory, builds off of previous work that was conducted by Freud and Jung, regarding the human thought process. Where, people determine what thoughts will affect, the actions that will occur to them in their lives. Argyris and Schon build off of this theory, by claiming that people have mental maps in their minds, which can serve as a guide for what actions they will take. The problem is: that few people are aware of these mental maps. Those who do know about them will rarely utilize them, to positively influence their actions. At which point, someone will become reactive, to the events that shape their environment. This would qualify as the objective component of the theory, by providing a general overview. (Anderson, 1994)

Essay on Argyris and Schon's Theories for Action Over Assignment

However, when look at the specific factors; it is clear that the actions theories would address the individual personal experiences of the event. This is subdivided into two sections, espoused theories and theories in use. Espoused theories are: when one person will have loyalty for the conscious actions they are taking, often defending them (even when they are wrong). Theories in use are: when there are various actions that are implied, to the behavior of the individual. In most cases, the thoughts for these actions are generated on the subconscious level. (Dick, 2006)

Argyris and Schon's theory provides: a general overview for explaining the thought process that contributed to human behavior. At the same time, it provides specific information, as to how this related, to the conscious and unconscious actions of the individual. This is significant, because it provides a number of different ways of examining, how the thought process affects human behavior. In leadership, this is important, because when you understand how someone's thoughts are influencing their actions, you can be able to interrupt this process and influence them positively. Over the course of time, this helps to improve the organization, by ensuring that managers understand, how the thoughts and actions of an individual are inter-related. (Dick, 2006)

Reflective Observation

In the theory of action, there are a number of critical elements that are specifically linked; to the actions of the individual to include: actions strategies, consequences for self, consequences for others, governing values and action strategy effectiveness. Action strategies are: the specific actions that someone will take in response their environment. The principal of the consequences for self is: the consequences of the action for the individual. Consequences for others are: the effect of the actions of an individual, upon others. Governing values are: the goals, objectives, values or beliefs that the individual is seeking, to satisfy their actions. Action strategy effectiveness is when: the course… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Argyris and Schon's Theories for Action" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Argyris and Schon's Theories for Action.  (2010, July 2).  Retrieved January 19, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Argyris and Schon's Theories for Action."  2 July 2010.  Web.  19 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Argyris and Schon's Theories for Action."  July 2, 2010.  Accessed January 19, 2021.