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  • #DrexelXperts: How Action Learning Improves Leadership Behavior

    Dr. Rajashi Ghosh

    Dr. Rajashi Ghosh

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    Written by Rajashi Ghosh, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Drexel School of Education

    Action learning is an approach that enables individuals to use their tasks/projects/assignments at work as an opportunity to engage in experiential and critical reflective learning. In other words, the term "action learning" signifies the connection between one's action on assignments at work and the opportunity to learn—and implies that neither action nor learning by itself is complete.

    Hear from 'DrexelXpert' Rajashi Ghosh, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Education, as she explains the link between action learning and leadership behavior and how both relate to human resource development.

     What is the connection between action learning and leadership?

    Action learning can be critical for those in leadership positions for three primary reasons:

    • -First, this approach to learning at work can help leaders to integrate time for reflection and introspective thinking into the daily fold.
    • -Second, this approach can help leaders to engage their colleagues & subordinates in a group, effectively building communities of practice at work.
    • -Third, this approach can expose them to diverse perspectives of fellow colleagues participating in the action learning group, which can challenge their assumptions and beliefs and broaden their worldview.

    What are the three most important leadership behaviors, and why?

    In my opinion, the three most important leadership behaviors align well with core principles of action learning. For instance, leaders need to be critical thinkers and action learning helps to build and practice the skill of critical reflection. Leaders need to consider multiple viewpoints, and action learning provides a setting for such consideration. Action learning fosters an atmosphere of collective thinking, allowing leaders to help their colleagues/subordinates learn from each other's experiences. 

    What is the link between action learning and human resource development?

    Adult learning at work is central to the field of Human Resource Development. It is thus obvious that action learning can be a critical human resource development tool which can help in building an organizational culture that encourages informal learning among colleagues. The concept of action learning demonstrates the importance of continuous lifelong learning and the power of learning communities in organizations, both of which are quintessential to the principles of learning and development in the field of HRD.

    Delve deeper into action learning on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Drexel University’s Human Resource Development Reunion Colloquium: online.drexel.edu/HRD-Colloquium

    #DrexelXperts is a new blog series where faculty members share their tips, research, tricks of the trade and everything in between.

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