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What is Double-Loop Learning

Handbook of Research on Human Resources Strategies for the New Millennial Workforce
A learning method to question and change organizational underlying policies, norms and assumptions.
Published in Chapter:
Organizational Learning and Change: Strategic Interventions to Deal with Resistance
Jieun You (Ohio State University, USA), Junghwan Kim (University of Oklahoma, USA), and Doo Hun Lim (University of Oklahoma, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0948-6.ch015
This chapter discusses organizational learning as a strategic approach for organizational change. In the face of turbulent and uncertain environments, continuous involvement in organizational change is necessary. However, most organizations encounter resistance to change, thus fail to accomplish organizational change despite change efforts. Previous literature explains that resistance to change results from cognitive and psychological processes, social and power relationships, and organizational structural inertia. Given the findings from the previous research, organizational learning theories can provide strategic interventions to effectively deal with resistance and to achieve organizational change goals. The learning organization embrace learning activities – unlearning, experimentation, exploration, double-loop learning, and action learning - to develop the adaptability to environmental changes. This chapter suggests that HR/HRD should play a role in building the learning organization and facilitating organizational learning for change as a change agent.
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More Results
OMIS-Based Collaboration with Service-Oriented Design
Together with single-loop learning, describes the way in which organizations may learn to respond appropriately to change. Single-loop learning requires adjustments to procedures and operations within the framework of customary, accepted assumptions, but fails to recognize or deal effectively with problems that may challenge fundamental aspects of organizational culture, norms, or objectives. Double-loop learning questions those assumptions from the vantage point of higher-order, shared views, in order to solve problems.
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Conceptualization and Evolution of Learning Organizations
The process in which individuals, groups, or organizations question the foundation of existing knowledge (i.e., values, assumptions and policies) that led to the actions in the first place. Second-order or double-loop learning has taken place then they are able to recognize the gap and modify the existing knowledge. Double loop learning is the learning about single-loop learning.
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Learning and Knowledge Creation under Perpetual Construction: A Complex Responsive Approach to Applied Business Research
Double-loop learning is a process of detecting problems, recognizing a need for change, adjusting the basis for choice and action, and developing new frames of reference as a result of learning and knowledge creation.
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Towards a Learning Organization: Navigating Barriers, Levers, and Employees' Capacity for Change
The key feature of double-loop learning is a focus on “why” in the course of solving problems. In contrast to single-loop learning, a basic form problem solving defined by task completion, double-loop learning questions underlying assumptions and values to identify underlying issues that need to be addressed. Double-loop learning is vital to organizational learning.
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Using Heutagogy to Address the Needs of Online Learners
“A higher order of learning is when the individual questions the goal-structures and rules upon detecting an error. This is more like ‘coloring outside the lines’ to solve the problem or error. This is referred to as ‘double-loop learning.’ This is more creative and may lead to alterations in the rules, plans, strategies, or consequences initially related to the problem at hand. Double-loop learning involves critical reflection upon goals, beliefs, values, conceptual frameworks, and strategies. Argyris believes that this way of learning is critical in organizations and individuals that find themselves in rapidly changing and uncertain contexts” (Cooper, 2004).
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