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Table 1 Schön’s reflective practitioner model mapped onto a general research methodologyb

From: Leadership in innovation projects: an illustration of the reflective practitioner and the relation to organizational learning

Reflective practice Innovation leadership by applying a research methodology in a stepwise approach
1 Tacit ‘knowing in action’: performing a task unreflectingly 0 Unconscious task performance (0 because it precedes reflection)
A Assessing if task execution matches or mismatches the desired effect: in case of a match this is an unconscious/subconscious process; in case of a mismatch: ‘reflection-on-action’ 1 Sensing an unexpected outcome: what is going on? Reflecting on one’s understanding of, feelings about and experience with a particular incident
2 Surprise: a mismatch is assessed in the event when the outcome of task execution is unexpected (positive or negative) 2 Experiencing and acknowledging an unexpected outcome: is there a problem? Structuring the incident and bringing it to the surface (explicating what is implicit)
3 ‘Reflection within the action-present’a 3 Assessing (‘scoping’) the implication of the outcome (defining boundaries and governing values; critical evaluation of outcomes)
4 Reflection-in-action 4 Assessing outputs and outcomes and developing alternatives (conceptualizing, restructuring)
5 On-the-spot experimenting and testing 5 Experimenting and testing alternatives (general hypothesizing, (re)designing new actions) and striving for validated data (operationalization; putting new actions into a testable framework)
B Ante-action-reflection (not per se in the case of triple-loop learning) 6 Anticipating effects of the newly chosen solution; pre-evaluation (specific hypothesizing)
Performing the task: ‘reflection-on-action’ 7 Executing the new solution (intervention, implementation of new action)
(Return to) A Reflection-on-action 8 Evaluating the outcome of the new action or solution (feedback, a return to ‘reflection-in-action’ and ‘on-action’)
  1. aFinding a solution at this level is single-loop in nature; going beyond this stage is double-loop. Single-loop is instrumental means-end reflection on actions (technical rationality), whereas double-loop learning results from of reflection on the norms and values and social relationships (Greenwood 1998: 1052)
  2. bColumn 2 are in fact actions undertaken by project leaders of innovation projects as an interpretation of the model of Schön