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Action learning and control theory

Authors
Disciplines
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology

Abstract

The essay is a kind of 'product mix' of two separate concepts, manifestly quite different but found ultimately to blend into a common message. The author found management literature over the past two decades somewhat difficult to assimilate, due perhaps to an engineering training where problems are always simplified into tangible models and laws. Control theory (or cybernetics), however, seemed to offer a way out of the difficulty, especially as psychologists were using control theory to take them beyond the range of the 'conditioned reflex', and the author was encouraged to try out cybernetic ideas in terms of human problems in management and industry. The development of 'action learning' as a pragmatic yet sophisticated technique has provided a challenge for the cybernetic model. It is thought that many readers, particularly those with an engineering or scientific background, might find this exposition in social cybernetics helpful in getting a comprehensive grasp of action learning.

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