Defensive Reasoning In Individuals, Argyris And Schon

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In the chapter, Defensive Reasoning In Individuals, Argyris and Schon (1996) describe their methodology of testing reasoning in the field. Argyris and Schon (1996) try to assist practitioners in applying organizational learning to their workplace, and in so doing attempt to establish an understanding and working definition of defensive reasoning, as well as strategies to overcome it. The authors (Argyris & Schon, 1996) used research methods to illustrate defensive reasoning like asking participants to volunteer information about a specific issue in the workplace. In one column, participants were asked to write down a real or imagined conversation that addressed the issue, and in a second column write down thoughts and feelings they had during the conversation in order to reveal the reasoning of decision makers and find discrepancies between their words and thoughts. Later in class, participants read the conversations and thoughts and provided feedback.…show more content…
The comments revealed that people interact with organizations by using patterns that advocate, evaluate, and attribute (Argyris & Schon, 1996) but “that are crafted in ways that do not encourage learning” (Argyris & Schon, 1996, p.83.) Further, they claim that people around the world “are predisposed to be unaware of the discrepancies they produce, such as aspiring to be positive yet being negative” (Argyris & Schon, 1996, p.83.) When positive statements are crafted to a degree that contradicts the speakers’ true thoughts, participants can tell that “diplomacy is used to cover up negative thoughts” and “they themselves keep such thoughts private” (Argyris & Schon, 1996,

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