Why Flawed Advice Persists

Chris Argyris

in Flawed Advice and the Management Trap

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780195132861
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848645 | DOI:
Why Flawed Advice Persists

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This chapter presents a theory of action that attempts to explain why gaps and inconsistencies exist as long as their basic causes are not corrected in such a way that the corrections persist. People hold two different “theories of action” about effective behavior: the one they espouse and the one they actually use. When they deal with issues that are embarrassing or threatening, their reasoning and action conform to a type of theory-in-use called Model I. Because effective learning depends on both the exchange of valid information and the public testing of attributions, Model I tends to discourage it. Meanwhile, the behavioral strategies of Model II involve sharing power with anyone who has competence and is relevant to deciding about implementing the action in question. Saving one's own face or that of others is resisted as a defensive, anti-learning activity.

Keywords: information; Model I; Model II; flawed advice; behavioral strategies

Chapter.  7190 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Knowledge Management

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