Concluding Observations

Chris Argyris

in Flawed Advice and the Management Trap

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780195132861
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848645 | DOI:
Concluding Observations

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This chapter describes how readers can become more critical of the advice they read. The advice examined in the previous chapters contains four characteristics that limit both its validity and its actionability. When individuals programmed with Model I theories-in-use adhere to Model I social values and comply with the requirements of organizational defensive routines, they are largely unaware of these limits. So, they actually approve the advice, value it, and feel good about it. By definition, they do not see how Model I advice, in operation, produces skilled unawareness, let alone the skilled incompetence that accompanies it. These are the four main reasons why: the advice represents espoused theories of effectiveness; it contains evaluations and attributions that are neither tested nor testable; it is based on self-referential logic that produces limited knowledge about what is going on; and the advice does not specify causal processes.

Keywords: Model I advice; causal processes; skilled incompetence; self-referential logic

Chapter.  1052 words. 

Subjects: Knowledge Management

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