World cafes and dialog seminars as processes for reflective learning in organisations
AuthorThunberg, Odd Arne
Abstract In a comparative analysis of municipal and banking organisations, this paper examines how dialogs, inspired by the World Cafe approach, can contribute to developing reflective and organisational learning. Participatory and appreciative action and reflection (PAAR) helps people to understand their circumstances with a view to changing them for the better. This creates opportunities to develop employee communication and shared understanding. Continuous support for a dialogic process of this sort needs tolerance. The world cafe can have a long-term and sustainable effect. The basis for the comparative analysis was dialog seminars and an analysis of cafe dialogs. It is important to gain full support for cafe dialogs from an organisation's senior management before expanding them to the whole organisation. Reflective learning is a more complex phenomenon than formerly assumed because the conscious or unconscious participation of senior management can significantly influence reflective learning processes. If increased integrity and mutual respect are attained through dialog it is worth asking how this can also be further developed in different organisations.
This article is part of Odd Arne Thunberg's doctoral thesis. Available in Munin at http://hdl.handle.net/10037/3336
CitationReflective Practice 12(2011) nr. 3 s. 319-333
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