Yeadon-Lee, Annie (2015) Psychological climates in action learning sets: A manager’s perspective. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 12 (3). pp. 261-275. ISSN 1476-7333

Action Learning (AL) is often viewed as a process that facilitates professional learning through the creation of a positive psychological climate (Marquart, 2000; Schein, 1979). An psychological climate that fosters an environment in which learning set members feel psychologically safe enough to reflect upon both the successes, and failures in their professional life without any form of repercussion. However, there has been little attention given to the ways that that psychological climate develops, and the differing facets that create that climate. In response to such deficit, this paper reports the outcomes of interviews with eleven managers, all of whom are former AL set members on their experiences of action learning set membership.
Drawing upon an interpretivist philosophy, the paper explores the key themes that emerged from the analysis of those interviews. The analysis serves to illustrate the differing facets that collectively contribute creation of a positive psychological climate that is conducive for learning.
Analysis points to the relative importance of such facets as: trust, honesty, vulnerability, reciprocity, confidentiality and personal disclosure, all of which have the capacity to lead to a positive psychological climate in action learning sets.
This paper is useful for developing an understanding of the differing facets in AL sets that create a psychological climate conducive for learning. As such, it has utility for action learning facilitators, set members, academics and educational consultants.

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