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A conceptual framework for understanding the learning processes integral to the development of responsible management practice

Louise Preget (Department of People and Organisations, Bournemouth University - Talbot Campus, Poole, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 27 February 2023

Issue publication date: 31 March 2023

467

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examines responsible management (RM) practice and the learning processes that underpin its development. It presents a conceptual framework to highlight the relationship between the learning experience of the individual and their capacity to develop responsible practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper synthesises knowledge from studies of how managers learn for ethical and responsible practice. A scoping review of peer-reviewed academic papers was conducted using key search terms that included “responsible management learning” (RML), “ethics”, “Human Resource Development (HRD)”, “responsible management (RM)”, “responsible leadership (RL)” and “work-based learning”. Analysis resulted in development of a conceptual framework of RML processes.

Findings

The review of studies concerned with how individuals learn to manage “responsibly” identified a range of learning processes that are necessary for the development of responsible practice. These learning processes are presented in a conceptual model that offers insights for the design of HRD interventions. Learning for responsible practice is presented as occurring in learning spaces where the learner/manager experiences a combination of learning processes. These are found to include situated, social and experiential learning that is “transformative”, potentially “troublesome” and “reflexive” such that learners develop responsible values and practices.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to the field of management development by focussing on the intersection between what is known about how individuals learn for ethical and responsible practice and the implications for work-based learning pedagogies. The paper will be of interest to HRD professionals tasked with fostering a responsible and ethical culture within organisations.

Practical implications

For HRD practitioners, this paper highlights the importance of work-based learning intervention design. What is suggested is that not all HRD interventions are likely to provide the learning conditions required for the development of “responsible practice”. A review of research into RML points to the need for interventions that offer a deep, personal, situated and transformative learning experience. There are organisational implications that arise from the type of learning found to develop responsible practice. For example, facilitating managers skills and awareness of how they learn such as: developing reflective practices and supporting developmental/collaborative networks that examine existing workplace practices. HRD professionals will need to recognise the need to support individual's learning for responsible practice given that it may entail questioning existing practice, and confronting troublesome knowledge, such as recognising where areas of irresponsibility exist. This may have implications for wider HR practices such as line management support, reward and performance management.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the field of management development by focussing on the intersection between what is known about how individuals learn for ethical and responsible practice and the implications for work-based learning pedagogies. The paper will be of interest to HRD professionals tasked with fostering a responsible and ethical culture within organisations.

Keywords

Citation

Preget, L. (2023), "A conceptual framework for understanding the learning processes integral to the development of responsible management practice", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 125-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-07-2022-0181

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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