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A maturity model for evaluating an organisation’s reflective practices

Sanna Pekkola (Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT Lahti, Finland)
Sanna Hildén (Department of Industrial Management, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)
Johanna Rämö (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)

Measuring Business Excellence

ISSN: 1368-3047

Article publication date: 16 November 2015




This study aims to examine how to measure and evaluate the level at which the management control system of the organisation supports reflective practices. Though the literature on management control has recently recognised the value of reflection as a tool for organisational learning, there are few practical means of analysing the management control system alongside reflective activity. To improve and develop reflective practices for more comprehensive and systematic utilisation, the management control system has to support these practices.


The study is based on the current literature on reflection, reflective practices and management control and the pulling together of these three areas to determine how the evaluation and measurement of reflective practices should be organised. Based on that, the maturity model for measuring how the management control system supports reflective practices is elaborated. The empirical data testing the maturity model was collected from three case organisations.


As its main contribution, the study composes a maturity model for evaluating the stage of reflective practices within organisations/an organisation. The existing literature does not present models or frameworks for evaluating the maturity of this kind of competence development activity. The presented model has many advantages that make it useful for pragmatic assessment and facilitation of competence development processes.

Practical implications

As a practical tool, the maturity model helps to prioritise development actions when there is a need to enforce creative thinking (transformative learning) and sense-making within the organisation. Because an organisation cannot implement all the best practices in one phase, the maturity model can be used to introduce them in stages.


The study advances one way of defining measures for reflective practices such that they are led from the literature on such practices. In addition, the study composes a maturity model for evaluating an organisation’s stage of reflective practice. Before an organisation can develop and manage its reflective practices or identify necessary changes, the current state of its reflective practices should be analysed.



The authors are grateful to the REFINNO research team, Prof. Petri Suomala; Kati Tikkamäki, D.Ed.; Minna Saunila, D.Sc.; Juhani Ukko, D.Sc.; and Sanna Vauranoja, M.Sc. for the insightful and constructive academic discussions and joint efforts in the case interventions. They have enabled the multidisciplinary development of the interpretation of reflective practice, combined with ideas of management control.


Pekkola, S., Hildén , S. and Rämö, J. (2015), "A maturity model for evaluating an organisation’s reflective practices", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 17-29.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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