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Fostering Effective Debriefs: The Integral Role of Team Reflexivity

Managing Meetings in Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-83867-228-7, eISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

ISSN: 1534-0856

Publication date: 17 March 2020


Debriefs are a type of workplace meeting that often use after events and critical incidents. Debriefs are used to review performance, promote shared learning and understanding, and improve future team performance. Similarly, reflexivity refers to the extent to which team members reflect upon and openly discuss group processes, procedures, and actions to improve future team performance. In this chapter, the authors review the separate literatures and explore the relationship between debriefs and reflexivity. While the debrief literature does focus on aspects of reflection, what occurs between the aspects of reflection, planning, and action is left unexplored. The concept of reflexivity fits well with the successful use of debriefs, as reflexivity ensures that reflection results in outcomes and moves beyond just an overview or discussion during debriefing. Additionally, important constructs such as psychological safety and sensemaking are relevant to both debriefs and reflexivity such that open and honest discussion as well as developing shared understanding are necessary for effective debriefing and reflection. Using the constructs of psychological safety and sensemaking, the authors propose a model that situates both reflexivity and effective debriefs in the context of team learning. This model integrates team reflexivity with team debriefs, provides a better understanding of how teams can carry out more effective debriefs, and explains how more effective debriefing and greater team reflexivity lead to enhanced learning and improvement in team performance.



Reiter-Palmon, R., Leone, S., Murugavel, V. and Allen, J.A. (2020), "Fostering Effective Debriefs: The Integral Role of Team Reflexivity", Meinecke, A.L., Allen, J.A. and Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (Ed.) Managing Meetings in Organizations (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 93-109.



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