An analysis of the use of action learning on an MBA programme

Annie Yeadon-Lee, Graham Worsdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to enrich our understanding of action learning by listening to the voices of the students who have been participants in an action learning set on an academic programme, in this case, the final year of a part time Master of Administration (MBA) programme. One UK university, responding to calls for innovation in postgraduate education, made the decision to use a different approach to teaching and learning on their part time MBA by introducing action learning into the final year research methodology and dissertation module. This paper reports the outcome of that decision, focussing on the student experience in learning sets. Data was captured by means of a semi-structured questionnaire and the findings were thematically analysed. Insights are offered into aspects of learning set psychological dynamics such as psychological climate, the emergence of hierarchy in learning sets and the inevitable leadership struggles that follow, all of which have an impact on both student satisfaction and effectiveness of the learning set. The paper also offers insights into action learning as both a teaching and learning methodology in the area of postgraduate study as experienced by the participants themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Management Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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