n Acta Commercii - Reflection as a strategy to improve management practice : insights from management education : original research

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2413-1903
  • E-ISSN: 1684-1999



This study examines the role of reflection as a learning strategy for management students and how this process can contribute to developing a cadre of useful and effective managers.

Using data from MBA student work, the aim of the study was to explore reflection as a pedagogical strategy to enhance management practice within an emerging market context.
The development of more rigorous, thoughtful and decision focussed management is among the challenges facing organisations in South Africa. Within management education, reflection is seen as a potential strategy to address this issue.
This qualitative study sampled 513 students' reflective assignments. Students were given an individual task as a deliberate strategy to reflect on their own learning and provide insight on the benefits and challenges of the process. Coding was conducted along thematic lines.
The findings showed that students gained self-awareness and insight into their own management and organisational practices. Their application of concepts, tools and techniques was also enhanced, as was their understanding of working with others.
Personal growth, transformation and development in terms of current and future management roles were all outcomes of the reflective process. Skills such as probing, analysing and synthesis - all essential to managers - are encouraged through a reflective mindset.
The findings of this study indicated that a deeper understanding and improved clarity of management and organisational practices ensued as an outcome of the reflective process.

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