Reynolds M. 2009. Wild frontiers reflections on experiential learning. Management Learning. 40


Provides reflections on experiential learning in a management education context

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Key Findings: 

This article notes a degree of resistance to experiential learning by both academics and managers in the area of management education. Given this tendency for resistance it is proposed that experiential learning is much more than a learning method, but potentially has strong benefits socially and politically. The author suggests that the theory still requires some critical theoretical development before becoming a more accepted methodology, at least in this disciplinary context. Shifts in attitudes toward ‘flatter’ management structures and greater flexibility within management and leadership, are seen to be a positive development for greater acceptance of experiential learning. This learning is also likely to create a more expanded environment of negotiated experience, addressing issues of authority, influence and control, which may further enhance shifts in management and leadership.


The opportunity for experiential learning models to create spaces for negotiated experience is an important insight for adaptive learning. A basic function of adaptive learning frameworks is to negotiate social and political realities through a collective process of experimentation, reflection and action. This article suggests that experiential learning, where it is appropriately implemented, can act as a catalyst to further open and expand social and political environments, particularly where these processes are already beginning to emerge.