Enhancing Learning and Thinking

By Robert F. Mulcahy; Robert H. Short et al. | Go to book overview

different feedback information such as the following: (1) the farm land area that will be inundated if the headers block the water 100, 75, and 50 percent. With blocking, headers get 50 percent of water. How can this information be used in managing the conflict situation? (2) The effect of salinization due to water logging. (3) The possibility of growing different crops by the farms at the end of the canal who get only 30 percent of the water. These crops may be exchanged for some of the headers' crops. Tacit knowledge feedbacks will include (4) the number of occasions in the past when promises by the government officers have not been kept and the fact that the irrigation officer has an untarnished record, (5) the presence or absence of a charismatic leader among the "headers" and end users, and (6) personality characteristics of the irrigation project director (e.g., authoritarian, indecisive, etc.).

The MBA student groups engage in problem solving as their examiner or instructor introduces one or more of these feedbacks at different times. At the end of a half-day exercise, the students are invited to articulate their learning experience.

This chapter began with a discussion of the current research in holistic and synthetic thinking in management. This was followed by a review of the use of intelligence measures for predicting managerial success as well as the role and psychological competencies of managers. The conclusion drawn from this review was that a good predictor of success would be an instrument that includes the assessment of cognitive processes, particularly planful behavior, information coding, and attention. These are considered to be the general competencies that in part determine managerial competence. A further determinant is a strong knowledge base, including both formal and tacit knowledge. The acquisition of such knowledge and its flexible application in managerial settings were distinguishable as separate components contributing to managerial excellence. It appears that the latter depends predominantly on the general competence of planning. Procedures for promoting planful behavior were delineated and an experiment for screening potential managers' planning processes was presented. We believe that such experiments will contribute toward developing the psychologically valid measures of the processes underlying managerial excellence.


REFERENCES

Agor W. ( 1984). Intuitive management. New York: Prentice-Hall.

Arlin P. K. ( 1977). "Piagetian operations in problem finding". Developmental Psychology, 13, 297-298.

Ashman A., & Das J. P. ( 1980). "Relation between planning and simultaneous-successive processing". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 51, 371-382.

Das J. P. ( 1973). "Cultural deprivation and cognitive competence". In N. R. Ellis (ed.), International review of research in mental retardation. Vol. 6. New York: Academic.

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