Title: Complex problem solving through action learning: implications for human resource development

Authors: Roland K. Yeo; Michael J. Marquardt

Addresses: Professional Development Department, Saudi Aramco P.O. Box 12979, Dhahran 31311, Saudi Arabia; International Graduate School of Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. ' Graduate School of Education and Human Development, The George Washington University, 2134 G Street, N.W., Washington DC 20052, USA

Abstract: This paper argues that complex problems can be used as opportunities for action learning, and examines the interrelations between problem solving and action learning. It suggests that managerial thinking and reflective action taking can be enhanced through complex problem solving. The paper contributes to theory and practice as it extends the literature on action learning by understanding its efficacy in the context of complex problems. Much of the literature is concerned with learning and action taking without examining the complexity of problems as affecting the metacognition as associated with learning. The paper brings a new practical dimension to action learning by expanding its scope on the problem, group, and action taxonomies to enhance human resource development (HRD).

Keywords: problem solving; metacognition; complex problems; interrelations; managerial thinking; reflective action taking; complexity; problem taxonomies; group taxonomies; action taxonomies; human resource development; HRD; human resource management; HRM; action learning; organisational practice.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2012.049782

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2012 Vol.12 No.4, pp.258 - 273

Published online: 15 Oct 2012 *

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