Making Experience Count: The Role of Reflection in Individual Learning
Giada Di Stefano
Harvard University - Harvard Business School
Gary P. Pisano
Harvard Business School
Bradley R. Staats
University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
June 14, 2016
Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-093
Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-093
In this paper, we build on research on the microfoundations of strategy and learning processes to study the individual underpinnings of organizational learning. We argue that once an individual has accumulated a certain amount of experience with a task, the benefit of accumulating additional experience is inferior to the benefit of deliberately articulating and codifying the experience accumulated in the past. We explain the superior performance outcomes associated with such deliberate learning efforts using both a cognitive (improved task understanding) and an emotional (increased self-efficacy) mechanism. We study the proposed framework by means of a mixed-method experimental design that combines the reach and relevance of a field experiment with the precision of two laboratory experiments. Our results support the proposed theoretical framework and bear important implications from both a theoretical and practical viewpoint.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: learning, codification, knowledge, self-efficacy, causal ambiguity, field experiment
Date posted: March 26, 2014 ; Last revised: June 14, 2016
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