Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2414478
 


 



Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance


Giada Di Stefano


HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Francesca Gino


Harvard University - Harvard Business School

Gary P. Pisano


Harvard Business School

Bradley R. Staats


University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

March 25, 2014

Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-093
Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-093

Abstract:     
Research on learning has primarily focused on the role of doing (experience) in fostering progress over time. In this paper, we propose that one of the critical components of learning is reflection, or the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract, and articulate the key lessons taught by experience. Drawing on dual-process theory, we focus on the reflective dimension of the learning process and propose that learning can be augmented by deliberately focusing on thinking about what one has been doing. We test the resulting dual-process learning model experimentally, using a mixed-method design that combines two laboratory experiments with a field experiment conducted in a large business process outsourcing company in India. We find a performance differential when comparing learning-by-doing alone to learning-by-doing coupled with reflection. Further, we hypothesize and find that the effect of reflection on learning is mediated by greater perceived self-efficacy. Together, our results shed light on the role of reflection as a powerful mechanism behind learning.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: learning by thinking, reflection, knowledge creation, learning, self-efficacy

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Date posted: March 26, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Di Stefano, Giada and Gino, Francesca and Pisano, Gary P. and Staats, Bradley R., Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance (March 25, 2014). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-093; Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-093. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2414478 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2414478

Contact Information

Giada Di Stefano
HEC Paris (Groupe HEC) - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France
+33139679615 (Phone)
+33139677084 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.hec.edu/Faculty-and-Research/Faculty/DI-STEFANO

Francesca Gino (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
Gary Pisano
Harvard Business School ( email )
Technology & Operations Management Unit
Morgan Hall
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6562 (Phone)
617-496-5265 (Fax)
Bradley R. Staats
University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )
McColl Building, CB#3490
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

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