1st Edition

The Handbook of Action Learning The Go-To Source for Individual, Organizational and Social Development

By John Edmonstone Copyright 2024
    158 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    158 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    158 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    Action learning is one of the most prominent individual and organisational development approaches used in all parts of the world, including in over 70 member states of the United Nations. From its early beginnings in the 1970s, it has been adopted in private, public and third-sector organisations and has produced several variations. Used for leadership and management development, to support teamwork and problem-solving, and to encourage creative thinking, it can help to develop and enhance the learning capacity for individuals and organisations.

    Applied as a discrete activity focused on a priority need or on new or changed roles; as a linkage between more formal programs and the workplace or blended with other elements in a program, this book distils current and previous practice and theory to provide an up-to-date guide to action learning. The book will provide readers with an understanding of action learning, including the major elements, the choice of issues, the key skills, the role of the facilitator and applications organisation-wide. It will address such important aspects as how action learning can adapt to different national and regional cultures and how it can be evaluated. It will also offer a range of resources for further and deeper understanding.

    Who Should Read this Book?

    1. What is Action Learning?
    2. Underlying Principles
    3. Distinctions and Differences
    4. Preparing for Action Learning
    5. The Action Learning Set
    6. Choosing the Issue
    7. The Key Skills
    8. The Energy Investment Model
    9. Dealing with Anxiety
    10. Supporting, Recording, Ending
    11. The Facilitator Role
    12. Action Learning Organisation-Wide
    13. Action Learning and Culture
    14. Evaluating Action Learning
    15. Action Learning Resources


    John Edmonstone is a leadership, management and organization development consultant with extensive experience within the public services both within the UK and internationally in the human resource and organization development fields. He has worked regularly with action learning in the UK, Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Indonesia. He is the author of: The Action Learner’s Toolkit (2003), Action Learning in Healthcare: A Practical Handbook (2011) and Action Learning in Health, Social and Community Care: Principles, Practices, Resources (2018) together with many journal articles on action learning in the international journal Action Learning: Research and Practice. John Edmonstone is on the Editorial Board of the journal Action Learning: Research and Practice where he guest-edited a Special Issue on Action Learning in Healthcare (2022). He has attended and presented all of the bi-annual international conferences sponsored by that journal from 2008 to 2023. He is Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, having previously held similar appointments at Keele, Sheffield Hallam and Queen Margaret Universities. He has facilitated action learning sets in healthcare, local government and higher education.