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Single-loop learning is part of a broader concept of organizational learning theory developed by Chris Argyris and Donald Schon in the 1970s, and later expanded by several other organizational thinkers, to explain the types of learning that take place in organizations. In order to fully understand the concept of single-loop learning, it is important to learn the necessary terms for defining the context of organizational theory and contrasting single-loop learning with other types of learning, such as double-loop and triple-loop learning. Read More »
Single loop learning is a type of organizational learning which uses knowledge and understanding to improve actions or behavior in a company. Single loop learning occurs when errors are detected and corrected but firms continue to have the same goals and policies. Read More »
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To understand single-loop learning, one must understand learning itself. In our working world, people take on new jobs all the time. They have to learn a new routine, learn how to avoid mistakes, and learn to do the best possible job in the least possible amount of time. Management has its procedures for teaching processes; sometimes they pay off and sometimes they don't. Sometimes the process defeats itself because of all the steps that have to be taken to get the desired end.Years ago I worked in an office. There were certain procedures to follow to do everything required for that position. So I made a notebook with all the procedures and the steps needed to complete each one. When I stopped that job, my replacement looked at my book, and in a short amount of time she was able to do everything I had done by simply following the steps. That was single-loop learning before the word was ever coined by Chris Argyris and Donald Schon.
The theory of single-loop learning seems to boil down to doing the simplest thing possible in the shortest amount of time to prevent errors and reach the desired outcome.