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Flawed Advice and the Management TrapHow Managers Can Know When They're Getting Good Advice and When They're Not$
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Chris Argyris

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195132861

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195132861.001.0001

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Concluding Observations

Concluding Observations

(p.93) 5 Concluding Observations
Flawed Advice and the Management Trap

Chris Argyris

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes how readers can become more critical of the advice they read. The advice examined in the previous chapters contains four characteristics that limit both its validity and its actionability. When individuals programmed with Model I theories-in-use adhere to Model I social values and comply with the requirements of organizational defensive routines, they are largely unaware of these limits. So, they actually approve the advice, value it, and feel good about it. By definition, they do not see how Model I advice, in operation, produces skilled unawareness, let alone the skilled incompetence that accompanies it. These are the four main reasons why: the advice represents espoused theories of effectiveness; it contains evaluations and attributions that are neither tested nor testable; it is based on self-referential logic that produces limited knowledge about what is going on; and the advice does not specify causal processes.

Keywords:   Model I advice, causal processes, skilled incompetence, self-referential logic

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