Toward better understanding developmental reflection differences for use in management development research and practice

Title: Toward better understanding developmental reflection differences for use in management development research and practice
Authors: Maurer, Todd
Dimotakis, Nikolaos
Hardt, Greg
Corner, A.J.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Purpose: We introduce a new approach to developmental reflection in which the focus is on differences in how people reflect. When reflecting on challenging experiences, people achieve better development when they tend to look for causes of what happened within changeable personal characteristics and they subsequently focus on improvement of those personal characteristics. Design/Methodology/Approach: Supervisors and subordinates with leadership responsibilities in diverse jobs in varied industries provided survey data (444 individuals in a psychometric testing sample, and 419 paired subordinate/supervisor dyads in a model-testing sample). Findings: The reflection difference construct had the expected factor structure, reliability, and was distinguishable from eight conceptually related variables in the literature. Reflection differences were predicted by theoretically-relevant job, person, and situational variables and were associated with development and performance outcomes. Research limitations/implications: Practical implications: The reflection construct might be used for prediction to identify which individuals are likely to get the most from challenging experiences and improve. Further, by identifying predictors of reflection, ideas for enhancing reflection are provided. Also, by uncovering specific underlying dimensionality of reflection, this offers specific targets for interventions beyond generally encouraging people to reflect. Social implications: Originality/value: This study establishes support for: a) the new theoretical framing of reflection differences, b) a new preliminary model of antecedents and outcomes, and c) an initial scale for future research and practice that can be more explicit about understanding and addressing underlying differences in how people reflect. Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 license. To use this version commercially contact
DOI: 10.1108/JMD-11-2020-0349
CollectionTelfer - Publications
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