Exploring unknowingness in the DBA programme: possibilities for developing an ‘attitude of wisdom’

Hay, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2629-230X, 2022. Exploring unknowingness in the DBA programme: possibilities for developing an ‘attitude of wisdom’. Management Learning, 53 (2), pp. 269-290. ISSN 1350-5076

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Unknowingness is an integral aspect of organisational life. Yet simultaneously this is often marginalised and silenced leaving organisations and their managers unintentionally vulnerable. The cultivation of what Weick (2001a) terms an ‘attitude of wisdom’ whose essence lies in knowing that one does not know, provides one way forward. However, challenges remain as to how this might be achieved. I suggest that management education provides one promising but so far overlooked space where managers can be helped to recognise and explore their unknowingness. In this paper, I focus on the experiences of DBA students who were embarking on journeys to become ‘researching professionals’. Drawing on an analysis of 30 students’ reflective journals, I offer two contributions. First, I identify the ways in which learning to research in this context helps students to recognise and engage with their unknowingness: through understanding the limits of what, how and when they know. I therefore outline one proposal for developing Weick’s (2001a) ‘attitude of wisdom’ and in so doing, also advance a more nuanced understanding of this concept. Second, I illustrate how this learning informs managers’ everyday work by leveraging space for inquiry with others to present possibilities for more considered and inclusive action.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Management Learning
Creators: Hay, A.
Publisher: Sage
Date: April 2022
Volume: 53
Number: 2
ISSN: 1350-5076
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 22 Mar 2021 14:54
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2022 08:58
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42561

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