Jeffery David Whippo, a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a Doctorate in Business Administration says that according to Chris Argyris and Donald Schon, who originated the terms, "single-loop learning" is correcting an action to solve or avoid a mistake, while "double-loop learning" is also correcting the underlying causes behind the problem. Whippo believes that organizational learning is all about detecting and correcting error.
Jeffery David Whippo explains that single-loop learning happens when the process of identifying error enables the organization to carry on its present policies of achieving its objectives. An example of single loop learning would be when production managers of a medical device company are detecting and attempting to correct an error in order to manufacture their new trocar. However, when the production managers and marketing managers began to confront the questions surrounding whether or not their new trocar should be manufactured at all, that is double-loop learning, due to the fact that they are now questioning underlying organizational policies and objectives.
Jeff Whippo strongly believes that double-loop learning is more difficult than single-loop learning as it requires 3 key skills:
- Self-awareness for recognizing what is often unconscious or habitual
- Honesty or candour to admit mistakes and discuss with colleagues for discovering and validating causes
- Taking responsibility to act appropriately on what is learned
Whippo says that according to Argyris, "today, facing competitive pressures an earlier generation could hardly have imagined…leaders and subordinates alike…must all begin struggling with a new level of self-awareness, candor, & responsibility" (Argyris, 1994).
About Jeffery David Whippo
Jeffery David Whippo is a professional educator and developer of people, teams, and leaders. He is a well-educated professional who has attended California Coast University, Boston University, California State Polytechnic University, Community College of the Air Force, and Citrus College. He also worked as a Combat Intelligence Specialist for the USAF for almost 4 years. He contributes to a number of charitable causes including the Jimmy Fund, Junior Diabetes, Goodwill, and American Veterans.
Jeffery is an avid learner who loves to study ancient history and psychology. He is also a veteran member of the VFW.