Action learning, fragmentation, and the interaction of single-, double-, and triple-loop change: A case of gay and lesbian workplace advocacy

Erica Gabrielle Foldy, W. E Douglas Creed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The action-learning framework is traditionally used to summarize complex change efforts as one of three methods: single-, double-, or triple-loop. Although this summary is quite useful for some kinds of organizational analysis, it can oversimplify and thus ignore the fragmented, contradictory nature of change. This summary also implies that actionlearning methods are autonomous or even mutually exclusive: The characterization of a change effort as double-loop suggests that single- and triple-loop change did not happen. We propose an elaborated action-learning framework that decomposes action-learning method into three components: argument, practice, and outcome. This approach enables action-learning theory to illuminate the multiple facets of change and to analyze the interaction of the three methods in significant change processes. We apply this new framework to a case of gay and lesbian workplace advocacy and illustrate how different action-learning methods are woven together to create change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-227
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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