single loop learning

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Single loop learning is so called because the causal loop diagram of this learning process has one loop. The single loop learning process consists of four key elements in a balancing loop for the purpose of learning.

  1. decisions based on element no. 4
  2. actions to carry out the decisions
  3. feedback on results of the actions
  4. the difference between where you are and where you want to be influenced by your goal or purpose for learning

These elements are for a balancing loop that takes action to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be based on your purpose for learning. In the case of single loop learning, the decision element does not change, thus the world-view or mental models of the decision maker remain unchanged. This process tends towards adaptation and stability.

(Heracleous, 2003, 42) ""Single-loop learning occurs when there is a match between the organization's design for action and the actual outcome, ow when such mismatches are corrected by changing actions, but without critical examination of the governing variables for action.""