Postprint of :Nelson, SA & Yeo, RK 2012, 'Action learning for middle manager development: the case of an Australian state-based large organisation', International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 292-307.
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This paper describes an action learning approach designed to assist a group of middle managers in an Australian public sector environment by enhancing their performance in the area of managing staff. The programme is described as an embedded action learning approach, where, in addition to a specific action learning project, the programme provided action learning skills development, mentoring support and ongoing evaluation of participants learning. The action learning process serves as a model for a management development programme, based around the action learning model of 'plan, act, reflect and re-act'. Learning primarily occurred through engagement in the form of action-by-doing as well as self and collaborative reflection. The learnings captured were largely spontaneous in nature occurring through role play and feedback loops. Learnings about the organisational context and requirements are discussed, with particular reference to the management development, HRM and the HRD relationship to an action learning methodology.