Reflection in action with care workers in emotion work
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAmble, N. (2012). Reflection in action with care workers in emotion work. Action research, 10(3), 260-275. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1476750312443572
At first glance, ‘reflection in action’ seems like a fairly unambiguous concept. Many willassociate the term with Scho¨n (1983) as a central a point in his work was to emphasizethe ability to reflect as a prerequisite for organizational learning (Senge, 1990). Thepurpose of this article is to establish self-reflection in emotion work (Hochschild, 1983)as a building block towards reflection in action and sustainable organizational learning(Herbst, 1974; Kira, 2006). It also aims to show how knowledge of self-reflectionthrough a joint-learning process (Svensson, 2002) in the context of service work(Amble et al., 2003) has been transformed into the sector of elderly care. Far removedfrom knowledge work in which thinking and fixing thoughts is part of a contemplativetradition (Shotter, 2006), women as care workers in interdisciplinary reflection groupsappear to profit from a written log that can be seen as an aid to self-reflection, confidenceand robustness, as well as contributing to reflection in action in work withpeople. The empirical basis for this article is several interactive research projects primarilyconducted by Norwegian researchers from WRI, both in private and publicservice work, during the period from 2000 to 2011 (Amble, 2010; Gjerberg &Amble, 2011a).