Evaluating Chris Argyris's ideas: an Islamic perspective

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate Chris Argyris's ideas from an Islamic perspective. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The main approach is a literature review combined with an analysis based on Islamic principles. At the end, there is a short case study that demonstrates the possible application for practitioners. Findings ‐ Chris Argyris's work touches on a fundamental point: the lack of congruence between espoused values and theories-in-use. Such incongruence is amplified by the existence of organizational defense routines. From an Islamic perspective, such an incongruence is very problematic. The paper discusses two mechanisms in the Islamic tradition ‐ sincerity to others and mutual consultation ‐ to overcome this problem. The case study also suggests that more modern techniques can be useful as well. The implications for management education are discussed. Research limitations/implications ‐ It is proposed that the points raised by Chris Argyris should be taken very seriously by all researchers. Generally, it is proposed that management education should concern itself more with the congruence between values and behaviour. Practical implications ‐ The case study demonstrates that there are techniques that can be used to overcome organizational defence routines. Originality/value ‐ This is the first time Argyris's ideas have been examined from an Islamic perspective.

Keywords: Archetypes; Argyris; Behaviour; Business studies; Islam; Islamic perspective; Values

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02621711211281834

Publication date: October 19, 2012

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