What is it about?

We have observed analytical thinkers’ reluctance to engage in sensory-based learning, and we attempted to understand why. Our paper prompts researchers, learners, educators, and managers to think more systematically about ways to openly bring sensing into management learning practice on par with intellectual processing. We identify the following common barriers to sensory-based learning: corporate social norms against sensory-based evidence, the discomfort of learning outside of one’s comfort zone, inadequate vocabulary for sensory experiences, lack of sensory awareness, preference for sequential reasoning, mistrust in sensory-based evidence, dismissive attitude, and denying (or not admitting to) the use of sensing.

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Why is it important?

In order to operate effectively amid the uncertainty of complex modern-day economic landscapes, global crises, and changes coming from unforeseen directions, managers often have to learn much faster, figuring things out “as they go” rather than “before they go”. As a result, moving through today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment requires not only intellectual engagement but also sensory. Engaging with the senses is not always easy for analytical thinkers; our article helps facilitate this engagement.


I hope this article encourages analytical thinkers to engage with the sensory aspects of knowing with greater ease, as such engagement is unavoidable anyway.

Dr Viktor Dörfler
University of Strathclyde

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sensing: The elephant in the room of management learning, Management Learning, February 2022, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/13505076221077226.
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