The Learning Mindset: Learning Through and From Paradox

Tomkins, Leah (2021). The Learning Mindset: Learning Through and From Paradox. CPRL, Milton Keynes, UK.

Abstract

In this report, we explore the learning mindset in policing as an ability not just to tolerate, but to productively learn through and from paradox. This allows us to pull several strands of organizational learning together in ways that acknowledge and do something constructive with both tameness and wickedness. It also allows us to give voice to the officers, leaders and staff who have shared the challenges (and joys) of policing with us over the past four years - challenges which seem to involve living with a combination of the necessary and the impossible. We use a definition of paradox as a combination of elements that are not just contradictory, but also have some kind of interdependency or inseparability (Smith and Lewis, 2011), i.e., they are either/and not either/or relationships (Jing and Van de Ven, 2014).

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