chapter  6
27 Pages


Strategic thinking has become the dominant mode of professional action, just as strategic decisions have become central to planning and management in most public and private organizations. This chapter focuses on individuals’ skill development and the emergence and development of strategic thinking within communities of practice. In constructing pedagogies for professional development, professors should encourage reflection as integral to action. Organizations using strategic methods aim to coordinate action and move toward a new vision. While both forms of action may be central to improvement in service by professional organizations, there is an inherent paradox: central control can undermine independent action, while shared goals can provide space for reflection and the exercise of discretion among professionals. This paradox complicates professional education as much as it does organizational adaptation.