Action Lab® research

We always ensure a close connection between our practice and academia. We are regularly involved in research activities, and it is a part of our DNA to be curiously exploring the paths between practice and academia.

Publications & papers

Publications and papers we have written

Geert Egger (2010): “Making Space for Reflection in Action Learning” I Dilworth og Boshyk (Red): Action Learning and Its Applications, UK Palgrave Macmillan

Dorte Sandager, Lotte Svalgaard (2009): “Taking Psychodynamic Thinking from the Ivory Tower to the Shop Floor” (Paper, ISPSO)

Lotte Svalgaard, Geert Egger, Annemette Arnkjær (2007): “Mens du står her, kører verden videre – Action Learning i Action Labs”, Erhvervspsykologi, Vol 5 (2), Dansk Psykologisk Forlag, København.

Lotte Svalgaard, Torben Heinskou (2011): “Mindfulness på arbejde”, i Psykodynamisk Organisationspsykologi Bind II, red. Torben Heinskou & Steen Visholm, Hans Reitzels Forlag, København

Lotte Svalgaard (2015): “Staying mindful in action: Socioanalytic Action Research”, SAGE Research Methods Cases, SAGE Publications, London, DOI:

Lotte Svalgaard (2015): “The Struggle of Staying With Toxic Emotions When All you Want to do is Leave: An exploration of the idea of mindfulness in fostering negative capability”, Socioanalysis’, Vol. 17, p 43-63, Group Relations Australia,
Victoria Australia

Lotte Svalgaard (2016): “Staying mindful in action: The challenge of ‘double awareness’ on task and process in an Action Lab”, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 13:1, 50-59, Taylor & Francis, London.

Lotte Svalgaard (2017): “From real life to real life: bringing ‘double awareness’ from Action Learning programmes into organisational reality”, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 14:1, 29-49, Taylor & Francis, London.

Lotte Svalgaard (2018): “The critical moment of Transition: Staying With and Acting On Newly gained Self- and Social Awareness”, Management Learning, 49:3

Lotte Svalgaard (2023): “The Elephant in the Room – Engaging with the Unsaid in Groups and Organizations”, New York, Routledge.

Conferences & network

Conferences and network we are part of

Global Forum for Action Learning

Davos (2014): ‘New Directions and Innovations’
Cambridge (2015): ‘Surviving the 21st Century: Global Leadership and Action Learning
Stockholm (2016): ‘Leading, Learning and Innovating in the Connected Society’

Action Learning dialog

Münich (2015):  Action Lab und Mindful Avoidance:  Warum sprechen Manager Spannungen oft nicht an, obwohl sie genau wissen, dass sie Ergebnis kosten?/ Why do managers often not talk about tension – even when they now that the cost is high?

ISPSO (International Society for Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations)

Copenhagen (2017): Dreams always take place: Spaces, places, rooms, and furniture, inside and around us. Studying Organisational Dynamics through a Psychoanalytic Lens
Granada (2016): Ethical Dilemmas in our Global Era: Challenging psychoanalytic understanding of organizations.
Rome (2015): THE AIR WE BREATHE – Toxic Emotions, Organizational Health, and Social Well-Being: Psychoanalytic Understanding and Interventions
Oxford (2013): The Future of Work and the Work of Our Future
San Diego (2012): Living with Risk, Taking Action: The Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations in Uncertain Times
Elsinore (2010): The Angel of History and the Ghost of the Future: Psychodynamics and Organizational Change
Toledo (2009): Differences at Work: Toward Containment and Integration
Stockholm (2007): Potential Space – A Source for Creativity and Terrifying Anxiety
Amsterdam (2006): The Dark Side of Competition – Psychoanalytic Insights

Action Learning Research and Practice Symposium

Liverpool (2018): ‘Only Connect – Reaching out to other Communities’

We lean on

Action learning theory

Based on research done in our Action Labs – and in other leadership development approaches – we have refined and renewed our methods to constantly fine-tune and maximize the benefits of our designs. However, we also lean on a wide range of research and publications within the academic field of action learning.

Publications & papers

Publications & papers on which we lean

Adams, Marilee (2015). Change your questions – Change your life. 12 Powerful tools for leadership, coaching, and life. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers inc.

Argyris, C., & Schön, D. A. (1974). Theory in Practice – Increasing Professional Effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Armstrong, D. (2004). Emotions in Organizations: Disturbance or Intelligence? In C. Huffington, D. Armstrong, W. Halton, L. Hoyle, & J. Pooley (Eds.), Working below the surface – The emotional life of contemporary organizations (pp. 11–27). London: Karnac.

Bolt, J. F., & Boshyk, Y. (2005). Using action learning for executive development. In J. F. Bolt (Ed.), The future of executive development (pp. 86–99). San Francisco: Executive Development Associates.

Boshyk, D. Y., & Dilworth, D. R. (2010). Action Learning. History and Evolution. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Boshyk, Y. (2010). Action Learning in the Business World: Past, Present, and Future. In R. L. Dilworth & Y. Boshyk (Eds.), Action Learning and its Applications (pp. 68–98). UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Boshyk, Y. (2011). Business-Driven Action Learning today. In M. Pedler (Ed.), Action Learning in Practice (pp. 141–151). Henley Business School, UK: gower.

Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2005). Resonant leadership. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

D’Souza, S., & Renner, D. (2014). Not Knowing – The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity. London: LID Publishing Ltd

Dilworth, R. L. (1998). Action Learning in a Nutshell. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 11(1), 28–43.

French, R. (2001). “Negative capability”: managing the confusing uncertainties of change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 14(5), 480–492.

Gabriel, Y. (1999). Organizations in Depth – The Psychoanalysis of Organizations. (Y. Gabriel, Ed.). London: SAGE.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub. Group

Hirschhorn, L. (1990). The Workplace Within: Psychodynamics of Organizational Life. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press.

Inglis, S. (1994). Making the Most of Action Learning. Aldershot: Gover Publishing Limited.

James, K., & Arroba, T. (2005). Reading and Carrying : a framework for learning about emotion and emotionality in organisational systems. Management Learning, 1–34.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion.

Kaplan, J. S. (2010). Urban Mindfulness – Cultivating peace, presence & purpose in the middle of it all. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.

Kets de Vries, M. F. (2006). The Leader on the Couch. John Wiley & Sons.

Krantz, J., & Gilmore, T. (1990). The Splitting of Leadership and Management as a Social Defense. Human Relations, 43(2), 183–204.

Laloux, F. (2014). Reinventing Organizations. Brussels, Belgium: Nelson Parker.

Long, S. (1999). Action research, participative action research and action learning in organizations. In Y. Gabriel (Ed.), Organizations In Depth (pp. 262–266). Sage Publications.

Lucey, A. (2015). Corporate cultures and inner conflict. In D. Armstrong & M. Rustin (Eds.), Social Defences Against Anxiety (pp. 213–221). London: Karnac Books.

Marquardt, M., & Waddill, D. (2004). The power of learning in action learning: a conceptual analysis of how the five schools of adult learning theories are incorporated within the practice of action learning. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 1(2).

Marsick, V. J., & O’Neil, J. (1999). The Many Faces of Action Learning. Management Learning, 30(2), 159–176.

Pedler, M. (1991). Action Learning in Practice – 2nd Edition. Brookfield: Gower.

Pedler, M., Burgoyne, J., & Brook, C. (2005). What has action learning learned to become?, Action Learning: Research and Practice 2(1) April, 49-68.

Petriglieri, G. (2014). Emotions Are Data, Too. Harvard Business Review, May 9.

Raelin, J. B. (2001). Public Reflection as the Basis of Learning. Management Learning, 32(1), 11–30.

Ralston, P. (2010). The Book of Not Knowing – Exploring the True nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Revans, R. W. (1982). What is Action Learning? Journal of Management Development, 1(3), 64–75.

Reynolds, M. (2011). Reflective practice: origins and interpretations. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 8(1), 5–13.

Rigg, C., & Trehan, K. (2004). Reflections on working with critical action learning. Action Learning: Research and Practice, (July 2015).

Schön, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner. How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.

Simpson, P. F., French, R., & Harvey, C. E. (2002). Leadership and negative capability. Human Relations, 55(10), 1209–1226.

Simpson, P., & French, R. (2006). Negative Capability and the Capacity to Think in the Present Moment: Some Implications for Leadership Practice. Leadership, 2(2), 245–255.

Trehan, K. (2007). Psychodynamic and critical perspectives on leadership development. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 9(1), 72–82.

Trehan, K., & Rigg, C. (2008). Critical reflection in the workplace – is it just too difficult? Journal of European Industrial Training, 32(5), 374–384.

Vince, R. (1996). Experiential management education as the practice of change. In R. French & C. Grey (Eds.), Rethinking Management Education. London: SAGE.

Vince, R. (1998). Behind and Beyond Kolb’s Learning Cycle. Journal of Management Education, 22(3), 304–319.

Vince, R. (2001). Power and emotion in organizational learning. Human Relations, 54(10), 1325–51.

Vince, R. (2002). Organizing reflection. Management Learning, 33(1), 63–78.

Vince, R., & Martin, L. (1993). Inside action learning: An exploration of the psychology and politics of the action learning model. Management Education & Development, 24(3), 205–215.

Visholm, S., & Kofoed, P. (2011). Følelser i Organisationer. In S. Visholm & T. Heinskou (Eds.), Psykodynamisk Organisationspsykologi bind II. Hans Reitzels Forlag.

Yeganeh, B., & Kolb, D. (2009). Mindfulness and experiential learning. OD Practitioner, 41(3), 13–18.

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Action Lab
Ejderstedgade 14, 4. tv
DK-1761 København V

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