ROMBOUT VAN DEN NIEUWENHOF EN SVEN DE WEERDT (UNPUBLISHED ENGLISH VERSION)
In our opinion, and that of many others, the instrumentalistic view has pervaded our society (Baart, 2004; Bouwen, 2002; Verstraeten, 2001, 2003). In our practices as coach, trainers and organizational consultants too, we observe the dominance of instrumental thinking and reasoning nearly everywhere. Some managers and staff find it almost impossible and even undesirable, to think outside of this paradigm. The reasoning in simple ’cause-effect’ relationships, results to be achieved, the specification of step-by-step approaches on the way to a goal, working with models that reduce complex and puzzling realities to seemingly simple diagrams, are seen by many as undisputed examples of sound reasoning in designing change. Whether it involves organizational change, the implementation of HR-policy, management development, education, training or in coaching, in all of these fields we again and again see the application of the instrumental approach. In this article, we will start with a number of general illustrations, and after that we will examine this trend in designing and implementing learning processes such as coaching, training and education of employees, in greater detail.