UGB361: Developing the Reflexive Practitioner

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UGB361: Developing the Reflexive Practitioner


Reflexive practice embraces understanding reality as basis to critically evaluate the effect of our thoughts, values, beliefs and actions on other people. Reflexive practice is transformational as it is done in the moment, thereby taking our level of understanding of issues high. Thus, reflexive practitioners have a high level of self-awareness. They are able to critically look at things the way they are and consider their role in the situation. A reflexive practitioner will self-asses and react to circumstances as they happen (Cunliffe, 2004)Before considering the outside effect on circumstances, reflexive practitioners will look inwardly for the causes of the current outcome. This research presents an opportunity to develop as reflexive professional and practitioner.

Research involves collecting data, analysing the date and interpretation in order to answer research questions. In management, conducting research is essential particularly in this ever changing global environment. The main challenges facing many managers in today’s organizations is the dynamic global environment. Globalization has resulted in development of diverse ways to conduct business which could not have existed in the past. As a result, managers are finding themselves in unexpected situations brought about by the changes in technology. Managers need to be updated on the changes in their work environments and at the same time be in charge of the business. This involves handling any arising occurrences within the internal business environment.

Research Aim and Context

Professionals should be able to learn via processes or personal engagement of reflection on experiences acquired in the work environment or from any other sources. Out of work environment involves reflection on an individual’s social relations, culture or the background of the person. Reflective practice promotes critical thinking on safe avenues for exploration of experiences that may otherwise prove to be difficult to understand (Seibert and Daudelin, 1999). This research aims at understanding and making sense of a trigger or a critical incident based on an experience. This study uses COVID 19 pandemic as a trigger to identify with the challenging, responsible and entrepreneurial Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)behaviours to show its effect on my personal and professional conduct. The aim of this research is to understand the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on my professional conduct. The research will be done by qualitative research such as reflective bricolage and auto-ethnography.

The CMI has set standards as general regulations for professional conduct, ethics and disciplinary procedures for all members. This research will take into account three behaviours or values of responsibility, challenging and being entrepreneurial at all times in accordance with the code of professional conduct.

Literature Review

The most frequent question in reflexive practice is how to become one. do we learn, change or work towards transforming ourselves to be reflexive practitioners. According to Johns (2009), clinicians encounter a deep level of humanity in their work, bringing them face to face with human elements and dilemmas. The challenges of suffering, living, evolving and dying leaves us with no other choice but to work and self-rebirth. In practicing the profession, people honour their inner humanness by being present, listening to narratives and stories which help us reflect and gain insight, dynamics and deeper meanings of the circumstances that human beings face. In this text, the author uses reflective stories to offers insight models that lead to ethical grid of the reflective journey. The Johns Reflective Practice Model offers a process for self-reflection and guidance in becoming a professional. According to John, it is through reflective practice that we are offered a model that enables nurses to face and live through the profession. The model shows that its only through reconsidering our past encounters and relationship with ourselves and others that nurses mature into a caring, healing and health professionals.

Keeping a reflective journal to record observations and reflections was found to be bring uncertainty for reflective practitioners. The study involved teacher-researcher systematically keeping reflective journals over a period of thirty months (Attard, 2008). This research took the form of self-study. The study aimed at exploring the effects of uncertainty for reflective practitioner from an insider perspective. The author evaluated how uncertainty is perceived by a reflective practitioner. The findings of the study were that uncertainty is ever-present, reflection is important in dealing with complexity and uncertainty of teaching practice and that uncertainty promotes reflective practice. According to Attard, uncertainty can be a sign of growth and development for the reflective practitioner.

Writing as a reflexive practitioner can help in dynamic learning from practice as it combines reflective practice and creative writing (Bolton, 2011). Roles have become more complex, putting managers under increased pressure to perform. In business, demands for professionalism has increased making it necessary to have constant accountability. This puts a lot of stress on professionals. The concept of reflexive writing can improve understanding, knowledge, skills and delivery of the intended results. It also leads to professional development, reduce stress and build team work. this enables problems to be discussed and dealt with in an effective manner. Bolton (2011), offers the background for reflective practice that aids professional development. It also offers a description of reflexive writing using an example of health care workers.

Research Design, Methodology and Method

This research will make use of art-based methodologies of research, digital reflection and professional identity to form a reflexive digital bricolage. The concept of reflexive digital bricolage impacts professional development to those that are working towards a reflexive practice. The study creates digital reflections using to make sense of identities by developing reflexive practices by way of self-reflection method. The use of creative writing has been used for establishment of reflective practice for a long time. It is also a form of ethnography or collaborative auto-ethnography. Imagination is an essential requirement for reflexivity(Skukauskaite, Yilmazli Trout and Robinson, 2021).

The idea of artistic imagination can be applied in personal development. The idea is assembled from the work of others which allows for multi-voicedness. In recent years, there has been constant debate as to the use of art based methodology over art based personal cultural writing. The art based methodology speaks through metaphors and images that allow translation into thoughts and words (Bates and Sadleir, 2016).

Art based research has its limitations due to few potential output. Researchers who use this method must be free from any scientific explanations for understanding and adopt a personal point-of-view approach to understand situations. However, generalization of findings is still limited as is the case with most qualitative data collections methods (Johnson and Duberley, 2003).

Art-based research aims at enhancing the effects of the perceived views from an ongoing discussion regarding a policy or practice rather than targeting predictability in the outcome of incidents. This is achieved by being attentive to minor issues that are taken for granted.

In this research, I have made use of auto-ethnography and a reflective approach. The bricolage approach allows me to evaluate the most essential parts of me to come up with a cycle of reflection. Bricolaging enables the research to be more flexible due to the mix in methodological approaches. In this study bricolaging is essential in using multiple ways to understand the effects of the pandemic on my professional self.

Auto-ethnography is a method of research based on an individual’s experiences. It describes and criticises ones believes, practices and experiences. By recounting our experiences, were can re-evaluate our alternative selves in reacting to the same experiences. Using creative expression approach, one is able to engage and enhance reflection by imagination or artful expressions.

In forming the structure of this reflection, the questions of who I was then, now and who I want to be in future are essential. To this end, I have made use of Gibbs cycle for reflection. The cycle enables me to make sense of the Covid-19 impact at each cycle.

Gibbs Model

This research uses the Gibbs reflective model. Having an experience is not sufficient to learn. However, reflecting on this experience makes its unforgettable and its learning potential is not lost. Feelings and thoughts emerging from this experience that concepts can be generated that enables one to tackle other new situations effectively. The Gibbs model is one of the most famous cyclical models of reflection. It provides six stages of exploring an experience.

Due to its cyclic nature, it allows one to learn and plan well to repeated experiences. The six stages of the model are description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan.

CIM Behaviour Gibbs Cycle stages Auto-ethnographic
Challenging Description and feelings( 1st and 2nd stage) Emotional recall
Responsible Evaluation (3rd stage) sociological systematic introspection
Entrepreneurial Analysis and conclusion (4th and 6th stage) sociological systematic introspection stage and the therapeutic inquiry




No one had anticipated the impact covid-19 will have on the lives of people. Within a span of few months, the virus has spread to almost every corner of the world. As the crisis continues to spread, so does the effects of the measures taken to curb its spread. Most countries have taken the strategy of lockdowns and social distancing to control the virus. Every single day, the number of deaths and new infections continue to rise. Tragic stories of suffering and loss is the order of the day. For those not already affected, their main worry is their own safety and that of their loved ones. The worst part of it all is that it is unpredictable and uncontrollable.


When I first heard of the virus, I was not immediately worried. However, after seeing the number of people dying and contracting the virus, I was dead scared. The reports that there was no cure put me under a lot of stress. I found it difficult to even talk about its effect. I was worried of how it seemed easy to contract the virus and transmit it to others. The fear and uncertainty from covid-19 is horrifying. To me, it seemed just like a part of a horror movie. I thought it was not possible to have such a thing that can affect the whole world. I had to be constantly on guard as I was feeling unsafe. At times, you even doubt yourself whether you have done the right thing to protect yourself or you have been exposed to the virus. The most comforting thing is that we were all in it together, nobody was spared.


Being not able to help other people was the most devastating effect of the pandemic. However, knowing that everyone was somehow fighting against it was comforting. Due to lockdown and social distancing, it was impossible to sit down with friends and mentors to get solutions to the situation. However, I was still able to contribute and help as much as I can.

Despite the availability of internet and social media networks for communication, there existed limitations to discussions. Not being able to see and interact with my colleagues brought a feeling of disconnectedness and isolation from them. At times, you have questions and concerns but there is nowhere to express yourself. Use of WhatsApp and other social network groups to stay connected with colleagues lacked structure. Trying to work from home changed our personal lives. The information provided in these lines of communication was always limited.

Marketing requires a lot of fieldwork which was now impossible with lockdowns and fear of getting the virus. However, the pandemic changed on how people can reach the market using technology since people were getting used to this means of communication.


The engagement between marketers and consumers is always important. It is easy to identify interested customers through active engagement. Working in groups is also important in marketing. When using the online methods, the engagement between marketers and customers was significantly hindered. Face-to-face interactions allow relationships to develop which is beneficial to achieve marketing targets. The pandemic brought a challenge of how to build relationship due to lack of contact. With emotional engagement with customers, marketers will develop emotive reactions of enjoyment, interest and a sense of belonging. Developing these relationships proved difficult as people were trying to cope with life in lockdown with working.


This experience posed many challenges which resulted in disrupted working opportunities. However, the experience of online communication and marketing provided flexibility of working in convenient way and time. A hybrid approach for future marketing opportunities could be beneficial with increased customer and marketer’s engagement.

Action Plan

If the situation was to arise again, I would be more confident in engaging with colleagues and customers online. I would feel more responsible, creative and ready for the challenge of working under the stringent conditions. As a marketer I have become aware of the need to create meaningful online activities to promote interaction with customers.


Through this critical incident analysis, it is easier to understand the diverse perspectives, expectation and marketing needs during emergencies.  The complexity of the issues hinders professional development from the incident. In marketing, it is better and easier to reach and interact with customers face-to-face when they are not under a lockdown. The reduction in interaction results in no response from the market and thus poor performance.


Critical incident analysis is a supportive tool for reflective practices. It is clear that it can be useful in navigating challenges managers face during hard times. Having critically reflected on the incident has changed my professional practice. I have been able to realize the experience, dilemma, crisis and conflict that marketers and customers may face during such a time. The critical analysis has shed more light on a variety of challenges that can change the approach to timely reaction to emergencies from a marketer’s view. Though there is significant impact from this reflection on my managerial career, customer’s response to emergency incidents has not be evaluated. Thus, the challenges addressed by critically analysing the covid-19 have been a learning experience in my career.


Critical Incident Analysis

Working in marketing field during the COVID 19 pandemic can be stressing. As such, this was a learning moment for all of us. As a marketer, I strongly support research-based reflection and believe that its starts with critically reflection on one’s management practices. In this section, we will use the critical incident analysis paradigm to evaluate and reflect on covid-19 as a critical incident. The critical incident analysis is a theory developed by Tripp who was developing approaches to reflection for teachers (Tripp, 1993). The reflection of the critical incident allows people to develop their professional practices when faced with similar circumstances. Though the critical analysis is an efficient tool for promoting learning practices for managers, many challenges will require broader interventions to educate managers.

Majority of people consider critical incident analysis as self-constructive criticism of ones’ actions so that improvements can be made (Hobbs, 2007).  However, critical incident analysis is a deeper exploration of one’s actions to identify the real issue that provokes certain feelings as a result of a change in circumstances. This leads the individual to positively reflect and consider future possible course of action. In management, the incident does not require to be dramatic.  Incidents like this one will become more common in management as the global business environment changes. Thus, it is not necessary to focus on everything that happens but apply a selective focus on the incident. In this case, a manager’s personal thoughts and actions will be analysed using Tripp’s critical incident analysis theory. The Tripp model reflects the incident several times to gain understanding and wider meaning to promote professional development for managers.

Critical Incident

Towards the end of the year 2019, the world was faced with a pandemic of a virus. The virus was rapidly spreading across all over the world affecting business operations. To contain its spread, many governments enforced lockdown measures which restricted movement. As a result, many businesses were forced to temporarily close operations or allowed its employees to work from home. For marketers, this proved to be a turning point. The streets were empty and workplaces were closed. This was a dark moment for all of us. The social distancing rules meant that you have to stay away from your customers. How are you supposed to create a relationship without contact?

Immediately following the start of work from home programs, I was annoyed at how I will be able to achieve my targets. I felt powerless when faced with the need to solve conflicts and challenges through the internet of mobile phones. The customers seemed uninterested and my marketing team was sometimes not available to communicate. The results were not encouraging at all.

I started asking a few on my friends on how I can improve my marketing skill and use online methods to my advantage. Remember, there was no going to work and no meeting. Everyone is in his own home. How do I get the information I need from them? How do I improve my marketing management skills during lockdown? What are the opportunities I can exploit? All these questions needed answers and I had no idea how to proceed forward. My entire career seemed to be dying until the pandemic is over or at least the restrictions be lifted.

Alternatives, Possibilities and Choice

‘’We are in this together’’. That is the first statement that caught my attention. This sentiment was being used to show solidarity and invoke a sense of connectedness and mutual care. Why not use as marketing tool? By relating to the customers, I felt relieved as I started enjoying my new marketing tool. By becoming closer to the customers, I was showing a sense of care and responsibility. Though the fight was against the virus, there was a way it also connected us to fight until normalcy has returned. We had to get used to the new norm together.


There was need to re-evaluate the marketing strategies for the future. “Customers themselves won’t know until COVID-19 infections, fears and restrictions occur in their workplaces, locales and lives.” It is my duty as a marketer to be ready when there are changes in the market. I have to always be ready. I should not wait for problems or changes to develop in the market so that I can act. I need to have plans to define scenarios, monitor customers and be ahead inmarketing changes.

The usual company meet and greet function were no longer there to identify and engage with our customers (Moorman, Kirby, McCarthy and Shkil, 2020). In this era of homebound customers, social distancing and a dynamic business environment, marketing has been thrown into a crisis. Online and digital platforms offer the best route for e-commerce. Social media is also an important tool. Had I been aware of these strategies, my reaction to the effects of the pandemic would have been different. The time wasted fearing for the worst would have been used to evaluate the current and future marketing techniques.

Investigating on the missed opportunities will also be of huge benefit for any marketer. With the uncertainty of covid-19, marketers face a daunting task to evaluate their strategies so that they can be able to professionally conduct themselves during such circumstances.














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