Secular discernment: a process of individual unlearning and collective relearning

Nicholas Burton*, Mai Vu, Melissa Hawkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Through a process of action research with a non-religious organization, this article provides a foundation for the characteristics of a secular discernment process. Importantly, we argue that discernment can be conceptualized as a process of entwined individual unlearning and collective relearning. Our action research study contributes to both the discernment and the unlearning literatures by unpacking how discernment encourages a process of individual unlearning – which our study suggests entails a process of ‘setting aside’ and reflexive-distancing from a priori individual knowledge – to be more open and receptive to new ways of emergent collective re-learning. The process of unlearning – and the behavioural norms and routines that are central to discernment – underscores the collective relearning process. The article concludes with future pathways for research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalManagement Learning
Early online date7 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jul 2022


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