Adaptive Flexibility

Testing Experiential Learning Theory of Development

Previous research on learning styles has focused on conditions of extreme learning specialization, leaving many questions about integrated learning largely unanswered. This study introduces new measures of balanced learning profiles and adaptive flexibility and test several hypotheses with regard to integrated and specialized learning on a sample of 314 MBA students. The basic prediction of the study was that, the more balanced individuals are on the dual dialectics of learning, the more they will show adaptive flexibility. It was confirmed for both dimensions of the learning process, but the results were stronger for the Conceptualizing/ Experiencing dimension than the Acting/ Reflecting dimension. Unpredicted corollary results showed that individuals specializing in abstract learning styles are less flexible learners than those specializing in concrete styles. Other hypotheses about the relation between learning styles and level of skill development were tested and produced mixed results. Implications for research, education, and practice are discussed.