Although a growing body of evidence suggests that controlled processing of work experiences (in organizations: reflection) is pivotal for job-related learning and performance improvement, fundamental psychological research suggests that controlled processing may also negatively impact performance. Such detrimental effects of reflection have barely been considered in organizations. To attain a more comprehensive understanding of controlled processing in organizations, I argue that we should go beyond the mere consideration of external, job-related knowledge outcomes of controlled processing of experiences. Controlled processing also leads to the development of work-related self-insights – awareness of personal actions, goals, and weaknesses – which is a process that is far less well understood. Through integrating dual process models within theory of self-regulation, a theoretical model of controlled processing in organizations is developed, comprising both a largely explicit knowledge acquisition process and a
largely implicit self-motivation process. I aim to investigate the explanatory value of the model through experimental and field studies using an IRB-approved and pilot-tested reflection paradigm. Aside from uncovering underlying mechanisms and modalities of controlled processing in organizations, the model may also clarify seemingly contradictory research findings. These contributions should establish the theoretical and practical value of the proposed research.