The BECM matrix was derived from the action learning cycle (ALC) already described by Bell and Lane but refined by Zimmer.
Zimmer is using the expression of BECM here as a stage in progress towards demonstrating self-aware reflective practice, and this was the intention of the BECM matrix: to measure a students progress in this regard.
Since 2000, between 200 and 500 students a year have taken the third-level systems course and have experienced BECM as both a learning device (as a part of the ALC) and, simultaneously, had it applied to their work as an assessment method.
The advantages of BECM, used as a relatively quick and easy device for either self or external assessment of behaviours, which indicate progress in what can be considered to be 'good' systems practice, are clear:
The BECM matrix evolved to contain and manage this complexity.
This use of BECM in a research context required the matrix to evolve from one seeking to identify systemic behaviour to one that sought to identify more general group responses in the four areas.
Ethical issues noted in the literature such as disguised participant observation, informed consent, honesty and accuracy were addressed in the use of BECM in that participants knew that they were being observed in their practice and that this observation was part of a research process.
The aspiration of the 2006 enquiry was to express BECM in an action research context with clarity of application evident to all participants.
In the 2008, context BECM was an integral part of an action research programme labelled as an ALC.
It should be noted that the BECM matrix used in this analysis was not intended to be judgemental in the sense of either lauding or demonising the LGA staff.
In this research, the application of the BECM matrix assisted the researcher to identify key issues in the LGA staff's approach to problem solving and to suggest means whereby the authority could improve its practitioner training by improving the overall, reflective abilities.
The results of BECM can be presented in the form of a table or matrix or in more visual forms.