Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze students' reflective writing in terms of identifiable outcomes and explore students' thoughts on reflection and reflective writing as a process. \ud \ud Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methods approach is taken with a qualitative analysis of 116 written reflections from MA Librarianship studying management over an eight-month period. A quantitative statistical analysis assesses the relationships between reflective writing and a number of possible outcomes identified from the literature. \ud \ud Findings – A significant relationship is found between seven of eight outcomes tested; academic learning, the need for self-development, actual self-development, critical review, awareness of ones' own mental functions, decision making and empowerment and emancipation. There is some evidence of a relationship between non-academic learning and reflective writing, but it is not significant. A number of themes emerged from the reflective writings regarding reflection itself, with students seeing reflection as a positive activity, with benefits for the individual, groups and in the workplace, and identifying reflection as a skill that can be practiced and developed. \ud \ud Practical implications – Reflection and reflective writing as a management skill has potential benefits for personal and professional development and improving work-based practice. \ud \ud Originality/value – This paper differs from the previous literature in presenting statistical evidence to confirm the relationships between reflective writing and a range of potential outcomes.\u
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