Organizational learning: health care leaders need to design structures and processes that enhance collective learning.
This commentary discusses the context surrounding organizational learning. As knowledge and skills frequently become outdated, a need to develop new learning capabilities must be emphasized. The authors present existing research to illustrate the interplay between how an organization learns and its impact on improved patient care. Two contrasting theoretical models of learning are introduced, with the traditional model described as linear, monotypic, and individual. The authors argue that true learning in health organizations occurs through a cyclical, dualistic, and multilevel model that better supports necessary changes. The authors discuss the barriers to effective learning and suggest that leadership must play an active role in managing the process.