Knowledge Management and Learning in Healthcare

Topics: Knowledge management, Learning, Management Pages: 25 (7746 words) Published: November 10, 2013

A Framework for Organizational Learning in Healthcare:
From Individual Learning to the Organizational Learning Systems Model J. Richard Ray, Jr.
Managing OD Consultant/Adjunct Professor of HRD
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic/George Washington University/ Presented at
Southern Management Association 2002 Conference
Track 2: Health Care Administration/Hospitality Management
Phone: (301) 520-9184
Key Words: Organizational Learning, Learning, Learning Models, Health Care Learning Revised September 23, 2002 (Reprint October 1, 2006)

Many researchers and practitioners have developed models to discuss how organizations learn using concepts of learning, social theory, sensemaking and information transfer. The Organization Learning Systems Model (OLSM) provides a comprehensive framework for discussing how organizations interact with their environments, reflect on information collected, disseminate knowledge to stakeholders and “make sense” with their culture through learning subsystems. After reviewing individual and organizational learning literature, I will reflect on a recent consultation at a major healthcare firm using this frame. This paper suggests that practitioners and managers can leverage this model to better manage learning, change, effectiveness and strategic planning.

A Framework for Organizational Learning in Healthcare:
From Individual Learning to the Organizational Learning Systems Model In recent years the topic of organizational learning has been discussed in academia and the workplace with great interest. In organizations, these discussions usually begin as the result of some cataclysmic event, strategic planning announcement, market change or dialogue on performance. Some see this subject as the integration or theft of many theories from sociology, psychology, management science and anthropology (Argyris & Schon, 1978; Davis, 2001; Jankowicz, 2000; Schwandt & Marquardt, 2000; Senge, 1990). There are even some who claim that organizational learning can be discussed using “adaptation” language from sciences such as biology, physics and chemistry (Gleick, 1987; Holland, 1996; Marion, 1999; Youngblood, 1997). Regardless of the discipline, how individuals learn and the way this impacts the process by which organizations “learn” will continue to charge academic debates and consume practitioner resources. Linking theoretical constructs of organizational learning to the “real world” is a difficult challenge. In healthcare, researchers and practitioners have attempted to make this linkage by identifying learning conditions that must exist in order to generate, disseminate and use knowledge. These include: 1) a shared vision of organizational goals and how learning can contribute to success; 2) leaders who ensure that opportunities, resources, incentives and rewards are provided to support learning; and 3) an organic structure with diverse communication channels that efficiently transfers information across organizational boundaries (Barnsley, Lemieux-Charles, & McKinney, 1998). Others also suggest that understanding the environment, information processing functions and cognitive learning frameworks in health care organizations can boost the probability of building and maintaining intellectual capital (Grantham, Nichols, & Schonberner, 1997). One attempt to connect theory and practice is the Organizational Learning Systems Model (OLSM) (Schwandt & Marquardt, 2000). This multi-disciplinary model developed at the Center for the Study of Learning at George Washington University is increasingly impacting the practice of organizational learning. This model is founded upon the writings of Talcott Parsons (Schwandt & Marquardt, 2000) and discussions of his organizational prerequisites of adaptation, goal attainment, integration and pattern maintenance functions in organizations. The structure of action...

References: Allee, V. (2000). Knowledge networks and communities of practice. Organizational Development Practitioner, 32(4), 4-13.
Argyris, C., & Schon, D. A. (1978). Organizational Learning. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Barnsley, J., Lemieux-Charles, L., & McKinney, M. M. (1998). Integrating learning into integrated delivery systems. Health Care Management Review, 23(1), 18-28.
Boland, R. J., Singh, J., Salipante, P., Aram, J. D., Fay, S. Y., & Kanawattanachai, P. (2001). Knowledge representations and knowledge transfer. Academy of Management Journal, 44(2), 393-417.
Casey, A. (1997). Collective memory in organizations. Advances in Strategic Management, 14, 111-146.
Daft, R., & Weick, K. E. (1984). Toward a model of organizations as interpretation systems. Academy of Management Review, 9(2), 284-295.
Dannemiller, K., & Jacobs, K. (1992). Changing the way we change: A revolution of common sense. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 28(4), 480-498.
Davis, N. J. (2001). Organization development and knowledge management: A systemic Merger. Organizational Development Practitioner, 33(1), 36-41.
Druskat, V. U. (2000). Learning versus performance in short term project teams. Small Groups Research, 31(3), 328-354.
Duffy, J. (2000). Knowledge management: To be or not to be? Information Management Journal, 34(1), 64-67.
Edmondson, A. (1996). Learning from mistakes is easier said than done: Group and organizational influence on the detection and correction of human error. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 32(1), 5-28.
Edmondson, A. (1999). Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(1999), 350-383.
Gardner, B. S., & Korth, S. J. (1998). A framework for learning to work in teams. Journal of Education for Business, 74(1), 28-34.
Gerber, S. (2001). Where has our theory gone? Learning theory and intentional intervention. Journal of Counseling and Development, 79, 282-291.
Gibbons, S. (1999). Learning teams: Action learning for leaders. The Journal for Quality and Participation(July/August 1999), 26-29.
Gleick, J. (1987). Chaos: Making a new science. New York: Penguin Books.
Goby, V. P., & Lewis, J. H. (2000). Using experiential learning theory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in teaching business communication. Business Communication Quarterly, 63(3), 39-48.
Grantham, C. E., Nichols, L. D., & Schonberner, M. (1997). A framework for the management of intellectual capital in the health care industry. Journal of Healthcare Finance, 23(3), 1-19.
Hedberg, B. (1981). How organizations learn and unlearn. In W. Starbuck (Ed.), Handbook of Organizational Design (Vol. 1). New York: Oxford University Press.
Holland, J. H. (1996). Hidden order: How adaptation builds complexity. Cambridge, MA: Helix Books.
Jankowicz, D. (2000). From learning organization to adaptive organization. Management Learning, 31(4), 471-490.
Kam, S. M., & Brooks, S. M. (1998). Touching the customer by understanding employees: Preliminary linkage research findings from four regions of Kaiser Permanente. The Permanente Journal, 2(2), 47-54.
Kasl, E., Marsick, V. J., & Dechant, K. (1997). Teams as learners: A research-based model of team learning. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 33(2), 227-246.
Katz, D., & Kahn, R. (1966). Organizations and system concepts, In The social psychology of organizations (pp. 14-29). New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Kleiner, A., & Roth, G. (1997). How to make experience you company 's best teacher. Harvard Business Review.
Kolb, D. A. (1976). Management and the learning process. California Management Review, 18(3).
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1995). The leadership challenge: how to keep getting extraordinary things done in organizations (Second ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Koys, D. J. (2001). The effects of employee satisfaction, organizational citizenship behavior and turnover on organizational effectiveness: A unit-level, longitudinal study. Personnel Psychology, 54(1), 101-115.
Lackey, P. N. (1987). Invitation to Talcott Parsons ' theory. Houston, Tx: Cap and Gown Press, Inc.
Lemieux-Charles, L., McGuire, W., & Blidner, I. (2002). Building Interorganizational knowledge for evidence-based health system change. Health Care Management Review, 27(3), 48-59.
Levinthal, D. A., & March, J. G. (1993). The myopia of learning. Strategic Management Journal, 14, 95-112.
Marion, R. (1999). The edge of organization: Chaos and complexity theories of formal social systems. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Marquardt, M. J. (1996). Building the learning organization. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Miettinen, R. (1998). About the legacy of Experiential Learning. Lifelong Learning in Europe, 3, 165-171.
Nonaka, I. (1991). The knowledge creating company.
Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organizational Science, 5(1), 14-37.
Rucci, A., Kirn, S. P., & Quinn, R. T. (1998). The employee-customer-profit chain at Sears. Harvard Business Review, 76(1), 82-98.
Schein, E. H. (1992). Defining organizational culture, In Organizational culture and leadership, 2nd Edition (pp. 3-23). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Schenke, R. (2001). Key assets that create value in health care. Physician Executive, 27(1), 6-11.
Schwandt, D. R., & Marquardt, M. J. (2000). Organizational learning: From world-class theories to global best practices. Boca Raton, FL: St. Lucie Press.
Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organization (1st ed.). New York: Doubleday/Currency.
Sigler, J. (1999). Best practices and guiding principles: A training guide to successful development of a learning organization. Futurics.
Sparrowe, R. T., Liden, R. C., Kraimer, M. L., & Wayne, S. J. (2001). Social networks and the performance of individuals and groups. Academy of Management Journal, 44(2), 316-325.
Stewart, T. A. (2000). The house that knowledge built. Fortune Magazine, 142(7), 278-280.
Warhurst, C. (2001). Knowing in firms: Understanding, managing and measuring knowledge. Management Learning, 32(1), 148.
Weick, K. E. (1993). The collapse of sense-making in organizations: The Mann Gulch Disaster. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38(1993), 628-652.
Weick, K. E. (2001). Making sense of the organization. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.
Wilson, L., & Wilson, H. (1998). Play to Win: Choosing Growth over Fear in Work and Life. Austin, TX: Bard Press, Inc.
Youngblood, M. D. (1997). Life at the edge of chaos: Creating the quantum organization. Dallas, TX: Perceval Publishing.
Zemke, R. (1999). Why organizations still aren 't learning. Training, September 1999.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Learning Organization & Knowledge Management Research Paper
  • Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning Essay
  • Healthcare Management Essay
  • knowledge management Essay
  • Knowledge Management: Organizational Learning and Knowledge Essay
  • Essay about Summary of Knowledge Management Journal, Knowledge management and organizational culture a theoretical integrative
  • The Knowledge and Knowledge Management Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Tidelands | archer s08e05 | Headhunters DVDRIP