Organizational Learning Capabilities of Nurses in Iran

Article excerpt

Introduction

How organizations achieve sustainable competitive advantage, is one of the issues challenging today's competitive world (Dess et al., 2002). Better & faster learning than competitors are the only source of strength and survival of organizations (Sharifi & Eslamiyeh, 2009). Guns stated that: "Today's function is the result of yesterday's learning and tomorrow's function is a consequence of today's learning". In other words, everything the employees learn affects the future of the organization (Nekoei Moghaddam & Beheshti Far, 2007). Organizational learning is a process through which the organization will learn more items. Such learning means any changes in organizational models which may lead to recovery or maintenance of organizational function (Alegre & Chiva, 2008).

Jerez-Gomez et al. have also defined organizational learning as a creation, procurement, knowledge transfer & integration capability and modification of organizational behaviour for reflection of new position with improvement viewpoint of organizational function (Jerez-Gomez et al., 2004). Templeton believes that organizational learning is a collection of organizational functions such as learning knowledge, distribution & interpretation of information and memory consciously and/or non-consciously with positive effects on organizational changes (Templeton et al., 2002). Within recent years, we have organizational learning analysis as an important subject of studies. Organizational theory & competitive advantage have been studied from different psychological and social viewpoints (Jerez-Gomez et al., 2004).

Learning capabilities is an important factor for further growth and innovation of an organization (Fang et al., 2011). Organizational learning capabilities is a collection of resources and/or tangible & intangible skills for which it is necessary to use competitive advantages as well (4). An organizational learning capability is a sign of creation capacity and combination of ideas in an effective way in contact with various organizational borders and through special managerial methods and innovations (Rashidi et al., 2010). Ulrich has also considered organizational learning capabilities as a capacity of managers in an organization for further production and combination of important & effective ideas (Ulrich et al., 1993).

Organizational learning is the success key of organizations. This is because if the most successful organizations face with poor learning capabilities, they could not benefit from all their capabilities in the field of today's various environments. Therefore, only those organizations are successful in near future which have benefited from their complete capabilities and learning capacity of all people at all organizational levels accordingly (Senge, 2009). In other words, more organizational learning capabilities will cause better compatibility with changing environment.

There are different studies for measuring organizational learning capabilities at industrial & nonindustrial places; from among it is possible to point out to Jerez-Gomez studies (Jerez-Gomez et al., 2004), Aydin (Aydin & Ceylan, 2009) and Hsu (Hsu & Fang, 2009) as well. Aghdasi et al. studied the organizational learning levels at different hospitals. In Aghdasi and Khakzar Bafruei's research, knowledge transfer & integration capability had highest mean, and after them systems perspective, openness & experimentation and managerial obligation capabilities located (Aghdasi & Khakzar Bafruei, 2009). There is another study made by Bhatnagar at India for measuring of organizational learning capability of managers. According to the results, IT managers and multinational companies had the highest rate of organizational learning capability, and engineering managers had the lowest as well (Bhatnagar, 2006).

Since health care organizations are seeking for security & quality increase in a changing place, therefore organizational learning methods may assist the employees in improvement of their skills and current knowledge and submission of different chances to find better cooperation ways with others (Carroll & Edmondson, 2002). …