Creating and Sustaining the Right Kind of Space for Organizational Learning in Primary Healthcare

Trish Reay, Kathy GermAnn, Ann Casebeer, Karen Golden-Biddle and C. R. (Bob) Hinings

in Mobilizing Knowledge in Healthcare

Published in print July 2016 | ISBN: 9780198738237
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191801686 | DOI:
Creating and Sustaining the Right Kind of Space for Organizational Learning in Primary Healthcare

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This chapter investigates how knowledge mobilization can be facilitated within organizations by focusing on the development of “space” for organizational learning. The authors studied how managers, physicians and other health professionals in ten primary healthcare innovation sites attempted to create and sustain space for learning as part of an initiative to improve primary healthcare. By “space” they mean the social and relational context that develops and evolves as people interact and share ideas to create new ideas and knowledge. The chapter contributes to the literature by identifying three different types of space: generative, inert, and toxic. Its findings draw attention to the importance of managerial actions in supporting organizational learning. Four strategies are identified that are important in creating the right kind of space where organizational learning and sharing of knowledge can occur: (1) assembling the right people, (2) developing positive social relationships, (3) focusing the conversation, and (4) managing setbacks and frustrations.

Keywords: organizational learning; organizational space; primary healthcare; knowledge mobilization; positive social relationships

Chapter.  8355 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Knowledge Management

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