Determine the Level of Organizational Learning Capability in Teaching Hospitals in Bandar Abbas City—Iran


Background: The hospital is a scientific organization that despite much progress, today, is also dependent on manpower. One of the main requirements for the proper functioning of manpower is that through learning, they be updated in terms of knowledge. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the level of Organizational Learning Capability in hospitals in Bandar Abbas City—Iran. Methods: In 2014, this descriptive-analytic study was conducted in hospitals in Bandar Abbas City. The data was collected through the Gomez questionnaire for organizational learning from 290 employees of hospitals. Data analysis was done using software SPSS V.20 and by the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: Organizational Learning Capability in governmental, private and social security hospitals were 0.31 ± 53.06, 9.38 ± 47.38 and 0.27 ± 50.74, respectively. The results of the Kruskal-Wallis test showed that the relationship between the variables of employment status (p = 0.034), occupational categories (p = 0.043), and type of ownership (p = 0.02), was significant with the organizational learning capability but such a significant relationship was not observed in terms of age, educational level and employment status. The results of the Mann- Whitney U-test indicated a significant association between marital status (p = 0.029) and type of hospital (p = 0.049) with the organizational learning capability. Conclusion: Need to up-to-dating of staff’s knowledge has made undeniable the role of organizational learning. According to the results, managers have to provide conditions for improving the status quo through promoting or-ganizational learning and extend the ability of the organization for growth and progress.

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Farzianpour, F. , Irani, A. and Foroushani, A. (2016) Determine the Level of Organizational Learning Capability in Teaching Hospitals in Bandar Abbas City—Iran. Health, 8, 24-31. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.81004.

Received 9 September 2015; accepted 9 January 2016; published 12 January 2016

1. Background

Learning capability is an important factor for organizations for growth and innovation [5] and a set of tangible and intangible resources or skills which is used by the organization to achieve competitive advantage [9] . The organizational learning capability also demonstrates the capacity to effectively create and extend ideas in dealing with diverse organizational boundaries through innovation and intensive management practices [10] . Ulrich knows organizational learning capability as managers’ capacity within an organization for production and expansion of important and effective ideas [11] .

2. Methods

2.1. Study Design and data Collection

2.2. Ethical considerations

This study received approval from the ethics committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS). All participants gave their oral consents for interview. We kept the information of the participants confidential.

3. Results

Among 290 samples employees in the study, 226 (77.9%) were female and 22.1% were male. Most people were in the age group 31 to 40 years (131 people―45.2%) and 20 to 30 years (112 people―38.6%). 223 people (76.9%) were married and others (67 people―23.1%) were single. 55.9% of employees had a bachelor’s degree and for each degree of diploma (51 people), Associate’s (54 people) and MS-up, 23 people existed. Finally, the frequency of people in the groups separated by work experience for groups of 1 to 10 years, 11 to 20 years and 21 and 30 years were 166, 93 and 31 people, respectively (Table 1).

In Table 2, the organizational learning capability in the studied hospitals is presented according to the three ownership types of governmental, private and Social Security. The major part of organizational learning capabi- lity is related to governmental hospitals (10.31 ± 53.06) while private hospitals with an average of 38.9 ± 47.38

Table 1. Demographic specifications of staff in the studied hospitals―2014.

had the lowest rating and finally, the Social Security hospitals obtained the average learning capability of 10.27 ± 50.74.

The Mann-Whitney U-test results presented in Table 3 showed that there was a significant relationship between marital status and the type of hospital in terms of public and specialized being and the organizational learning, however, no such a relationship existed between gender and organizational learning.

In Table 4 the results of the Kruskal-Wallis test are provided to examine the relationship between variables (age, education, work experience, employment status, job category and type of hospital ownership) and the organizational learning capability. The results showed that there is no significant relationship between the age and organizational learning capability (p = 0.76) and no significant relationship was observed between the level of education and organizational learning capability (p = 0.781).

4. Discussion

Table 2. The organizational learning capability in hospitals of Bandar Abbas City according to the type of ownership―2014.

Table 3. The relationship between organizational learning and gender, marital status and type of hospital activity―2014.

Table 4. The relationship between demographic variables and hospital ownership with organizational learning capability― 2014.

In general, among the studied hospitals in three ownership kinds of governmental, private and social security, the most organizational learning was obtained for public hospitals (10.31 ± 53.06) while the private hospitals with an average of 9.38 ± 47.38 had the lowest rate and finally, the Social Security hospitals obtained the mean learning capability of 10.27 ± 50.74. While in a study by Aghdasi and Khakzar Befruii [18] and a study by Abbasi Moghadam et al. [19] the level of organizational learning capability in private hospitals was more than governmental hospitals.

In the research hypotheses section, the Mann-Whitney U-test results revealed that among the dimensions of organizational learning capability, the systemic vision has a significant correlation with gender (p = 0.04) and three dimensions of management commitment, outdoor space and experimentation and transferring and integration did not have relationship with gender. This is vice versa to the study by Yaghubi and colleagues [16] that a significant relationship was found between gender and outdoor space and experimentation and transferring and integration of knowledge dimensions (respectively: p = 0.048 and p = 0.001) and no significant correlation was found between the management commitment and the systemic vision.

In a study by Bahadori and colleagues [20] there was no significant association between any of the dimensions and gender and also in Abbasi Moghadam et al. [21] there was a relationship only between the outdoor and experimentation with gender (p = 0.005). Also, in a study by Heidari et al. [15] a significant relationship was found between the management commitment (p = 0.003) and the transferring and integration of knowledge (p = 0.007) and in total, in this study, no significant correlation was found between the organizational learning capability and gender (p = 0.224). In two studies, Yaghubi and colleagues [16] and Haideri and colleagues [15] , there was relationship between gender and organizational learning capability (p = 0.004) and in this aspect, they are different with this study.

5. Conclusions


We are grateful for the participation of the staff hospitals in Bandar Abbas City. in this study. This study was supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ Contributions

F.F. was the principal investigator and wrote the paper. A.I. was also the principal author of this paper. She managed the study throughout the work. She contributed equally to this work with F.F. A.R.F. has made substantial contributions to the analysis and interpretation of the data. F.F. and A.I. also reviewed the first draft and wrote the final version of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


OLC: Organizational Learning Capabilities


Games questioner

Explanation of organizational learning capability variants at concerned hospitals


*Corresponding author.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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