Understanding organizational learning in a healthcare organization during sudden and disruptive change

Karanika-Murray, M., Whysall, Z. ORCID: 0000-0001-5833-9486, Liu-Smith, Y.-L. ORCID: 0000-0001-5277-0144, Feltbower, C. and Challans, E., 2023. Understanding organizational learning in a healthcare organization during sudden and disruptive change. International Journal of Workplace Health Management. ISSN 1753-8351

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Purpose: Complex and sudden change that healthcare organizations often have to respond to, such as during the recent pandemic, can create major disruptions and a prolonged state of alert. Although the impact of such crises can be predominantly negative, rapid adjustments during this time also yielded positive change that could support organizational responses to crisis, if managed well. Using insights from organizational learning and organizational change theory, the aim of this study was to chart Lewin’s freezing/refreezing stage for one large UK healthcare organization. We aimed to understand the experienced and types of gains and losses in processes of complex and sudden change.

Method: Data from 23 focus group discussions with 575 participants representing all functions and departments in one UK Healthcare Trust revealed the gains, losses, and lessons experienced in response to sudden change that can promote organizational learning.

Findings: Given that perceived losses are more likely to drive a desire to refreeze ‘back to normal’ and perceived gains more likely to lead to an emphasis on embedding gains and changing to better, on balance, the substantial, in number and variety, gains and learnings point to a learning organization. This is an essential attribute for responding to disruptive change successfully and facilitating organizational recovery in a post-pandemic world.

Originality: By extending these insights on workers’ adaptation to sudden change, the findings can help to advance the science and practice of organizational learning and support organizational recovery, especially as they describe the new status in UK healthcare organizations.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Workplace Health Management
Creators: Karanika-Murray, M., Whysall, Z., Liu-Smith, Y.-L., Feltbower, C. and Challans, E.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 29 June 2023
ISSN: 1753-8351
Rights: © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 19 May 2023 11:00
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2023 15:04
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/49020

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