To read this content please select one of the options below:

Organisational learning and leadership styles in healthcare organisations: An exploratory case study

Mário Franco (University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal)
Joana Almeida (Unit of Integrated Continuous Care, Arrouquelas, Rio Maior, Portugal)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 November 2011




This paper aims to understand the association between organisational learning and leadership styles in the healthcare context.


A qualitative approach was applied in two continuous care units in the same Portuguese healthcare organisation (single case study). Data were obtained from a survey of 28 collaborators and an interview with its manager‐leader/general director. Documental analysis was also used.


The findings attested to the central role of organisational learning and leadership in organisational performance/effectiveness within healthcare organisations. Different levels of performance were identified in the organisation selected. The practical implications of findings are also discussed.

Research limitations/implications

The study of a single case has been analysed, with the consequent disadvantage of not considering generalisation. For this reason, further research should be carried out to detect structural and cultural differences in healthcare organisations. On the other hand, most of the writing on organisational learning and leadership is conceptual, so this empirical study was important.


Despite the vast quantity of studies in the domain of leadership and organisational learning, very little work associates these two topics. Taking into account the relevance of these research topics for healthcare organisations, the findings give additional support to the argument that leadership plays an important role in instilling organisational learning in the healthcare sector.



Franco, M. and Almeida, J. (2011), "Organisational learning and leadership styles in healthcare organisations: An exploratory case study", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 No. 8, pp. 782-806.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles