Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
This paper examines learning curves in the health care setting to determine whether organizations achieve performance improvements from cumulative experience at different rates. Although extensive research has shown that cumulative experience leads to performance improvement across numerous contexts, the question of how much of this improvement is due to mere experience and how much is due to collective learning processes has received little attention. We argue that organizational learning processes may allow some organizations to benefit more than others from equivalent levels of experience. We thus propose that learning curves can vary across organizations engaged in the same "learning task," due to organizational learning effects. To investigate this proposition, we investigate cardiac surgery departments implementing a new technology for minimally invasive cardiac surgery. Data on operative procedure times from a sample of 660 patients who underwent the new operation at 16 different institutions are analyzed. The results confirm that cumulative experience is a significant predictor of learning, and further reveal that the slope of the learning curve varies significantly across organizations. Theoretical and practical implications of the work are discussed.
Volume (Year): 47 (2001)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Paul S. Adler & Kim B. Clark, 1991. "Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(3), pages 267-281, March.
- von Hippel, Eric, 1976. "The dominant role of users in the scientific instrument innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 212-239, July.
- Nelson, Richard R & Winter, Sidney G, 1982. "The Schumpeterian Tradeoff Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 114-132, March.
- Ronald S. Jarmin, 1994.
"Learning by Doing and Competition in the Early Rayon Industry,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 441-454, Autumn.
- Ron Jarmin, 1993. "Learning By Doing And Competition In The Early Rayon Industry," Working Papers 93-4, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Bertrand Moingeon & Amy Edmondson, 1998. "From Organizational Learning to the Learning Organization," Post-Print hal-00465872, HAL.
- Nile W. Hatch & David C. Mowery, 1998. "Process Innovation and Learning by Doing in Semiconductor Manufacturing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(11-Part-1), pages 1461-1477, November.
- Gavin Sinclair & Steven Klepper & Wesley Cohen, 2000. "What's Experience Got to Do With It? Sources of Cost Reduction in a Large Specialty Chemicals Producer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 28-45, January.
- Linda Argote & Sara L. Beckman & Dennis Epple, 1990. "The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 140-154, February.
- Von Hippel, Eric, 1982. "Appropriability of innovation benefit as a predictor of the source of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 95-115, April.
- von Hippel, Eric & Tyre, Marcie J., 1995. "How learning by doing is done: problem identification in novel process equipment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-12, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:47:y:2001:i:6:p:752-768. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.