Learning has an important position in the development of employees and their expertise. This article focuses on the role and utilization of intra and interorganizational formal and informal learning within different types of learning networks. Specifically, we investigate different types of networks (inter- or intraorganizational) and different types of learning (formal or informal) that can occur within such networks. Our qualitative case study is based on 46 expert interviews involving 49 interviewees, through which we explore how formal and informal learning was used in the development and implementation of quality improvement initiatives at a large public teaching hospital in Portugal. Our analysis suggests that formal and informal learning can take place within different types of learning networks that draw on internal resources as well as on the collaboration with external entities. The article argues that it is important for HRD managers, seeking to support organizational learning, to understand how different types of learning take place, and which features of learning networks support these processes.
- intraorganizational learning
- interorganizational learning
- learning networks
- quality improvement initiatives
- teaching hospital