Aim. This paper is a report of a study to describe the effect on organizational effectiveness of nurses' use of the principles of learning organization. Background. Since Senge proposed the learning organization model in 1990, the principles of learning organization have been considered as a new organizational vision. However, there is little empirical evidence that shows how nurses' use of the principles of learning organization affects organizational effectiveness in healthcare settings. Method. A cross-sectional survey was used and the data were collected in 2003. Participants were 629 professional nurses who had worked full-time for more than 1 year in the general units of nine tertiary medical hospitals in South Korea. A questionnaire was distributed to nurse managers of nine hospitals, who distributed it to 665 nurses, 635 of whom responded (response rate 95·5%). Six returns were discarded due to incomplete responses, leaving 629 for data analysis. Results. There was a statistically significant positive relationship between nurses' use of the principles of learning organization and organizational effectiveness. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that the concept explained an additional 24·9% of organizational commitment and a further 22·6% of job satisfaction. The learning organization principles of shared vision and team learning were statistically significant predictors for organizational effectiveness. Conclusion. Individual nurses can use the principles of learning organization to enhance organizational effectiveness. Intervention programmes that integrate and strengthen shared vision and team learning may be useful to enhance organizational effectiveness. Further research is required to identify other factors related to the principles of learning organization.
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