The dominant influence of social context on CEO learning in health care: a challenge to traditional management continuing education and development.J Health Adm Educ. 2002 Fall; 20(2):123-34.JH
Little is known about their learning preferences of the health care industry's most senior executives, particularly CEOs. This paper focuses on the "powerful mechanisms for CEO learning" made available to health care managers through "exclusive learning groups." By meeting ad hoc or regularly under the auspices of such organizations as The Aspen Institute, the American College of Health Care Executives, Healthcare Research and Development, Inc., and other professional and commercial organizations, CEOs come together to discuss the challenges and dilemmas of their jobs. This paper reports on a two-part research effort to determine why CEO exclusive learning groups are so effective. A survey of 70 CEOs in health care-related organizations and in-depth interviews with 8 CEOs reveals that CEOs use exclusive learning group sessions as social learning vehicles, as opportunities to create secondary-level executive networks, as mechanisms for achieving a competitive advantage, and as safe, confidential environments to try out new ideas, seek information, and build relationships.