Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Measuring the learning capacity of organisations: development and factor analysis of the Questionnaire for Learning Organizations
  1. S C C Oudejans1,2,
  2. G M Schippers1,2,3,
  3. M H Schramade2,
  4. M W J Koeter1,
  5. W van den Brink1
  1. 1Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Arkin, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Brijder Verslavingszorg, Alkmaar, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr S C C Oudejans, Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, PO Box 22660, Amsterdam 1100 DD Netherlands; s.c.oudejans{at}


Aims To investigate internal consistency and factor structure of a questionnaire measuring learning capacity based on Senge's theory of the five disciplines of a learning organisation: Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Shared Vision, Team Learning, and Systems Thinking.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting Substance-abuse treatment centres (SATCs) in The Netherlands.

Participants A total of 293 SATC employees from outpatient and inpatient treatment departments, financial and human resources departments.

Main outcome measures Psychometric properties of the Questionnaire for Learning Organizations (QLO), including factor structure, internal consistency, and interscale correlations.

Findings A five-factor model representing the five disciplines of Senge showed good fit. The scales for Personal Mastery, Shared Vision and Team Learning had good internal consistency, but the scales for Systems Thinking and Mental Models had low internal consistency.

Conclusions The proposed five-factor structure was confirmed in the QLO, which makes it a promising instrument to assess learning capacity in teams. The Systems Thinking and the Mental Models scales have to be revised. Future research should be aimed at testing criterion and discriminatory validity.

  • Learning organisations
  • teams
  • questionnaire
  • feedback
  • health professions education
  • healthcare quality improvement
  • organisation
  • statistics
  • teams

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding This study was funded by The Netherlands Organization for Health research (ZON-MW grant no 310000050).

  • Competing interests SCCO and GMS hold research positions at the substance abuse treatment centre participating in the study; SCCO and MES hold management positions at the substance abuse treatment centre under study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.