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Keywords:

  • group diversity;
  • virtual communication;
  • trust;
  • psychological safety;
  • group learning

SUMMARY

An integrative model of group learning was tested in a sample of 40 healthcare groups (434 respondents), and the results show that age diversity reduces the frequency of face-to-face communication whereas educational diversity reduces the frequency of virtual communication in healthcare groups. Frequency of communication (both face-to-face and virtual), in turn, positively impacts on the emergence of trust and psychological safety, which are essential drivers of learning behaviours in healthcare groups. Additional results show that average educational achievement within groups is conducive for communication frequency (both face-to-face and virtual), whereas mean age within groups has a negative association with the use of virtual communication in healthcare groups. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.