Aim. This article is a report of a study that examines the relationship between team-level learning and performance in nursing teams, and the role of beliefs about the interpersonal context in this relationship.
Background. Over recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the learning processes of work teams. Researchers have investigated the impact of team learning on team performance, and the enabling conditions for this learning. However, team learning in nursing teams has been largely ignored.
Design. A cross-sectional field survey design was used.
Methods. The sample comprises a total of 468 healthcare professionals working in 89 nursing teams at different public hospitals throughout Spain. Members of nursing teams participated voluntarily by completing a confidential individual questionnaire. Team supervisors evaluated nursing teams’ performance. Data were collected over 2007–2008.
Results. The results show a mediating effect of team learning on the relationship between beliefs about interpersonal context (psychological safety, perceived task interdependence, and group potency) and team performance.
Conclusion. Our findings suggest that beliefs about interpersonal context and team learning are important to effective nursing team performance.