Interprofessional learning in the trenches: fostering collective capability

J Interprof Care. 2009 Jan;23(1):52-7. doi: 10.1080/13561820802565619.


The greatest resource for improving interprofessional learning and practice is the knowledge, wisdom, and energy of professionals who adapt to challenging situations in their everyday work. We call collective capability the ability of a group of professionals to balance two interdependent levels of organization of practice: what professionals know and what they do collectively over time. Organizing what professionals know links the relational value--caring for patients--to the knowledge value of practice. Organizing what professionals do includes human and organizational factors that facilitate collective work and learning: technical skills for care delivery, institutional support, and a complex mix of emotional, ethical and moral factors involved in social decision-making. Performance gaps can result from a lack of an integrated knowledge framework or from a disembodied knowledge that is not anchored in practice. Opportunities for continuous learning can be seized by documenting the source of the performance gap, and providing the relevant resources to establish the balance between the organization of knowledge and the organization of work.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Decision Making
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Knowledge
  • Learning*
  • Professional Practice*
  • Task Performance and Analysis