My research uncovers and tests the mechanisms by which individuals learn and develop from their own and others’ experiences at work, with a particular emphasis on learning in healthcare organizations. Though my interest is in individual-level learning, I focus specifically on how this learning is influenced by interpersonal relationships and interactions in organizations.

“Leadership & learning are indispensable to each other.”

- President John F. Kennedy (in a speech that was to be delivered on the date of his assassination)

Individual learning in modern organizations often occurs in concert with others and via interdependent work experiences, but learning is still often thought of as something that people do by themselves. In contrast to this “lone learner” assumption, my research aims to unpack more dyadic and social mechanisms of learning. As a result, my work inherently crosses literatures and levels of analysis, examining not only interpersonal learning interactions, but also the characteristics individuals bring to these interactions (such as their specialized background and motives for learning) and the emergent structures (including collective norms and shared practices) in which the interactions are embedded.

In my research, I utilize a variety of methods – including field surveys and interventions, qualitative interviews and observational methods, and laboratory experiments – often incorporating multiple approaches to “triangulate" an understanding of the mechanisms underlying individual learning in organizations. 

Recent Research

Vicarious Learning in Organizations

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Vicarious learning allows individuals to learn from the outcomes of others’ experiences, rather than solely their own actions, reaping the benefits of not “reinventing the wheel.” 

Motives for Learning


In an ongoing stream of studies, I probe the underlying reasons that motivate people to learn. I have examined a conceptual framework that identifies four distinct learning motives …

Learning from Failure and Extreme Success

The traits and characteristics that make people effective at learning from experience are particularly important when they attempt to draw lessons from failure. Results of a number …

© 2017 | Christopher G Myers