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Innovative health care delivery teams: Learning to be a team player is as important as learning other specialised skills

Anneke Fitzgerald (University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Graydon Davison (University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 23 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to show that free flowing teamwork depends on at least three aspects of team life: functional diversity, social cohesion and superordinate identity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the approach of a discussion, arguing for a strong need to understand multidisciplinary and cross‐functional barriers for achieving team goals in the context of health care. These barriers include a strong medically dominated business model, historically anchored delineations between professional identities and a complex organisational environment where individuals may have conflicting goals.

Findings

The paper finds that the complexity is exacerbated by the differences between and within health care teams. It illustrates the differences by presenting the case of an operating theatre team.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst the paper recommends some ideas for acquiring these skills, further research is needed to assess effectiveness and influence of team skills training on optimising multidisciplinary interdependence in the health care environment.

Originality/value

The paper shows that becoming a team member requires team membership skills.

Keywords

Citation

Fitzgerald, A. and Davison, G. (2008), "Innovative health care delivery teams: Learning to be a team player is as important as learning other specialised skills", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 129-146. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777260810876303

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited