This paper investigates the prospects and difficulties of multi-professional teamwork in human services from a professional identity perspective. The purpose of this paper is to explore the mutual interplay between professional identity formation and team activities.
This is a process study of two cases of multi-professional teamwork in family care. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with team members and managers. The analysis follows a stepwise approach alternating between the individual and team levels.
In showing the mutual interplay between teamwork processes and individual identity formation, the study contributes knowledge on professional identity formation of mature professionals; in particular showing how unique individual identification processes have different consequences for multi-professional team activities. Further, alternative shapes of interplay between individual identity formation and team-level processes are identified.
Despite the fact that the sample is small and that collaboration intensity was relatively low, the paper succeeds in conceptualising the links between professional identity formation and multi-professional teamwork.
In managing multi-professional teams, team composition and the team’s early developments seem determining for whether the team will reach its collaborative intentions.
This paper is original in its exploration of the ongoing interplay between individual identity formation and multi-professional team endeavours. Further, the paper contributes knowledge on mature professionals’ identity formation, particularly concerning individual variation within and between professional groups.
The author would like to thank Professor Linda Rouleau, HEC Montreal, for support and constructive comments during revision of this paper.
Nylén, U. (2018), "Multi-professional teamwork in human services: The mutual shaping of professional identity and team activities", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 741-759. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-03-2017-0062
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