The increasing intricacy of healthcare has necessitated collaborative working in healthcare organisational workplaces. Teamwork implies that employees with different professional backgrounds should work together in addressing health problems (Morley & Cashell 2017). The teamwork process supports decision-making, deeper deliberations, and diverse skills in facing complex challenges associated with health care service delivery. Collaborative working entails creating interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams representing clinical psychology, nursing, medicine, speech pathology, physiotherapy, paramedicine, nutrition and dietetics, and occupational therapy. Teamwork enables health care professionals to accomplish goals like care quality optimisation, enhanced patient outcomes, and improved decision making. Factors that support workplace collaboration in healthcare organisations include principles, values, motivation, effective communication, interpersonal skills, and conflict resolution.
Management teams rely on different theories in promoting communication, collaboration, and motivation in their workplaces. Important teamwork theories that guide workplace collaboration processes include Belbin’s theory, Tuckman’s theory, and MBTI (The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) theory. Tuckman’s theory indicates that workplace team development occurs in four different stages, namely forming (stage 1), storming (stage 2), norming (stage 3), and performing (stage 4). Tuckman observes that addressing conflicts in individuals with different background characteristics through vision communication, engagement, and goal sharing help in creating cohesive workplace teams. Belbin’s theory indicates that individuals manage their weaknesses and develop strengths after comprehending their roles in teams. Belbin observes that individuals have different team roles, including task roles (complete finisher, implementer, shaper), thinking roles (specialist, monitor evaluator, and plant), and social roles (coordinator, team worker, and resource investigator) (Fisher et al. 2002). Finally, MBTI theory serves as an indicator that helps in determining the behaviour and qualities of team members based on factors like perception (P), judgement (J), thought (T), feeling (F), sensing (S), intuition (I), extroversion (E), and introversion (I). MBTI personality types include ESFP, ENFJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ISTP, ISTJ, INFJ, INFP, INTJ, ISFP, INTP, ESTP, ENFP, ENTP, ESFJ, and ENTJ.
Motivational theories describe factors that encourage employees to participate in collaborative workplace roles. Various qualities that encourage people to participate in work processes are commitment, creativity, persistence, innovation, and diligence (Kimball & Nink 2006). Important motivational theories that help in creating collaborative workplaces include Geogopalaus’ goal path, Skinner’s reinforcement, Herzberg’s two-factor, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theories. Hierarchy of needs theory indicates that addressing different human needs helps in motivating their participation in team activities. Maslow’s theory places human needs into self-actualisation, esteem, belongingness, safety, and physiological categories (Rouse 2004). Herzberg’s two-factor theory indicates that motivating group members involves eradicating factors that create dissatisfaction (hygiene factors) and enhancing workplace satisfaction (motivation factors) (Alshmemri et al., 2017). Geogopalaus’ goal path theory indicates that an individual’s behaviour is dependent on factors like performance, motivation, and satisfaction. The theory indicates that linking workplace activities with personal goals helps in improving employees’ productivity. Finally, Skinner’s reinforcement theory indicates that positive and negative environments transform individuals’ behaviours (Gordan & Amutan 2014). Skinner observes that positive reinforcement encourages individuals to repeat behaviours that enhance workplace teams’ productivity.
Communication theories refer to models and concepts that describe the comprehension, transmission, and framing of information. Important communication theories that inform workplace team development include CAT (communication accommodation theory), face negotiation, social exchange, and open systems theories. CAT theoretical framework predicts and explains how, when, and why individuals change their communicative behaviours to accommodate their colleagues in social settings. People accomplish accommodation by matching their communicative behaviours to those of their colleagues in collaborative workplaces. Face negotiation theory indicates that differences in cultural backgrounds promote communication as a conflict resolution strategy (Miller 2005). This theory stresses that the communication factors that help in strengthening teamwork processes are problem-solving, horizontal-based facework, flexible communication, and cultural competence. The social exchange theory indicates that people adopt communication styles that are expected to improve their relationships with their colleagues. Finally, open systems theory portrays the communication process as a system that ensures the development and survival of organisations and workplace teams. This theory indicates that an open communication channel supports information and knowledge sharing in organisational workplaces.
Multidisciplinary and interprofessional teams in healthcare organisations consist of individuals with different background characteristics. The organisations employ individuals with diverse background characteristics. However, the diversity in individuals makes organisations highly susceptible to conflicts that threaten employees’ and patients’ welfare. Workplace conflicts are characterised by disagreements among workers with respect to approaches, opinions, and ideas. Conflicts happen in organisations with hierarchical, rigid, functionalised, and biassed systems. For instance, rigid and hierarchical organisational systems prevent individuals from offering opinions and voicing concerns in workplaces. In most cases, leaders in rigid systems interpret the opinions of their subordinates as disobedience (Sharma et al. 2014). Teams that lack diversity competence allow some employees in healthcare workplaces to treat their colleagues as inferior parties. The situation encourages discrimination of employees based on background characteristics like sexual orientation, beliefs, nationalities, values, personality, culture, gender, religions, and age. The disagreements create a situation where individuals experience a challenge in capitalising on the broad experience and knowledge pool during problem solving.
Creating strong workplace teams requires leaders to understand and implement different conflict management strategies. Conflict management represents strategies that leaders implement in addressing factors leading to disagreements in their workplace teams (Falconer & Bagshaw 2009). Different strategies that help in preventing and resolving conflicts in organisations’ workplaces include negotiation, embracing diversity competence, accommodation, two-way communication, and assumptions avoidance. Negotiation strategy represents an important conflict resolution strategy that integrates innovative strategies with interpersonal relationship strengthening and value creation purposes. The process requires parties to maintain a two-way communication channel to facilitate idea sharing during problem-solving. The communication channel encourages active listening that allows parties to comprehend their counterpart’s perspectives. The strategy encourages conflicting parties to ask questions and avoid statements that weaken conflict resolution efforts. Accommodating colleagues in workplace teams requires people to avoid assumptions and bias while analysing other parties’ priorities and interests. Furthermore, diversity competence helps in discouraging behaviours that generate workplace conflicts, including discrimination, bias, verbal attacks, and physical assault.
Collaborative working is currently recognised as an important practice for improving productivity in healthcare organisations. Markedly, advancement in medicine and healthcare regulatory policies has demanded the usage of professional teams across healthcare systems. Collaborative workplaces allow individuals with common professional backgrounds to share skills and knowledge when addressing different issues in healthcare organisations. For instance, nurses collaborate with their colleagues from various ranks (advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses, licensed practical nurse, and nursing assistants) in delivering improving healthcare quality (Lau & Dhamoon 2017). Multidisciplinary teamwork supports collaboration between different healthcare professionals, including dietitians, occupational therapists, social workers, psychotherapists, medical laboratory technologists, dentists, and physicians, in serving patients. The professionals share knowledge and skills that hasten problem-solving operations in healthcare facilities.
Developing professional relationships for collaborative working in the health and social care sector creates benefits like medical error prevention, reduced healthcare costs, improved patient care, reduced inefficiencies, and enhanced staff relationships. Improved professional relationships strengthen workplace teams in healthcare organisations through empathy demonstration, employee engagement, improved commitment, and enhanced accountability (McFadden et al. 2015). The process unites care providers in offering patient-centred and safe healthcare services that improve patients’ welfare, quicken recovery rate, and prevent readmissions. Encouraging interactions among medical professionals helps in reducing healthcare costs and eradicating inefficiencies that lower service quality (Sierchio 2003). For instance, physicians can engage social workers, EMTs, radiologists, and nurses in making decisions related to patient care. Workplace teams eliminate communication gaps that inhibit knowledge sharing at professional and interdisciplinary levels.
Professional relationships in collaborative working help in improving standards of care in healthcare organisations. Important standards achieved through professional collaboration are medical records access, technological innovation, and healthcare quality. Important quality standards associated with healthcare service delivery include safety, timeliness, effectiveness, equity, and patient-centeredness (Lau & Dhamoon 2017). A healthy relationship between medical professionals helps in protecting patients from unsafe transfusion operations, radiation errors, venous thromboembolism, and prescription errors (Garrouste-Orgeas et al. 2012). Collaboration between nurses, physicians, and laboratory technicians ensures that healthcare services are delivered on time. Diversity competence helps in ensuring that employees receive equitable care in healthcare organisations. Multidisciplinary collaboration supports the implementation of technologies that support care delivery, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing technologies, medical health records, blockchain technologies, and medical devices.
Collaborative working represents a modern tactic utilised in overcoming intricacies associated with modern healthcare organisational workplaces. The teamwork process entails adhering to factors like principles, values, motivation, effective communication, interpersonal skills, and conflict resolution. Various collaboration theories that guide collaborative working processes include Belbin’s, Tuckman’s, and MBTI theories. Important motivational theories that guide collaborative work processes include Geogopalaus’ goal path, Skinner’s reinforcement, Herzberg’s two-factor, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theories. Communication theories that guide collaborative workplace designs include CAT, face negotiation, social exchange, and open systems theories. Creating strong teams requires leaders to address effective conflict resolution strategies. Developing professional relationships for collaborative working in the health and social care sector creates benefits like medical error prevention, reduced healthcare costs, improved patient care, reduced inefficiencies, and enhanced staff relationships. Important standards achieved through professional collaboration are medical records access, technological innovation, and healthcare quality.
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