Does time matter? Exploring the relationship between interdependent teamwork and time allocation in Swedish interprofessional teams
This paper explores the relationship between time allocation on formal and informal forms of contact within interprofessional teams and an interdependent collaboration. Data were collected by a questionnaire including items on work organization, team climate and time allocation that was responded to by 226 professionals from 44 interprofessional teams. An additional sample of 139 professionals from 18 teams responded to the same questionnaire except for the item on time allocation. The teams worked within occupational health care, psychiatry, rehabilitation and school health care. On average, team members spent about 22% of their available work time on internal meetings/consultations and they perceived their collaboration as fairly interdependent. No correlation was found between, on the one hand, time invested in meetings and informal consultations within the team and, on the other hand, degree of team interdependence. Instead, interdependence was predicted by team climate, followed by manager coordination and self-regulation. However, there may be a lower limit: all 44 teams allocated at least about 10% of their work time to internal meetings and consultations. The results suggest three ways to strengthen interprofessional team collaboration - development of team climate and communication and more opportunity for both manager coordination and self-regulation.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22458454