This study examines the impact of real-team--as opposed to a team in name only--characteristics (i.e., team boundaries, stability of membership, and task interdependence) on team processes (i.e., team learning and emotional support) and team effectiveness in the long-term care sector. We employed a longitudinal survey in which the real-team characteristics and team processes were rated by team members, and team effectiveness was rated one year later by team members and managers. Our results show that team learning and emotional support are predictors of team effectiveness as rated by team members and managers. They also show that there is no such thing as a real team in the long-term care sector because each real-team characteristic has a different impact on team processes and effectiveness. Whereas one set of real-team characteristics (i.e., stability of membership) is beneficial for healthy team processes and team effectiveness, another set (i.e., team boundaries) has only an indirect effect on team effectiveness via team processes or is even detrimental (i.e., task interdependence). We conclude that more intensive teamwork in the long-term care sector will lead to better outcomes if this teamwork involves increased stability of membership and clarified team boundaries but not if it involves added task interdependency among team members.
|Journal of Healthcare Management
|Published - 2013