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Perceptions of team workers in youth care of what makes teamwork effective

Authors


M. Buljac-Samardzic
Department of Health Policy Management (iBMG)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
PO Box 1738
Office Woudestein J6-63
3000 DR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
E-mail: buljac@bmg.eur.nl

Abstract

In youth care, little is known about what makes teamwork effective. What is known mostly reflects the view of managers in care organisations, as objective outcome measures are lacking. The objective of this article was to explore the views of youth care workers in different types of teams on the relative importance of characteristics of teamwork for its effectiveness. Q methodology was used. Fifty-one respondents rank-order 34 opinion statements regarding characteristics of teamwork. Individual Q sorts were analysed using by-person factor analysis. The resulting factors, which represented team workers’ views of what is important for effective teamwork, were interpreted and described using composite rankings of the statements for each factor and corresponding team workers’ explanations. We found three views of what makes teamwork effective. One view emphasised interaction between team members as most important for team effectiveness. A second view pointed to team characteristics that help sustain communication within teams as being most important. In the third view, the team characteristics that facilitate individuals to perform as a team member were put forward as most important for teamwork to be effective. In conclusion, different views exist on what makes a team effective in youth care. These views correspond with the different types of teams active in youth care as well as in other social care settings.

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