Brief Article
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World J Methodol. Apr 26, 2012; 2(2): 18-23
Published online Apr 26, 2012. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v2.i2.18
Factors influencing teamwork and collaboration within a tertiary medical center
Shu Feng Chien, Thomas TH Wan, Yu-Chih Chen
Shu Feng Chien, Technician of Medical Research and Education Department, Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, No.201, Sec. 2, Shipai Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 11217, China
Thomas TH Wan, Public Affairs, Health Management and Informatics, and Medicine, Associate Dean for Research, College of Health and Public Affair, University of Central Florida, PO Box 163680, Orlando, FL 32816-3680, United States
Yu-Chih Chen, Department of Nursing, Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, No.201, Sec. 2, Shipai Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 11217, China
Author contributions: Chien SF designed and conducted the survey; Wan TTH performed path analysis of the data; Chen YC reviewed the literature and supported the survey. All authors prepared the final paper.
Supported by the Taipei Veterans General Hospital
Correspondence to: Thomas TH Wan, PhD, MHS, Professor, Public Affairs, Health Management and Informatics, and Medicine Associate Dean for Research, College of Health and Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Box 163680, Orlando, FL 32168-3680, United States.
Telephone: +1-407-8233678 Fax: +1-407-8230822
Received: December 16, 2011
Revised: March 1, 2012
Accepted: March 21, 2012
Published online: April 26, 2012

AIM: To understand how work climate and related factors influence teamwork and collaboration in a large medical center.

METHODS: A survey of 3462 employees was conducted to generate responses to Sexton’s Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) to assess perceptions of work environment via a series of five-point, Likert-scaled questions. Path analysis was performed, using teamwork (TW) and collaboration (CO) as endogenous variables. The exogenous variables are effective communication (EC), safety culture (SC), job satisfaction (JS), work pressure (PR), and work climate (WC). The measurement instruments for the variables or summated subscales are presented. Reliability of each sub-scale are calculated. Alpha Cronbach coefficients are relatively strong: TW (0.81), CO (0.76), EC (0.70), SC (0.83), JS (0.91), WP (0.85), and WC (0.78). Confirmatory factor analysis was performed for each of these constructs.

RESULTS: Path analysis enables to identify statistically significant predictors of two endogenous variables, teamwork and intra-organizational collaboration. Significant amounts of variance in perceived teamwork (R2 = 0.59) and in collaboration (R2 = 0.75) are accounted for by the predictor variables. In the initial model, safety culture is the most important predictor of perceived teamwork, with a β weight of 0.51, and work climate is the most significant predictor of collaboration, with a β weight of 0.84. After eliminating statistically insignificant causal paths and allowing correlated predictors1, the revised model shows that work climate is the only predictor positively influencing both teamwork (β = 0.26) and collaboration (β = 0.88). A relatively weak positive (β = 0.14) but statistically significant relationship exists between teamwork and collaboration when the effects of other predictors are simultaneously controlled.

CONCLUSION: Hospital executives who are interested in improving collaboration should assess the work climate to ensure that employees are operating in a setting conducive to intra-organizational collaboration.

Keywords: Teamwork, Intra-organizational collaboration, Safety culture, Work climate in a hospital