Read article Speaking Up in the Operating Room: How Team Leaders Promote Learning in Interdisciplinary Action Teams by Amy C. Edmondson
Master Class Case Study – “Bridge to Practice” Notes for Coaches
Below is a summary of key “teaching points” for coaches to glean from the case study research done by Amy Edmondson with medical center surgical operating room teams. These notes are meant to accompany the case study: “Speaking Up in the Operating Room: How Team Leaders Promote Learning in Interdisciplinary Action Teams” Journal of Management Studies 40:6 September 2003
0022-2380 (see link for download):
ABSTRACT: This paper examines learning in interdisciplinary action teams (IAT) Research on team effectiveness has focused primarily on single-discipline teams engaged in routine production tasks and less often on interdisciplinary teams engaged in discussion and management rather than action. The resulting models do not explain differences in learning in interdisciplinary action teams. Members of these teams must coordinate action in uncertain fast-paced situations and the extent to which they are comfortable speaking up with observations questions and concerns may critically influence team outcomes. To explore what leaders of action teams do to promote speaking up and other proactive coordination behaviors – as well as how organizational context may affect these team processes and outcomes – I analyzed qualitative and quantitative data from 16 operating room teams learning to use a new technology for cardiac surgery. Team leader coaching ease of speaking up and boundary spanning were associated with successful technology implementation. The most effective leaders helped teams learn by communicating a motivating rationale for change and by minimizing concerns about power and status differences to promote speaking up in the service of learning.
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