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Members' Sensemaking in a Multi-Professional Team

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Airi Rovio-Johansson
Roy Liff
Publicerad i Journal of Health Organization and Management
Volym 26
Nummer/häfte 5
Sidor 605-620
ISSN 1477-7266
Publiceringsår 2012
Publicerad vid Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Sidor 605-620
Språk en
Ämnesord Qualitative research, Professionals, Teamwork, Psychiatry, Team working, Health services, Medical personnel
Ämneskategorier Företagsekonomi


Purpose – The aim of this study is to investigate sensemaking as interaction among team members in a multi-professional team setting in a new public management context at a Swedish Child and Youth Psychiatric Unit. Design/methodology/approach – A discursive pragmatic approach grounded in ethnomethodology is taken in the analysis of a treatment conference (TC). In order to interpret and understand the multi-voiced complexity of discourse and of talk-in-interaction, the authors use dialogism in the analysis of the members’ sensemaking processes. The analysis is based on the theoretical assumption that language and texts are the primary tools actors use to comprehend the social reality and to make sense of their multi-professional discussions. Health care managers are offered insights, derived from theory and empirical evidence, into how professionals’ communications influence multi-professional cooperation. The team leader and members are interviewed before and after the observed TC. Findings – Team members create their identities and positions in the group by interpreting and “misinterpreting” talk-in-interaction. The analyses reveal the ways the team members relate to their treatment methods in the discussion of a patient; advocating a treatment method means that the team member and the method are intertwined. Practical implications – The findings may be valuable to health care professionals and managers working in teams by showing them how to achieve greater cooperation through the use of verbal abilities. Originality/value – The findings and methods contribute to the international research on cooperation problems in multi-professional teams and to the empirical research on institutional discourse through text and talk.

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