By the very nature of adopting a model of shared leadership on interprofessional teams, “leadership” should be treated and thought of more as a competency, than as an assigned role. Each team member should be able to provide leadership during situations where their skills sets and knowledge are most valuable.
What is Team Leadership?
Zaccaro, Rittman, and Marks (2002) had this to say about team leadership:
“Team leadership represents a…characteristic of effective team performance. Most teams contain certain individuals who are primarily responsible for defining team goals and for developing and structuring the team to accomplish these missions. These roles exist even in self-managing teams, although the conduct of leadership roles in such teams varies considerably from similar roles in more traditional teams.”
What is Shared Leadership? Why is it Important on an Interprofessional Team?
Tesluk and Marrone (2007) define Shared Leadership the following way: “An emergent team property that results from the distribution of leadership influence across multiple team members. It represents a condition of mutual influence embedded in the interaction among team members that can significantly improve team and organizational performance.”
The Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative identified this as a key competency domain for effective interprofessional collaboration: “Learners and practitioners work together with all participants, including patients/clients/families, to formulate, implement and evaluate care/services to enhance health outcomes” (CIHC, n.d.)
“Shared leadership is a people- and relationship-focused approach to team leadership that is based on the premise that answers can be found among the collective knowledge of the team. It reflects shared accountability that addresses power and hierarchy, and utilizes structures and processes to advance exemplary care” (RNAO, 2013). According to the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s 2013 report, Developing and Sustaining Interprofessional Health Care, this model is based on six principles:
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Team Leader?
It is the responsibility of each team member to support interprofessional collaborative practice by exhibiting the following leadership characteristics (CIHC, n.d.):
Keep the Following in Mind
High-functioning teams composed teams make better decisions than a single expert—a diverse set of viewpoints, and multiple participants, are more likely to make a more informed decision.
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Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative. (2010). A National Interprofessional Competency Framework. Retrieved fromhttp://www.albertahealthservices.ca/careers/docs/WhereDoYouFit/wdufstu-s…
Carson, J.B., Tesluk, P.E., & Marrone, J.A. (2007). Shared leadership in teams: an investigation of antecedent conditions and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 50(5), 1217-1234. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.bwl.uni-muenchen.de/download/unterlagen-ws12_13/leadershi…
Harris, S. (2013). Leadership in academic medicine: interprofessional care teams require complex leadership approaches. Association of American Medical Colleges. Retrieved fromhttps://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/november2013/362062/leadership.html
International Affairs & Best Practice Guidelines. (2013). Developing and Sustaining Interprofessional Health Care: Optimizing Patient, Organizational, and Systems Outcomes. Retrieved fromhttp://umanitoba.ca/programs/interprofessional/media/IPC_Summary.pdf
International Affairs & Best Practice Guidelines. (n.d.). Conceptual model for developing and sustaining interprofessional care. Nursing Best Practice Guidelines. Retrieved from http://pda.rnao.ca/content/conceptual-model-developing-and-sustaining-in…
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Lingard, L., Vanstone, M., Durrant, M., Fleming-Carroll, B., Lowe, M., Rashotte, J., Sinclair, L., & Tallett,S. (2012). Conflicting messages: examining the dynamics of leadership on interprofessional teams. Academic Medicine, 87(12), 1762-1767. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318271fc82. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23095927
Reeves, S., Macmillan, K., & van Soeren, M. (2010). Leadership of interprofessional health and social care teams: a socio-historical analysis. Journal of Nursing Management, 18(3), 258-264. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01077.x. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20546465
West, M.A., Borrill, C.S., Dawson, J.F., Brodbeck, F., Shapiro, D.A., & Haward, B. (2003). Leadership clarity and team innovation in health care. The Leadership Quarterly, 14, 393-410. Retrieved fromhttp://www.peru.pitt.edu/coursematerial/Healthcare%20Innovations%20Fall%…
Zaccaro, S.J., Rittman, A.L., & Marks, M.A. (2001). Team leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 12, 451-483. Retrieved fromhttp://www.qub.ac.uk/elearning/media/Media,264498,en.pdf