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The role of transactive memory systems, psychological safety and interpersonal conflict in hospital team performance

Lavelle, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3951-0011, Darzi, A., Starodub, R. and Anderson, J. E. (2021). The role of transactive memory systems, psychological safety and interpersonal conflict in hospital team performance. Ergonomics, doi: 10.1080/00140139.2021.2006771

Abstract

Safe patient care in hospitals relies on teamwork. Transactive Memory Systems (TMS), are shared cognitive systems that have been linked to team performance in other domains, but have received little attention in healthcare. This study investigated the role of TMS, psychological safety and interpersonal conflict in predicting team performance in hospital ward teams where team membership is dynamic and often loosely defined. Hospital staff (n = 106) in four wards completed a battery of instruments assessing team performance, TMS, psychological safety and interpersonal conflict. TMS was a weak predictor of team performance, but the relationship was mediated by psychological safety. Overall, team performance was predicted by high psychological safety, low interpersonal conflict and low reliance on team members' knowledge (i.e. TMS credibility). These findings suggest that, in hospital teams, TMS is not a strong predictor of team performance but team culture is critical to ensure the quality and safety of patient care.

Practitioner Summary: This study investigated the role of Transactive Memory Systems (TMS) and cultural factors in hospital team performance. Team performance was predicted by psychological safety, low interpersonal conflict and a low reliance on team members' untested knowledge. This highlights the importance of a supportive team culture for safe care in hospitals.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been published in Ergonomics, doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2021.2006771
Publisher Keywords: Patient safety, teamwork, transactive memory systems, psychological safety, interpersonal conflict
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Date available in CRO: 13 Dec 2021 16:10
Date deposited: 13 December 2021
Date of acceptance: 9 November 2021
Date of first online publication: 29 November 2021
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/27270
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