Leadership of interprofessional health and social care teams : a socio-historical analysis

Reeves, Scott, Macmillan, Kathleen and van Soeren, Mary (2010) Leadership of interprofessional health and social care teams : a socio-historical analysis. Journal of Nursing Management, 18(3), pp. 258-264. ISSN (print) 0966-0429


AIM: The aim of this paper is to explore some of the key socio-historical issues related to the leadership of interprofessional teams. BACKGROUND: Over the past quarter of a century, there have been repeated calls for collaboration to help improve the delivery of care. Interprofessional teamwork is regarded as a key approach to delivering high-quality, safe care. EVALUATION: We draw upon historical documents to understand how modern health and social care professions emerged from 16th-century crafts guilds. We employ sociological theories to help analyse the nature of these professional developments for team leadership. KEY ISSUES: As the forerunners of professions, crafts guilds were established on the basis of protection and promotion of their members. Such traits have been emphasized during the evolution of professions, which have resulted in strains for teamwork and leadership. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding a problem through a socio-historical analysis can assist management to understand the barriers to collaboration and team leadership. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Nursing management is in a unique role to observe and broker team conflict. It is rare to examine these phenomena through a humanities/social sciences lens. This paper provides a rare perspective to foster understanding - an essential precursor to effective change management.

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