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J Eval Clin Pract. 2008 Aug;14(4):569-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2007.00919.x. Epub 2008 May 2.

The 20-minute team--a critical case study from the emergency room.

Author information

1
Göteborg University, School of Public Administration, Göteborg, Sweden. johan.berlin@spa.gu.se

Abstract

RATIONALE:

In this article, the difference between team and group is tested empirically. The research question posed is How are teams formed? Three theoretical concepts that distinguish groups from teams are presented: sequentiality, parallelism and synchronicity. The presumption is that groups cooperate sequentially and teams synchronously, while parallel cooperation is a transition between group and team.

METHODS:

To answer the question, a longitudinal case study has been made of a trauma team at a university hospital. Data have been collected through interviews and direct observations. Altogether the work of the trauma team has been studied for a period of 5 years (2002-2006).

RESULTS:

The results indicate that two factors are of central importance for the creation of a team. The first is related to its management and the other to the forms of cooperation. To allow for a team to act rapidly and to reduce friction between different members, clear leadership is required.

CONCLUSIONS:

The studied team developed cooperation with synchronous elements but never attained a level that corresponds to idealized conceptions of teams. This is used as a basis for challenging ideas that teams are harmonious and free from conflicts and that cooperation takes place without friction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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