Online from: 1979
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Title:||The practice of teamwork in health industry call centres|
|Author(s):||Raffaella Valsecchi, (Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK), Sarah Wise, (Workplace Research Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia), Frank Mueller, (School of Management, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK), Chris Smith, (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK)|
|Citation:||Raffaella Valsecchi, Sarah Wise, Frank Mueller, Chris Smith, (2012) "The practice of teamwork in health industry call centres", Employee Relations, Vol. 34 Iss: 3, pp.288 - 305|
|Keywords:||Call centres, Health care, Healthcare organisation, Nursing, Team working, Teamwork, Tele-nursing|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/01425451211217716 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The authors thank the ESRC for having funded this research (ESRC grant number: R000239723).|
Purpose – This paper aims to explore the introduction of teamwork in two health call centres, NHS Direct and NHS24, and intervenes in the emergent debate over teamwork in call centres. Although within the call centre work environment there is no obvious functional rationale for teamwork, teams can be “accounted for” with reference to other purposes, including performance management, normative control, governmentality and institutional isomorphism/management fads. This research provides additional explanations for the use of teamwork in such an adverse work environment.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on qualitative data (interviews and non-participant observations) from NHS Direct and NHS24, the English and Scottish tele-nursing organisations in the UK.
Findings – In the two tele-nursing case studies analysed, teamwork was introduced as an expression of managers' aspirations to emulate private sector practices and to reinforce new public management ideals. However, informal teamwork, which cut across organisationally prescribed forms, provided both emotional support and spontaneous knowledge sharing among nurses.
Originality/value – This is an innovative study because teamwork has not been thoroughly explored in a health call centre environment.
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