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Working in a multidisciplinary team: Balancing Professional Identity, Collaboration and Compartmentalization

Bovenmars, N.M. (2016) Working in a multidisciplinary team: Balancing Professional Identity, Collaboration and Compartmentalization.

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Abstract:Multidisciplinary teams appear more and more in professional settings. To best prepare students to work in such a team, multidisciplinary courses are given. These courses educate students how to work in a team. Next to the factors that play a role in successful teamwork, this study gives three concepts that typify a multidisciplinary team meeting. Firstly Professional Identity, this is how students see themselves and how they see others. It is a merge of the questions who I am and what I do. Students need to understand and value their own professional identity and that of their team members from different disciplines. Second concept is Collaboration. Students collaborate when they actively discuss with each other. Effective collaborating has positive effect on the groups innovativeness. However, understanding opinions from the other disciplines is not always straight forward. Last concept that plays a role in learning how to work in a multidisciplinary team is Compartmentalization, were students split in subgroups or mentally create different social spheres within the project group. This can be done to protect their own professional identity, or because of lack of understanding of the other professions. By observing a group of students working in a multidisciplinary team there is researched if and how these three concepts play a role. Concluded can be that in a team meeting students find a balance between collaboration and compartmentalization. For future research hypothesised is that this relationship is mediated by Professional Identity. The better the students know their own Professional Identity and the relation with the other professional identities, the better they can balance when to collaborate and when to compartmentalize.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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