Protecting the Paradox of Interprofessional Collaboration

46 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2018

See all articles by Jo-Louise Huq

Jo-Louise Huq

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Trish Reay

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Samia Chreim

University of Lethbridge - Faculty of Management

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

We studied an interprofessional collaboration to understand how professionals engaged with paradox in collective decision-making. At the beginning of our study, we observed vicious cycles in which conflict led to negative tension. Professionals were holding tightly to a particular pole of the paradox, and the higher-status pole was consistently overrepresented in collective decision-making. By the end of our study we observed the presence of virtuous cycles, where conflict led to more positive tension, and where professionals engaged in collective decision-making with more equal representation of conflicting approaches. We call this change process protecting the paradox and we identify three strategies that support this process: (1) promoting equality of both poles, (2) strengthening the weaker pole, and (3) looking beyond the paradox by focusing on desired outcomes. We contribute to the paradox literature by showing how vicious cycles can be shifted to virtuous cycles, how professionals and managers can work together to protect a paradox, and how status differences between poles can be redistributed.

Keywords: interprofessional collaboration, process, protecting paradox, single case study, vicious and virtuous cycles

Suggested Citation

Huq, Jo-Louise and Reay, Trish and Chreim, Samia, Protecting the Paradox of Interprofessional Collaboration (2016). Organization Studies, 38(3-4),513-538, University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2016-901, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3156664

Jo-Louise Huq

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Trish Reay (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
780-492-4246 (Phone)
780-492-3325 (Fax)

Samia Chreim

University of Lethbridge - Faculty of Management ( email )

4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, Alberta TIK 3M4
Canada

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