Obedience to Authority: An Introduction for Healthcare Educators, Researchers, and Professionals

52 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2022

See all articles by Efrem Violato

Efrem Violato

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Centre for Advanced Medical Simulation

Sharla King

University of Alberta - Department of Educational Psychology

Date Written: December 9, 2021

Abstract

Interprofessional teamwork is an important facet of healthcare delivery. However, teamwork is subject to potential negative outcomes. One potential cause of negative group dynamics and harm is Obedience to Authority. In this article an in-depth approach is taken to examine relevant literature, theories, and the complexity of Obedience to Authority with a focus on the social-cognitive aspects of the phenomenon. Obedience is a multifaceted construct that can be understood through three interrelated theories: Bounded Rationality, Moral Foundations, and Social Influence. Obedience is influenced and modulated by personal, environmental, and social variables that effect the behaviour of agentic individuals. The paper argues that research conducted with an understanding of the psychological origins and social functioning of obedience will assist in understanding how obedience functions in complex healthcare settings. Implications are also derived for how to incorporate psychological theory in research and education to produce practical interventions to help people speak up and challenge authority.

Note:
Funding Information: None.

Declaration of Interests: The authors have no competing interests to declare.

Keywords: Compliance; Obedience; Speaking Up, Psychology, Interprofessional; Education, Health Professions, Interprofessional Collaboration

Suggested Citation

Violato, Efrem and King, Sharla, Obedience to Authority: An Introduction for Healthcare Educators, Researchers, and Professionals (December 9, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3981839 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3981839

Efrem Violato (Contact Author)

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Centre for Advanced Medical Simulation ( email )

Sharla King

University of Alberta - Department of Educational Psychology ( email )

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