Competition Versus Collaboration in Health Care Teams

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Innumerable teams have emerged in health care, spurred by the desire to improve patient quality and satisfaction, provide better population outcomes, and reduce per capita cost. Team leaders are faced with many choices in team development, such as collaboration or competition. Although each approach has unique advantages and disadvantages, is one approach better suited to building the teams needed in today's environment? This review examines these two distinct team-building approaches. A literature review of these two approaches in light of the theoretical frameworks of social identity theory and team role theory shows support for both ends of the spectrum; however, collaboration was linked more often with highly successful and effective teams. Ultimately, the literature demonstrates that collaboration is better suited to developing teamwork capable of achieving today's complex health care goals.

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