Date of Award

4-2-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Joan Scialli

Second Advisor

Cheryl J. Serrano

Third Advisor

Donna Lee Jennings

Abstract

Healthcare organizations in the United States are faced with internal operating pressures as well as external regulatory and political pressures. Coupled with competitive forces and competition for healthcare dollars, improving hospital efficiency and maintaining quality patient outcomes are critical mandates for hospital administrators. To meet the increased demands of a highly complex service delivery model, hospital administrators can capitalize on hospital teams to deliver patient care in a more effective and efficient manner.

The purpose of this exploratory (comparative) and explanatory (correlational) online survey research was to test a hypothesized model about actual and perceived similarity-dissimilarity, openness to diversity, team cohesion, team effectiveness, and organizational performance. Purposive and snowball sampling plans were designed in order to obtain a sample of CFT members from 35 south Florida hospitals. E-mail invitations were sent to CFT members in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in south Florida and resulted in a final data producing sample of 185. All scales in this study were examined for reliability and construct validity. Two scales in this study were modified after exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Independent t-tests and ANOVA, as well as Chi-square were used to answer the exploratory research questions. Hierarchical linear regression analyses tested the explanatory hypotheses.

Findings indicate that RNs, LPNs and Line workers felt more similarity in their teams while executives and directors felt more openness to diversity. Findings also indicate that a shorter length of hospital stay (LOS) was related to the number of clinical staff as opposed to the number of support services staff. This study found that larger hospitals were more effective in achieving higher scores on their JCAHO environment of care surveys while smaller hospitals were better at managing LOS. In this study, when team members felt dissimilar, they also felt their teams were less likely to achieve goals, timeliness, customer satisfaction, and quality and productivity. Indications from this study are that teams who were more open to diversity were likely to be perceived as more cohesive. Future research can focus on hospital system structure and the effects on management and other occupations in terms of team performance.

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