Work group cohesion : a field study in a public hospital

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Work group cohesion : a field study in a public hospital

 

Author: Chu, Har-ming
Title: Work group cohesion : a field study in a public hospital
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1997
Subject: Hospitals -- China -- Hong Kong -- Administration -- Case studies
Teams in the workplace
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Pages: i, 87 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1403632
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2969
Abstract: In today's health care field, group work is strongly promoted and use of work groups is getting popular. In fact, restoring patients' health is a group effort requiring the health care providers to cohere so that they can share their knowledge, exchange their ideas, coordinate their efforts and work out solutions to problems. Literature reveals the complex nature of group cohesion. In addition, the determinants and the attitudinal and behavioral consequences of cohesion are documented. In the present study, the primary interest is cohesion of operating groups in hospital setting. Data is collected from employees of a public hospital located in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong. It is a cross-sectional study. It aims at identifying determinants of cohesion and assessing effects of cohesion on members' attitudes and behaviors. A questionnaire survey is administered to collect professional health care employees' (medical doctors, nurses and allied health professionals) perceptions of group cohesion. Investigation focuses on two dimensions of group cohesion : interpersonal cohesion and task-based cohesion. The basis of the former one is interpersonal relationship among members of a group whereas, that of the latter one is task engaged by the group members. Result indicated that these two types of cohesion is significantly correlated. Both types of cohesion are significantly enhanced by perceived organizational culture (supportive and innovative), similarity among group members and reciprocal interdependence, but they are significantly weakened by independence. Bureaucratic culture can only strengthen interpersonal cohesion. Group members report stronger interpersonal cohesion when they communicate more. Males experience stronger task-based cohesion. Among these determinants, reciprocal interdependence is the common and significant predictor of cohesion. Work group similarity is a significant predictor of interpersonal cohesion whereas, supportive organizational culture is important predictor of task-based cohesion. Furthermore, these two dimensions of cohesion have differential effects on employees' attitudes and behaviors. Members who work in cohesive groups (high in both interpersonal cohesion and task-based cohesion) are more satisfied with their jobs, have stronger perception of role clarity and perform extra-role behaviors. Furthermore, task-based cohesion is a significant predictor of these attitudes and behaviors of employees. Therefore, there is strong support for cohesion as a bi-dimensional construct. Based on the findings, several recommendations are made to hospital management. For example, it is important to cultivate an organizational culture which can enhance cohesion. Task-based cohesion should be strengthened as it is a significant predictor of employees' attitudes and behaviors. In addition, implications for researchers are included. For example, searching for a precise and concise definition of group cohesion should continue. A valid measure of cohesion, in particular, task-based cohesion, needs further investigation. Finally, several limitations are noted. Since only one hospital is studied, the results cannot be generalized. Moreover, the cross-sectional nature of the study cannot establish causal relationships between cohesion and its determinants and its consequences.

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