The September issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is now available and can be read online for free for the next 30 days. This issue offers a range of astute articles on organizational studies as well as insightful book reviews.
The lead article entitled “Beyond Occupational Differences: The Importance of Cross-cutting Demographics and Dyadic Toolkits for Collaboration in a U.S. Hospital” was authored by Julia DiBenigno and Katherine C. Kellogg both of MIT Sloan School of Management. You can read the abstract here:
We use data from a 12-month ethnographic study of two medical-surgical units in a U.S. hospital to examine how members from different occupations can collaborate with one another in their daily work despite differences in status, shared meanings, and expertise across occupational groups, which previous work has shown to create difficulties. In our study, nurses and patient care technicians (PCTs) on both hospital units faced these same occupational differences, served the same patient population, worked under the same management and organizational structure, and had the same pressures, goals, and organizational collaboration tools available to them. But nurses and PCTs on one unit successfully collaborated while those on the other did not. We demonstrate that a social structure characterized by cross-cutting demographics between occupational groups—in which occupational membership is uncorrelated with demographic group membership—can loosen attachment to the occupational identity and status order. This allows members of cross-occupational dyads, in our case nurses and PCTs, to draw on other shared social identities, such as shared race, age, or immigration status, in their interactions. Drawing on a shared social identity at the dyad level provided members with a “dyadic toolkit” of alternative, non-occupational expertise, shared meanings, status rules, and emotional scripts that facilitated collaboration across occupational differences and improved patient care.
Click here to access the Table of Contents of the September issue of Administrative Science Quarterly. Want to know about all the latest from Administrative Science Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!
Tags: coordination, cross-occupational collaboration, cultural toolkit, demography, group diversity, healthcare, hospitals, intergroup relations, medical sociology, pro- fessions, sociology of work and occupations, status