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Joint problem-solving orientation, mutual value recognition, and performance in fluid teamwork environments

  • Kerrissey, Michaela1
  • Novikov, Zhanna2
  • 1 Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA , (United States)
  • 2 School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX , (United States)
Published Article
Frontiers in Psychology
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Feb 13, 2024
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1288904
  • Psychology
  • Original Research


Introduction Joint problem-solving orientation (JPS) has been identified as a factor that promotes performance in fluid teamwork, but research on this factor remains nascent. This study pushes the frontier of understanding about JPS in fluid teamwork environments by applying the concept to within-organization work and exploring its relationships with performance, mutual value recognition (MVR), and expertise variety (EV). Methods This is a longitudinal, survey-based field study within a large United States healthcare organization n = 26,319 (2019 response rate = 87%, 2021 response rate = 80%). The analytic sample represents 1,608 departmental units in both years (e.g., intensive care units and emergency departments). We focus on departmental units in distinct locations as the units within which fluid teamwork occurs in the hospital system setting. Within these units, we measure JPS in 2019 and MVR in 2021, and we capture EV by unit using a count of the number of disciplines present. For a performance measure, we draw on the industry-used measurement of perceived care quality and safety. We conduct moderated mediation analysis testing (1) the main effect of JPS on performance, (2) mediation through MVR, and (3) EV as a moderator. Results Our results affirm a moderated mediation model wherein JPS enhances performance, both directly and through MVR; EV serves as a moderator in the JPS-MVR relationship. JPS positively influences MVR, irrespective of whether EV is high or low. When JPS is lower, greater EV is associated with lower MVR, whereas amid high JPS, greater EV is associated with higher MVR, as compared to lower EV. Discussion Our findings lend further evidence to the value of JPS in fluid teamwork environments for enabling performance, and we document for the first time its relevance for within-organization work. Our results suggest that one vital pathway for JPS to improve performance is through enhancing recognition of the value that others offer, especially in environments where expertise variety is high.

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