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Leadership In Interprofessional Health And Social Care Teams: A Literature Review

Tony Smith, Sally Fowler-Davis, Susan Nancarrow, Steven Mark Brian Ariss, Pam Enderby

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Purpose The purpose of this study is to review evidence on the nature of effective leadership in interprofessional health and social care teams. Design/methodology/approach A critical review and thematic synthesis of research literature conducted using systematic methods to identify and construct a framework to explain the available evidence about leadership in interprofessional health and social care teams. Findings Twenty-eight papers were reviewed and contributed to the framework for interprofessional leadership. Twelve themes emerged from the literature, the themes were: facilitate shared leadership; transformation and change; personal qualities; goal alignment; creativity and innovation; communication; team-building; leadership clarity; direction setting; external liaison; skill mix and diversity; clinical and contextual expertise. The discussion includes some comparative analysis with theories and themes in team management and team leadership. Originality/value This research identifies some of the characteristics of effective leadership of interprofessional health and social care teams. By capturing and synthesising the literature, it is clear that effective interprofessional health and social care team leadership requires a unique blend of knowledge and skills that support innovation and improvement. Further research is required to deepen the understanding of the degree to which team leadership results in better outcomes for both patients and teams.