From struggles to resource gains in interprofessional service networks: Key findings from a multiple case study
Toiviainen, H., & Kira, M. (2017). From struggles to resource gains in interprofessional service networks: Key findings from a multiple case study. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(4), 479-486. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13561820.2017.1301898
In interprofessional service networks, employees cross professional boundaries to collaborate with colleagues and clients with expertise and values different from their own. It can be a struggle to adopt shared work practices and deal with “multivoicedness.” At the same time, networks allow members to engage in meaningful service provision, gain a broader understanding of the service provided, and obtain social support. Intertwined network struggles and resource gains have received limited attention in the interprofessional care literature to date. The aim of the study was to investigate the learning potential of the co-existing struggles and resource gains. This article reports findings from two interprofessional networks. Interviews were conducted with 19 employees and thematically analysed. Three types of struggles and six types of resource gains of networking were identified. The struggles relate, first, to the assumptions of networking following similar practices to those in a home organisation; second, to the challenges of dealing with the multivoicedness of networking; and, third, to the experienced gap between the networking ideals and the reality of cooperation. At the same time, the network members experience gains in emotional resources (e.g., stronger sense of meaningfulness at work), cognitive resources (e.g., understanding the customer needs from alternative perspectives), and social resources (e.g., being able to rely on other professionals’ competence). Learning potential emerged from the dynamics between coexisting struggles and resource gains.