Making Inter-professional Working Work: Introducing a Groupwork Perspective




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Oxford University Press



Peer reviewed



Teams are an established part of organisations and are, by definition, ‘groups’—but the business discourse within which they are conceptualised, and within which teamwork takes place, discounts key aspects of groupwork, essentially related to its values. Hence, we argue, the true potential of teamwork is stifled. This is compounded in relation to interprofessional ‘teams’, by the top-down, prescriptive, policy drivers which have led to their setting-up and because of ‘new managerialism’ embedded in their operation. In other words, they are essentially ‘business’ teams and, as such, constricted. Groupwork, we argue, has the potential, first, to liberate interprofessional teams to function more successfully and hence, second, to deliver better to the service user and, third, we believe, to contribute to reducing the risks of failure in interprofessional working as exhibited in recurring ‘tragedies’. Social workers, with their values, knowledge and training in groupwork, have potentially a special role to play in facilitating interprofessional teamwork. In turn, this role, if they carry it out well, might help improve their status in the interprofessional team, where currently they often feel marginalised.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Group work, interprofessional work, skills, social work, teamwork, values


Pullen Sansfacon, A. and Ward, D. (2014) Making Inter-professional Working Work: Introducing a Groupwork Perspective. British Journal of Social Work, 44 (5), pp. 1284 -1300


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