Measuring information exchange and brokerage capacity of healthcare teams

Francesca Grippa, John Bucuvalas, Andrea Booth, Evaline Alessandrini, Andrea Fronzetti Colladon, Lisa M. Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore possible factors impacting team performance in healthcare, by focusing on information exchange within and across hospital’s boundaries. Design/methodology/approach: Through a web-survey and group interviews, the authors collected data on the communication networks of 31 members of four interdisciplinary healthcare teams involved in a system redesign initiative within a large US children’s hospital. The authors mapped their internal and external social networks based on management advice, technical support and knowledge dissemination within and across departments, studying interaction patterns that involved more than 700 actors. The authors then compared team performance and social network metrics such as degree, closeness and betweenness centrality, and computed cross ties and constraint levels for each team. Findings: The results indicate that highly effective teams were more inwardly focused and less connected to outside members. Moreover, highly recognized teams communicated frequently but, overall, less intensely than the others. Originality/value: Mapping knowledge flows and balancing internal focus and outward connectivity of interdisciplinary teams may help healthcare decision makers in their attempt to achieve high value for patients, families and employees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2239-2251
Number of pages13
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number10
StatePublished - 24 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication processes
  • Healthcare
  • Knowledge creation
  • Social networks
  • Work teams


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