Publication date

Is networking different with part-time working colleagues? A study of medical teams.

Heiligers, P., Jong, J. de, Groenewegen, P., Hingstman, L. Is networking different with part-time working colleagues? A study of medical teams. In: EAWOP-Conference on Psychology and Health "Retaining and integrating health professionals in health care organizations", Stockholm, 9-12 mei 2007. 179
Changes in work arrangements like the introduction of part-time work can affect both formal and informal organization. This study will focus on informal networks amongst teams of medical specialists, some but not all of which include part-time workers. Are there notable differences in the structure of networks in teams with and without part-time doctors? And what is the impact of team behaviour and individual and team characteristics on informal networks? Observations of 28 teams in different hospitals and individual questionnaires were used. Structural arrangements and operating procedures were observed. The questionnaire concerned the impact of part time work on the informal organization. Characteristics of individuals (gender, age, tenure), and teams (formal leader, degree of formalization), and perceived team behaviour (social-emotional and task oriented) were also examined. The response of individual doctors was 91% (N=226). Network analyses and multilevel analyses were used to analyse the data. After correcting for team size, no differences between teams with and without part-time workers were found regarding the density, number of ties and size of networks. Individual characteristics had hardly any impact on network structures, but team characteristics had more. In communication networks the number of ties was highest in teams with part-time doctors. The use of those ties was most efficient if teams were smaller and had no formal leader. We conclude that differences in network structure were not found between teams with and without part-time doctors. But within teams with part-time doctors, efficient use of network structures was influenced by team characteristics. (aut. ref.)