Following emailed reminders, 224 completed surveys were returned for a 37% response rate. The demographics of the respondents (Table ) were representative of the sampled population, with 132 (60%) female and 90 (40%) male. Two surveys were returned without the demographic information completed. The majority of the respondents were senior managers (n = 114 51.4%), with 52 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) (23.4%), 33 middle managers (14.9%) and 23 (10.4%) describing themselves as 'other'. The majority (60.8%) of the respondents reported an age range of 40 to 59 years.
Reported age range, gender and position
As expected from this sample of members of a professional management organization, the majority (n = 198 88%) choose a management team as the focus for the questionnaire. It was surprising that any of the respondents choose a clinical team, but there were 26 (12%) completed questionnaires that focused on a clinical care team. Only four males completed their questionnaire based on a clinical team, perhaps indicative of the greater proportion of male respondents in CEO and senior management positions. The sample size of 26 is small for the clinical team respondents and therefore the clinical team results cannot be considered to have the same validity as the management team results and are not reported. However the fact that the respondents identified different competencies for the clinical and management teams lends some support for previous study that has shown that different team types will have different determinants of effectiveness [25
The respondents were asked to consider team success as achievement of team goals and team member satisfaction. The respondents were requested to identify from the list in Figure the skills, knowledge, traits and motives that the most effective team members demonstrated and that they had observed to enhance team performance. Respondents were also given the opportunity to add to the lists. There were three additions: project management was cited by one respondent as an important skill, and tenacity and tolerance of ambiguity were added as relevant traits.
While the primary purpose of this study was to identify a set of competencies, post hoc analysis of the data suggested differences in responses on two variables of gender and position within the organization, confirmed by chi square analysis. These post hoc analyses were chosen as previous study has found differences between the approaches of male and female managers [26
] and the requirement for different competencies among different levels of health service managers [17
The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies that were seen by health service managers to be related to effective teamwork within a health service workplace. To identify the competencies the data analysis focused on the characteristics that were identified by more than 50% of the respondents. This approach is consistent with previous teamwork study by McDonough who found that in each category one variable was mentioned much more frequently than the others by the study respondents [30
]. Those competencies that were identified by more than 50% of the respondents were likely to represent the competencies thought most important by the respondent sample.
The ability to perform an activity, a skill, can be the result of natural talent or acquired through education or training. As shown in Table only one skill, leadership, was identified as important by more than 50% of the respondents. The differences in responses by sex (n = 198) were examined and only two skill areas were found to be related to the sex of the respondent. The male respondents were significantly more likely than the female respondents to identify ability to influence as an important skill (χ2 = 7.490 1 df p = 0.006), while the female respondents were significantly more likely to identify negotiation as an important skill (χ2 = 5.878 1 df p = 0.015). However when the analysis was completed by position the female CEO respondents were significantly less likely than the female respondents in other positions to identify negotiation as an important skill (χ2 = 8.006 3 df p = 0.046).
As shown in Table the knowledge area with over 50% response was knowledge of organizational goals and strategies. Female respondents were significantly more likely than male respondents to identify self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses as important knowledge (χ2 = 15.172 1 df p = 0.000).
Individual characteristics or traits may be highly visible demographic characteristics such as age or appearance, or may be less apparent, such as attitudes. In regards to traits the management team respondents identified respect for others as the most important trait (Table ).
The female respondents were significantly more likely than the male respondents to consider positive attitude as an important trait (χ2 = 7.154 1 df p = 0.007). The male senior and middle management respondents were significantly more likely to include self-directed learning (χ2 = 22.721 3 df p = 0.000) than the CEO and other male respondents. The male CEO and female senior manager respondents were less likely to include respect for others (male: χ2 = 13.810 3 df p = 0.003, female: χ2 = 11.592 3 df p = 0.009) as a trait as compared to the respondents from the other male and female management categories.
This group included perceived intrinsic values and personal motives. The most important motives seen to contribute to the success of the team were commitment to working collaboratively, commitment to the organization and commitment to a quality outcome (Table ).
There were no significant motive differences among male and female respondents. The CEO respondents for both males and females were significantly more likely to indicate commitment to organization (male: χ2 = 13.553 3 df p = 0.004 female: χ2 = 13.031 3 df p = 0.005) and significantly less likely to indicate task completion (male: χ2 = 20.426 3 df p = 0.000 female: χ2 = 11.106 3 df p = 0.011) as key motives.