Examining the Influence of Power Distance on Psychological Safety Within Healthcare Teams
journal contributionposted on 15.06.2022, 15:16 by Divya Krishnakumar, Rachel CaskeyRachel Caskey, Ashley HughesAshley Hughes
Cultivating good teamwork practices within healthcare teams is important for providing effective patient care and preventing adverse health outcomes. Psychological safety is one factor which is instrumental in developing a positive team environment, which fosters effective teamwork. The historically hierarchical nature of healthcare ascribes status to individuals based on profession, and this power differential is a contributing factor to a team member’s psychological safety. This study seeks to identify relationships between cultural backgrounds and teamwork in healthcare through examining how power distance influences psychological safety within healthcare teams. A cross-sectional questionnaire containing the Psychological Safety Scale and the Personal Cultural Orientation Scale was fielded to sets of Internal medicine teams working in a health system located in the Midwest region of the United States ( n=17). Levels of power-distance and psychological safety were similar amongst leaders and their team members. Upon comparison, there was no correlation found between power distance and psychological safety. Moderate to significant correlations were found between other deep cultural constructs.