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Why didn’t you say something? Using after-event reviews to affect voice behavior and hierarchy beliefs in multi-professional action teams

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2016
Author Weiss Mona, Kolbe Michaela, Grote Gudela, Spahn Donat R., Grande Bastian,
Project Combined technical and non-technical skills training for managing unanticipated difficult intubations
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal European Journal of Work and Organization Psychology
Volume (Issue) Advanced online publication
Page(s) 1 - 2016
Title of proceedings European Journal of Work and Organization Psychology
DOI org/10.1080/1359432X.2016.1208652


Team decision-making can go wrong when individuals fear to voice suggestions or concerns to higher status team members. We investigate how after-event reviews (AERs) can be used to promote voice behaviour and hierarchy-attenuating beliefs in multi-professional action teams. We hypothesized that (1) lower status team members will speak up more following an assertiveness-specific AER (ASAER) as compared to a teamwork-generic AER (TGAER) and (2) that an ASAER leads to stronger endorsement of hierarchy-attenuating beliefs than the TGAER. To test these hypotheses, we implemented simulations of medical emergencies with 20 healthcare teams consisting of low (i.e., nurses) and high-status (i.e., physicians) professions. After participating in one of the two AERs, teams managed a simulation in which a higher status confederate engaged in potentially harmful actions. Behavioural coding of the videotaped simulations and assessment of team members’ hierarchy beliefs supported both hypoth- eses: nurses spoke up more following the ASAER than following the TGAER and both professional groups reported significantly higher levels of hierarchy-attenuating beliefs following the ASAER as compared to the TGAER. We discuss how AERs can affect upward voice and increase awareness for the potential downsides of status hierarchies in multi-professional teams.