Team climate for innovation: What difference does it make in general practice?

Judith Proudfoot, Upali W. Jayasinghe, Chris Holton, Jane Grimm, Tanya Bubner, Cheryl Amoroso, Justin Beilby, Mark F. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Teamwork in primary healthcare is associated with patient care processes and staff outcomes. The ability of teams to be innovative is a hypothesized mechanism. We examined the characteristics of general practices with good team climate for innovation, and assessed the impact of climate on chronically ill patients' assessment of their care and on the job satisfaction of the staff. Design. Large cross-sectional study. Setting. Australian general practices. Participants. A total of 654 general practitioners and staff and 7505 chronically ill patients from 93 general practices in 6 Australian states and territories. Measures. The Team Climate Inventory and the Overall Job Satisfaction Scale, customized for use with general practices, were administered to general practitioners and practice staff, and the General Practice Assessment Survey was administered to patients. Practice characteristics were collected by survey from the principal doctor or practice manager. Results. Mean scores of team climate in Australian general practices were similar to those reported in the UK, except that in our study there was no association between the number of doctors in a practice and their team climate. Better team climate was found in practices with fewer non-clinical staff. Team climate predicted the job satisfaction of the general practitioners and staff, irrespective of the number of practice staff. Better team climate was associated with greater satisfaction by patients with their care. Conclusions. Team climate is important for patient and staff satisfaction. In large general practices, separate sub-cultures may exist between administrative and clinical staff, which has implications for designing effective team interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-169
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic disease
  • General practice
  • Innovation
  • Team climate
  • Team work


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