Collaborative interdepartmental teams: benefits, challenges, alternatives, and the ingredients for team success


      • Collaborative interdepartmental teams expedite innovation.
      • Collaborative interdepartmental teams may lead to interpersonal conflicts.
      • Alternative groups may best collaborative interdepartmental teams in some scenarios.
      • Four ingredients to optimize team performance: goals, culture, leadership, people


      Radiology practices often employ collaborative interdepartmental teams to address complex projects. These teams benefit from their diversity of viewpoints and the potential for innovative, high-quality solutions. However, collaborative interdepartmental teams also suffer from challenges: interpersonal conflicts, team member mistrust, competing individual priorities, and obstructive turf concerns. When tackling projects, radiologists should consider alternative group models such as single department teams, two-person partnerships, and small workgroups. Each of these group models has strengths and weaknesses relative to collaborative interdepartmental teams and may be more efficient in some scenarios. Finally, when radiologists launch collaborative interdepartmental teams, four key ingredients should be optimized to improve team performance: right goal, right culture, right leadership, and right people.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Clinical Imaging
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Henke J.W.
        • Krachenberg A.R.
        • Lyons T.F.
        Perspective: cross-functional teams: good concept, poor implementation!.
        J Prod Innov Manag. 1993; 10: 216-229
        • Bang D.
        • Frith C.D.
        Making better decisions in groups.
        R Soc Open Sci. 2017; 4170193
        • Krause S.
        • James R.
        • Faria J.J.
        • Ruxton G.D.
        • Krause J.
        Swarm intelligence in humans: diversity can trump ability.
        Anim Behav. 2011; 81: 941-948
        • O’Leary K.J.
        • Sehgal N.L.
        • Terrell G.
        • Williams M.V.
        • High Performance T
        • the Hospital of the Future Project T
        Interdisciplinary teamwork in hospitals: a review and practical recommendations for improvement.
        J Hosp Med. 2012; 7: 48-54
        • Grumbach K.
        • Bodenheimer T.
        Can health care teams improve primary care practice?.
        JAMA. 2004; 291: 1246-1251
        • Mulvale G.
        • Embrett M.
        • Razavi S.D.
        Gearing Up’to improve interprofessional collaboration in primary care: a systematic review and conceptual framework.
        BMC Fam Pract. 2016; 17: 83
        • Prabhu Das I.
        • Baker M.
        • Altice C.
        • Castro K.M.
        • Brandys B.
        • Mitchell S.A.
        Outcomes of multidisciplinary treatment planning in US cancer care settings.
        Cancer. 2018; 124: 3656-3667
        • World Health Organization
        Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2010 (Available at)
        • Tabrizi B.
        75% of cross-functional teams are dysfunctional.
        Harv Bus Rev. 2015; : 2-4
        • Institue of Medicine
        Team-based care and the learning culture.
        in: Olsen L.A. Saunders R.S. McGinnis J.M. Patients charting the course: citizen engagement and the learning health system: Workshop summary. The National Academies Press, Washington (DC)2011: 187-212
        • Bello J.
        Turf issues in radiology and its subspecialties.
        Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2012; 22: 411-419
        • Kwan L.B.
        The collaboration blind spot.
        Harv Bus Rev. 2019; 97 ([66-+])
        • Stokols D.
        • Misra S.
        • Moser R.P.
        • Hall K.L.
        • Taylor B.K.
        The ecology of team science: understanding contextual influences on transdisciplinary collaboration.
        Am J Prev Med. 2008; 35: S96-115
        • Katzenbach J.R.
        • Smith D.K.
        The discipline of teams.
        Harv Bus Rev. 2005; 83: 162
        • Gavrilets S.
        • Auerbach J.
        • van Vugt M.
        Convergence to consensus in heterogeneous groups and the emergence of informal leadership.
        Sci Rep. 2016; 629704
        • Rock D.
        • Grant H.
        Why diverse teams are smarter.
        Harv Bus Rev. 2016; 4: 2-5
        • Locke E.A.
        • Latham G.P.
        The development of goal setting theory: a half century retrospective.
        Motiv Sci. 2019; 5: 93-105
        • Kleingeld A.
        • van Mierlo H.
        • Arends L.
        The effect of goal setting on group performance: a meta-analysis.
        J Appl Psychol. 2011; 96: 1289-1304
        • Curşeu P.L.
        • Janssen S.E.
        • Meeus M.T.
        Shining lights and bad apples: the effect of goal-setting on group performance.
        Manag Learn. 2014; 45: 332-348
        • Korner M.
        • Wirtz M.A.
        • Bengel J.
        • Goritz A.S.
        Relationship of organizational culture, teamwork and job satisfaction in interprofessional teams.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2015; 15: 243
        • Strasser D.C.
        • Smits S.J.
        • Falconer J.A.
        • Herrin J.S.
        • Bowen S.E.
        The influence of hospital culture on rehabilitation team functioning in VA hospitals.
        J Rehabil Res Dev. 2002; 39: 115-125
        • Kim Y.M.
        • Newby-Bennett D.
        • Song H.J.
        Knowledge sharing and institutionalism in the healthcare industry.
        J Knowl Manag. 2012; 16: 480-494
        • Meterko M.
        • Mohr D.C.
        • Young G.J.
        Teamwork culture and patient satisfaction in hospitals.
        Med Care. 2004; 42: 492-498
        • Gratton L.
        • Erickson T.J.
        8 ways to build collaborative teams.
        Harv Bus Rev. 2007; 85 ([53]): 100-109
        • Pollack J.
        • Matous P.
        Testing the impact of targeted team building on project team communication using social network analysis.
        Int J Proj Manag. 2019; 37: 473-484
        • Wageman R.
        Interdependence and group effectiveness.
        Adm Sci Q. 1995; : 145-180
        • Weldon E.
        • Weingart L.R.
        Group goals and group performance.
        Br J Soc Psychol. 1993; 32: 307-334
        • Lee C.
        • Wong C.-S.
        The effect of team emotional intelligence on team process and effectiveness.
        J Manag Organ. 2019; 25: 844-859
        • Druskat V.U.
        • Wolff S.B.
        Building the emotional intelligence of groups.
        Harv Bus Rev. 2001; 79: 80-91
        • Athanasaw Y.A.
        Team characteristics and team member knowledge, skills, and ability relationships to the effectiveness of cross-functional teams in the public sector.
        Int J Publ Admin. 2003; 26: 1165-1203