5.3.3 Power

PowerPower affects the dynamics of interprofessional teams in terms of interpersonal relationships, decision-making and conflict resolution (Fiorelli, 1988). For optimal interprofessional care, the influence of power in the processes of the interprofessional team needs to be recognized and, if needed, balanced. A task for each interprofessional team is to explore how each member/discipline may develop the power required to meaningfully contribute their expertise to the development of the team (Fiorelli, 1988).

Balancing Power

Power is defined as “one party having the ability or means to influence or affect the state or disposition of the other” (Baldwin, 2007, p.101). Therefore, power can be understood in terms of relationships, interdependence and reciprocity.
Power is not a limited resource; if any one person on the team gains power, there is not less available for others (Baldwin, 2007). Power can be developed in interprofessional teams in the context of interpersonal relationships by using goodwill, sharing information and expertise, and working collaboratively (Gardner & Cary, 1999; McLain Smith, 2008).

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