The determinants of successful collaboration: a review of theoretical and empirical studies

J Interprof Care. 2005 May:19 Suppl 1:132-47. doi: 10.1080/13561820500082677.


Successful collaboration in health care teams can be attributed to numerous elements, including processes at work in interpersonal relationships within the team (the interactional determinants), conditions within the organization (the organizational determinants), and the organization's environment (the systemic determinants). Through a review of the literature, this article presents a tabulated compilation of each of these determinant types as identified by empirical research and identifies the main characteristics of these determinants according to the conceptual work. We then present a "showcase" of recent Canadian policy initiatives--The Canadian Health Transition Fund (HTF)--to illustrate how the various categories of determinants can be mobilized. The literature review reveals that very little of the empirical work has dealt with determinants of interprofessional collaboration in health, particularly its organizational and systemic determinants. Furthermore, our overview of experience at the Canadian HTF suggests that a systemic approach should be adopted in evaluative research on the determinants of effective collaborative practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Empirical Research
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Quebec