Mobilizing professional identity in multidisciplinary teams

an appreciative inquiry

Stephanie Best*, Iain Robbé, Sharon Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Professional identity is how professionals identify themselves in their work role. Practicing clinicians working in multidisciplinary teams soon discover their professional identities must broaden and mobilize so that they can work seamlessly alongside others to maximize health and social care outcomes. Methods to mobilize professional identity are not well understood: our study aimed to identify opportunities for facilitating flexibility of professional identity within the context of multidisciplinary teams. We undertook an appreciative inquiry, with eight health and social care professions, to (i) assess how the mobilization of professional identity can be translated into the workplace, (ii) outline a mechanism that will support the mobilization of professional identity for health and social care practitioners working within a multidisciplinary team, and (iii) identify the implications of this research for managers of multidisciplinary teams. We found that developing role models and shared workplace learning environments were important approaches to facilitate understanding of other professions. Participants suggested developing a work-based intervention to mobilize professional identity. This study offers a unique insight into the mobilization of professional identity within multidisciplinary teams; development of a programme for a work-based education resource, centering on the ‘role of others’, power and trust; and identification of the implications for managers of multidisciplinary teams.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Healthcare Management
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2020


  • appreciative inquiry
  • health and social care
  • multidisciplinary care
  • professional bodies
  • professional identity
  • work-based education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mobilizing professional identity in multidisciplinary teams: an appreciative inquiry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this