Exploring facilitation skills in asset-based transdisciplinary teamwork

by Ferreira, Judite.

Abstract (Summary)
Much has been researched on how to manage and participate in teams, as well as on teamwork in transdisciplinary and early intervention groups. However, no single source adequately details the skills needed to facilitate such a unique group as that of the asset-based transdisciplinary team. A limitation in the theoretical body of knowledge regarding this subject matter spurred the purpose of this study to explore the facilitation skills conducive to asset-based transdisciplinary teams. A conceptual framework was created from the researcher’s perspective of the theoretical knowledge researched and acquired. Applying an interpretative epistemology, the instrumental case study was chosen as research design to explore groups of transdisciplinary team members. Two focus group interviews were conducted, transcribed, qualitatively analysed with the supplements of field notes and coded with the help of two independent coders. Theoretical assumptions were tested, interrelations shown, categories and themes short-listed and criticisms from the participants considered. It was found that skills alone do not suffice to equip members in their facilitation of asset-based transdisciplinary teams. Attitudes of involvement, flexibility, support, transparency and trust; approaches that are asset-based, narrative, holistic and family-centred and possessing knowledge of diversity, ethics, teamwork and discipline expertise were considered paramount to the competence of a facilitator. It is recommended that in future research of facilitation, attention be given not only to the skills acquired, but also to the knowledge, attitudes and approaches needed. Combination of categories, integrating skills, attitudes, approaches University of Pretoria etd –Ferreira, J F N (2005) and knowledge should also be investigated. It is recommended that the role of the caregiver be given greater status among health professions and that the findings of this study be applied in the pre- and in-service training of prospective health professionals and facilitators. Asset-based theory was informed by emphasising the importance of facilitation skills, and acquiring appropriate attitudes, approaches and knowledge in order to ensure successful implantation of those skills. The inclusion of role release underscored the need to facilitate networking and encourage shared leadership and the narrative approach also presented itself as a possible addition to assetbased theory. Finally, as a development of the collaborative project in Early Childhood Intervention, interpretations from focus group interviews as well as research in literature were used for the Masters degree in Early Childhood Intervention (MECI) in the Educational Psychology elective module. ---oOo--- List of Keywords Asset-based approach Capacity building Facilitation Skills Teamwork Transdisciplinary approach ---oOo--- University of Pretoria etd –Ferreira, J F N (2005) You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge, And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, And all work is empty save when there is love; And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God. The Prophet: Kahlil Gibran University of Pretoria etd – –Ferreira, i – J F N (2005)
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:teams in the workplace health care ability employees group facilitation


Date of Publication:

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