Leading in Teams

Interprofessional Collaborative Teamwork is a unique form of working together across health professions and with clients (patients, service users) as true partners. To enact this work however does require leadership. However, it is not held within a single person but as a shared responsibility across the team.

Interprofessional Collaborative Leadership is not the traditional form of published collaborative leadership that is envisioned to involved collaborations across organizations. It is also not share leadership that adopts an action learning approach as in education to learn new strategies to improve teaching. It is defined as: Collaborative leadership occurs when all members of a team, including the patient/family, symbiotically accept their capacity to lead the group by demonstrating mindfulnessof the value in working together, and using their shared assets to assist patients to reach achievable and desired health outcomes” (Sinclair & Orchard, 2018). In this context symbiotically is defined as “a collaboration in which  team members have their own well-established roles and mutually adapt to changing demands of the dynamic”; capacity to lead is defined as “a willingness to both lead and accept accountability for the position of leadership”; mindfulness as “a thoughtful and extended focusing of one’s attention on immediate experiences as they transpire”; and shared assets as occurring in ” environments that encourage an openness to distribute knowledge, skill and expertise within a team”  (Sinclair & Orchard, 2018)

Curved Right Arrow:     IP Leadership Elements

In collaboration with Erin Sinclair, Carole Orchard the Assessment of Interprofessional Collaborative Leadership Scale (AICLS) measure has been developed and undergone initial testing. Thus, far it has strong reliability. Further validity testing is in process to determine the model fit of the four constructs in the measure.

For further information on the instrument please contact corchard@uwo.ca

Testing of the AICLS and the theorized model is planned in the near future.


Gitell, H.H., Godfrey, M., & Thistlethwaite, J. (2013). Interprofessional collaborative practice and relational coordination: Improving healthcare through relationships. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 27(3): 210-13. DOI: 10.3109/13561820.2012.73056

Kouzes, J., and Posner, B. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations (5th Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 2012.

Pearce, C.L., & Sims Jr., H.P. (2002). Vertical versus shared leadership as predictors of the effectiveness of change management teams: An examination of aversive , directive, transactional, transformational, and empowering leader behaviours. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research & Practice, 6(2): 172-97. DOI: 10.1037//1089-2699.6.2.172

Raelin, J./a. (2006) Does action learning promote collaborative leadership. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 5(2): 152-68.

Orchard, C., & Rykoff, M., (2015). Collaborative leadership within interprofessional practice (pp. 71-94). In D. Forman, M. Jones, & J. Thistlethwaite (Eds.) Leadership and Collaboration: Further development for interprofessional education. London, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Orchard, C., Sinclair, E., & Rykhoff, M. (2019). The new leadership in health care teams: Progress report of development on a promising measure. Archives of Healthcare, 1(1), 20-26. 

Orchard, C., Sinclair, E., & Rykhoff, M., (2020). Interprofessional Collaborative Leadership: From theorizing to measurement. (pp. TBD). In D. Forman, M. Jones, & J. Thisthlethwaite, Sustainability and Interprofessional Collaboration. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Orchard, C., Sonibare, O., Morse, A., Collins, J. & Al-Hamad, A. (2017). Collaborative leadership, part 1: The nurse leader’s role within interprofessional teams. Nursing Leadership 30(2), 14-25.