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Building perspective-taking as organizational capability: A change intervention in a healthcare setting

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Sep 2019
EventDivision of Occupational Psychology (DOP) Annual Conference, January 2020, Stratford on Avon -
Duration: 8 Jan 202010 Jan 2020


ConferenceDivision of Occupational Psychology (DOP) Annual Conference, January 2020, Stratford on Avon


Perspective-taking in organizations, or adopting the viewpoints of others, has been argued and shown to be related to a range of positive and negative interpersonal behaviors and outcomes. However, it has only been researched intermittently in relation to management and organization, and questions remain about how it can be psychologically developed as a cooperative problem-solving capability more widely. To address this concern and contribute to a better understanding of perspective-taking as an organizational and system-wide capability, the current paper presents findings from a two-year qualitative intervention carried out across 10 US hospitals. Interview data from three time points (393 interviews, 197 staff members) revealed that employees improved collective perspective-taking at the group and system levels through affective empathic concern, cognitive attributional understanding, and motivational efforts to improve understanding of the perspectives inherent to other organizational targets. We conclude by discussing implications for how organizations can better foster systemic perspective-taking by building ecological structures and processes that assemble perspectives holistically, particularly in relation to culture change and distributed leadership.

ID: 118986254