E. Pineiro1, B. Guve1, M. Lindahl2, P. Ulfvengren1, S. Haasl1

1Royal Institute of Technology KTH (SWEDEN)
2Uppsala University (SWEDEN)
Multiprofessional teams have been studied in clinical settings for the last years (see, for instance Scholes & Vaughan 2002). The multiprofessionality of these teams regards mainly different medical professional and specialities, and these teams do not generally focus on innovating but are set together to achieve a more efficient production of health care.
This paper studies multiprofessional teams, widening the perspective above in both aspects:
- The multiprofessionality of the team is not limited to different professions within the medical field but includes engineers, designers and organisation consultants.
- The teams are not set up to work in the production of health care but have the specific goal of coming up with innovations that result in a more efficient production.

The study is based in the findings obtained during a year of participatory observation in a unique eight-months long program aimed at educating innovators (Ulfvengren et al 2010). The observed program is an adaptation to Scandinavian conditions of a successful program that has run since 2003 in a university in the USA. The observed program run from oct 2010 to june 2011 and included two multiprofessional teams of three members each:
Individual competences in Team 1: MD&Computer engineering, Microsystems engineering and Industrial Design).
Individual competences in Team 2: MD&Visual arts, Mechatronic engineering, management consulting.

The preliminary analysis suggests that multiprofessional innovation teams in a situation similar to that in the program will behave in ways that can be described as "amoebic":
- The team will make decisions following very simple impulses, due to:
(1) very limited (in relation to the task at hand) internal analytic resources
(2) very limited external connections
- The team will have an extremely simple, loose and flexible structure due to:
(1) the members' disconnected world views (professional carriers, ethics, etc)
(2) the need for informal and ad-hoc associations to obtain deep expert knowledge
(3) pressing time deficit

The paper draws from these findings to conclude with a set of pedagogic and structural suggestions for programs put in place to educate future members of multiprofessional innovation teams.