• Breaking silos: A field experiment on relational conflict management in cross-functional teams

      Boros, Smaranda; Van Gorp, Lore; Cardoen, Brecht; Boute, Robert (2016)
      In this paper we investigate how effective conflict management in conflict asymmetry situations impacts the quality of cross-functional management teams’ performance. During a five-day business simulation, we explore the consequences of the relational conflicts and conflict asymmetry experienced by team members. We use two different measures of conflict asymmetry: the traditional group conflict asymmetry measurement of Jehn (1995) and a social networks method. We find that when some team members evoke more conflict than others, this affects the evolution of team dynamics (and ultimately the performance of the team) even more than high levels of conflict altogether; however, the reciprocal emotional understanding between team members (known as group emotional awareness) can mitigate this negative effect and improve the team performance through the appropriate use of conflict management strategies. Since group emotional awareness can be fostered and trained within teams, this is of practical value to improve the performance of cross-functional management teams.
    • Finding empirical evidence for the impact of surgery sequencing on non-operative time

      Cardoen, Brecht; Begen, M.; De Smedt, J.; Van Riet, Carla (2017)
      We explore to what extent the sequencing of surgeries might impact the nonoperative time in the OR, as this might have consequences for surgery scheduling practice to improve performance measures. We report on insights from data of a large Belgian hospital and differentiate between an outpatient and inpatient setting.
    • Implications of switching from a to-day to a to-week patient scheduling strategy, an application at the UZ Leuven

      Samudra, Michael; Demeulemeester, Erik; Cardoen, Brecht (2013)
      In most hospitals there are some patients who receive surgery later than required. As their health condition can potentially quickly worsen, they are exposed to a health risk. In order to improve the current situation, the lateness of patients has to be, firstly, quantified and, secondly, the responsible mechanism has to be understood, namely the patient scheduling process. We analyzed the percentage of patients being served late in Belgium’s largest hospital, the UZ Leuven. At the hospital, an elective patient is associated with one of five due time intervals within which the patient has to be served. We analyzed the lateness of patients across disciplines using all data from 2012 and 22 ORs. We tried to understand many of the different aspects related to the scheduling process, which knowledge we then included into a simulation model. We investigated from the data: patient arrival patterns, the relation between estimated and realized surgery durations, rescheduling mechanisms and the allocation patterns of emergencies. We also used the model to investigate the effects of switching from the current scheduling practice of assigning surgeries directly to slots (OR and day) to a two-step procedure, where patients are scheduled to a surgery week first and only in a second step to slots. Our results suggest that in case of the two-step procedure it is very important to allow patients with shorter due times to break into the already fixed weekly schedule. Additionally, it is important that in the second step of the scheduling procedure, in the within week scheduling, the due time is considered. We conclude that improving patient scheduling can help to decrease the amount of patients served too late. As a next step, we try to develop a sound scheduling schema, which allows to further decrease the number of patients served to late.