Institute on Healthcare Systems

Relational Coordination Research Database

The Relational Coordination Research Database aims to summarize all evidence about how stakeholders can achieve desired outcomes by strengthening relational coordination, published by researchers who have tested some aspect of the Relational Model of Organizational Change.  This database will help researchers and practitioners to understand what works, what does not work - and where additional innovation and research are most needed!

The Relational Model of Organizational Change

The Relational Model of Organizational Change

In this database, you will be able to conduct a customized search for evidence from 73 countries and 36 industry contexts about:

  • Outcomes of relational coordination, which include efficiency and financial outcomes, quality and safety outcomes, client engagement, worker well-being, as well as learning and innovation.

  • Predictors of relational coordination, which include structures such as selecting for teamwork, shared accountability and rewards, shared conflict resolution mechanisms, boundary spanner roles, shared information systems and more.

  • Interventions to strengthen relational coordination, which include structural, relational and work process interventions.

  • Where relational coordination is measured quantitatively or qualitatively, within organizations, between organizations, and/or with clients
  • Based on a systematic review of the literature conducted from 1991 through 2019 - see Methods below!
  • Next update - July 2021

Methods for Building This Database

This database was built by Caroline Logan (Abt Associates), Rendelle Bolton (Veterans Health Administration), and Jody Hoffer Gittell (Brandeis University), with technical support from Jessica Maryott (Brandeis University) and Francesca Grandonico (Colorado College). 

Photos of Rendelle Bolton, Caroline Logan, and Jody Hoffer Gittell

We conducted a systematic review following preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We began with a broad search of the term relational coordination in Google Scholar for articles in the peer-reviewed literature, published dissertations, and publicly available conference proceedings. We selected Google Scholar as our primary search engine due to the breadth of relational coordination literature across industries and contexts and a desire to capture the gray literature, including null and unanticipated findings, which would not be included in publication indexes alone. After removing duplicates, two researchers screened all remaining abstracts and eliminated all works that did not meet our inclusion criteria: available in English, empirically measuring relational coordination (whether qualitatively or quantitatively), and empirically testing the relationship between relational coordination and the outcomes and/or predictors of relational coordination.

"Revisiting Relational Coordination: A Systematic Review"

Bolton, R., Logan, C., and Gittell, J.H. (2021). The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Published online Feb. 15, 2021.

Here is the first paper to summarize the findings from this RC Research Database - and here is a blog post about it from SAGE Publications!

Access to Database

Members of the Brandeis University community (faculty, students, staff) can access this database here.

Partners of the Relational Coordination Collaborative can access this database here.  To become a partner of the RCC, a global learning community for researchers and practitioners, please visit relationalcoordination.org.  

For questions about this database or how to access it, please contact Professor Jody Hoffer Gittell at jgittell@brandeis.edu.

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