Relational Coordination Collaborative

Theory of Performance

Structures, Relational Coordination, and Outcomes

Relational coordination is a theory of performance with three major propositions...

Proposition 1.  Relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect promote frequent, timely, accurate, problem-solving communication, and vice versa.  Together these seven dimensions form an empirically validated construct called relational coordination.

Proposition 2.  Relational coordination results in beneficial outcomes for multiple stakeholders when it is strong, and harmful outcomes for multiple stakeholders when it is weak, especially when work is highly interdependent, uncertain and time constrained.

Proposition 3.  Organizations can design structural, relational and work process interventions to reduce subgoal optimization and increase systems thinking, thus strengthening relational coordination.  See above for specific types of structures.

Note:  Subgoal optimization is optimizing the local goal at the expense of the overall goal (March & Simon, 1958. Organizations. New York, NY: McGraw Hill).

Evidence regarding these propositions has been published in two books and many scientific journals...

The Southwest Airlines WayHigh Performance Healthcare

Bolton, Logan and Gittell Systematic Review Article