Relational Coordination Collaborative

May 2023: Building Relational Capacity for Resilient Communities

Lauren Hajjar, Zachary Hylton, Emily Thoman, Ninna Meier and Carsten Hornstrup
Thursday, May 11, 2023, 3-4:00 ET
  • Lauren Hajjar, Suffolk University
  • Zachary Hylton, Brandeis University
  • Emily Thoman, Brandeis University
  • Ninna Meier, Aalborg University
  • Carsten Hornstrup, Joint Action Analytics

As calls for “whole-of-society” approaches to complex challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic (Clarke, Hellowell, O’Hanlon, & Eldridge, 2020), social justice (Zheng, 2020), and authoritarianism grow louder, organizations of all types must be prepared to meet these demands (Bartunek, 2022).  Communities often serve as ground zero for stakeholders to collectively respond. 

There are no simple solutions for community stakeholders who are seeking to respond. Communities have multiple stakeholders at multiple levels, many of whom have competing interests. Approaches to large-scale change often do not account for the relational aspects of change and therefore fail to address underlying issues of siloed accountability, goals and knowledge, and the lack of trust and respect (Bartunek, Halogen & Do, 2011).  However, prior research suggests that developing strong relationships and organizational structures to support collaboration and coordination across professional, organizational and geographical boundaries is essential, especially developing common understandings, shared goals, shared values, mutual respect and trust (Gittell, 2016; Okhuysen & Bechky, 2009). 

Join this Cafe as we identify RC-inspired innovations to create relational capacity for resilient communities.  We’ll be using our new community dialogue format. At the beginning we’ll offer the floor to anyone who has a thought to contribute, then head into open dialogue.  

We're a community of researchers and practitioners, constantly striving to learn from each other.  If you're already a member, register below and feel free to bring one or more guests.  If you're not a member, reach out to one of our members or the RCC team ( for a guest invite - or take a minute and become a member now.  We will be forming an Innovation Lab focused on this topic to continue working together beyond this Cafe.