Relational Coordination Collaborative

June 13 3-4:00 ET - Relating Across Professional and Social Identity Differences - What Are We Learning?

RC Cafe Group Photo

Chair: Jody Hoffer Gittell, Brandeis University

Speaker: Olawale Olaleye, Brandeis University, Deloitte Human Capital


Hun Whee Lee, The Ohio State University

Ryan Teschner, University of Texas, Dallas

Anthony Suchman, Brandeis University, Relationship Centered Health Care


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Diversity can weaken the relationships that are needed for information processing, due to biases, misunderstanding, interpersonal conflicts and subgroup formations and therefore reduce organizational performance.  However, when managed effectively, diversity can bring together multiple perspectives, improving decision-making and organizational performance.

Following this logic, a newer strand of the diversity management literature argues that high quality relationships are central to effective diversity management.  Relational coordination can help to bridge across both social and professional diversity, due to the communication dimensions that enable information processing across differences, and the relational dimensions that enable cohesion across differences (Lee & Kim, 2019).

In this Cafe, we will explore what we are learning in the field as we develop and implement relational approaches to diversity management, with special attention to the  Relating Across Difference initiative.

Advance Readings (optional)

Lee, H. W., & Kim, E. (2020). Workforce diversity and firm performance: Relational coordination as a mediator and structural empowerment and multisource feedback as moderators. Human Resource Management, 59(1), 5-23

Olaleye, W., Gittell, J.H. & Suchman, A. (2024). Relational Coordination and Relating Across Difference Toolbox.

 Valdary, C. (2021). A hole in the heart of antiracism training. The Boston Glo