Dear RCRC community–

On a recent trip to Norway, I had two strong impressions. Norwegians are more reserved than Americans on the whole – even a bit shy. They also have a strong sense of the public good. Rather than seeing taxation as an annoying necessity or as theft, Norwegians express pride in their high taxes and their well functioning society. One person explained to me that the Norwegian word for taxes is “treasure.” Tax payments are made public so people can monitor whether others are paying their fair share and so they can take pride in their own contributions.

I know we can’t easily transfer these innovations to the US given our history and our relatively huge population. But I am hopeful that we can begin to create a more positive narrative about taxation as “treasure” for promoting the public good. I’m hopeful that we will strive to build an inclusive culture of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect wherever we live and work. And that we will use both social and traditional media to spread this new narrative across party lines.

Capitalism can be extremely dynamic and creative, but evidence shows that redistribution is needed to prevent extremes of wealth and poverty that threaten democracy and even capitalism itself. Our taxes are one way to do this, and well functioning unions are another way.    One example – the United Farm Workers are partnering with coffee and dairy farmers, as well as food processors and retailers, to create sustainable supply chains that benefit all partners including farm workers.  They are using principles of relational coordination to redistribute value across the supply chain for mutual benefit.

Register for the RCRC Roundtable to learn more about efforts like these, and to share your own work as it relates to building relationships across multiple stakeholders for positive change.  Then read on for monthly RCRC activities and updates!


RCRC Roundtable in Copenhagen: Call for Abstracts

The world as we know it has been undergoing dramatic changes. A populist groundswell is building up, nurturing a feeling of an ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ Political, sociological and economic changes are raising the level of insecurity for both public organizations and private companies.

How do we create trust in a time of distrust? How do we build relational coordination between professions, across organizations, across differences in race, gender, nationality and status, and between managers, employees, investors and clients, to achieve desired outcomes? 

The RCRC community has a deep expertise in using relational coordination to support healthcare improvement, with a growing focus on relational co-production with citizens and families.  Building on this expertise, our partners are now using relational coordination to support community wellness, social change, education, human services, construction, transportation, sustainable supply chains, entrepreneurial ventures, and more. 

At the 7th Annual Roundtable, you will see the world from a different perspective. Literally! For the first time, the Roundtable is taking place outside the U.S. Our location this year will be Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark and one of the major cities in Scandinavia. The Scandinavian countries have been characterized by high levels of trust among citizens, in the judicial system, and even in politicians. 

Join us for inspiration from around the world, as we bridge our research and practical experiences to create positive change. We invite you to bring your research, teaching or a change initiative you’re involved with and put your head together with fellow researchers and professionals to deepen your knowledge and bring new perspectives to it. 

Submission Instructions:

We invite you to submit abstracts by June 1 relating to research, practice or teaching methods, based on work that is either completed or in progress. We welcome submissions from multiple disciplines and methodologies. Research abstracts can include projects that are either completed or in progress. Practice abstracts may include an intervention that is either completed or in progress. Teaching abstracts can include methods for teaching about relational coordination at an undergraduate, graduate or professional level.

If you are interested in presenting at the Roundtable, please submit your title and abstract by June 15 using the electronic submission form included here or below. 

Notification of Acceptance and Registration for Roundtable:

You will be notified by June 30 at latest whether your project has been selected for presentation. Registration for the Roundtable is open and available here, and early registration ends July 15.

Questions: Feel free to contact Tanya Allain at with questions

Roundtable Selection Committee and Roundtable Host Committee on our website here.

Click Here to Submit Abstract

Click Here to Register for the Roundtable

RCRC Research Webinar: Thursday, April 20th at 10:00-11:30 ET

Improving Interdisciplinary Teamwork in the Operating Room:

Using Relational Coordination as a Framework and Model for Organizational Change

Presenter: Birgitte Torring (PhD candidate, Aalborg University)

Discussant: Tim Vogus (Professor, Vanderbilt University) 

In surgical teams, where health professionals are highly interdependent and work under time pressure, it is of particular importance that teamwork is well-functioning to secure quality treatment and patient safety. Using the theory of relational coordination (RC) may be the key to unlocking the black box of teamwork in search for relational elements critical to successful collaboration and communication. Few single studies exist which explore how RC could be observed and improved in this context. The present study examines surgical teams in selected operating rooms (OR) focusing on RC with the purpose of identifying different ways of communicating and managing relationships in contexts of variable complexity and developing an intervention program. Read more here.

Please note that Research Webinars are available to RCRC Partners only. If you are interested in learning about RCRC partnership, please click here.


Click Here to Register for the Webinar

Academy of Management in Atlanta, Georgia!


Brenda Bond, Anna Perlmutter, Callie Watkins Liu, Anne Douglass







Congratulations to all those who have been accepted to present about relational coordination at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting this year! We will include information about one or two of these sessions in each newsletter leading up to the conference. On our website is a list of sessions that include RCRC partners. We will be adding sessions as we receive them. If you have a session to share, please email Tanya Allain at

Click Here to See All AOM Sessions


April RC Cafe at New Date and Time

Wednesday, April 26th at 3:00 ET

Building Community Health and Wellness

Slowly but surely, the healthcare industry is moving from simply providing healthcare to engaging in community health and wellness. This transition is huge, and it brings healthcare together with community development, community safety and the social determinants of health. Join us in a discussion of different emerging models and their reliance on relational coordination across a whole new set of stakeholders. 

Carsten Hornstrup of Joint Action in Denmark will be one of our conversation facilitators, and we will have additional facilitators and participants from payers and health systems in the United States, including Steve Freund of Blue Shield of California. We can’t wait to hear from all of you! 

Please note that RC Cafes are available to RCRC Partners only. If you are interested in learning about RCRC partnership, please click here.


Click Here to Register for the Cafe

Upcoming Events

April 20: RC Cafe – more information above.

April 26: RCRC Research Webinar – more information above.

May 1-3: Humble Healthcare Workshop: Building Relationships and Culture for System Transformationled by RCRC partners Diane B. Rawlins and Tony Suchman along with Edgar Schein in Half Moon Bay, CA. Find more details here.

May 9-10: POS Research Conference to share and advance qualitative and quantitative research in the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS). This biennial gathering of scholars promotes research that inspires and enables leaders to build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people. Learn more here.

June 1: Deadline for RCRC Roundtable Call for Abstracts – more information above.

June 15-16: RC Intervention Workshop in Boston, MA – In this training, you will learn to use relational coordination as part of interventions to improve collaboration and performance across the continuum from small co­-located work groups to virtual teams to whole organizations and inter-organizational consortia.  The course includes self-study modules, a 1.5-day workshop, and coaching support for a project of your choice. Led by Dr. Tony Suchman of Relationship Centered Health Care and Jody Hoffer Gittell of Brandeis University at the Center for Medical Simulation. Learn more here!

July 15: Last day to receive an early-bird discount when you register for the RCRC Roundtable.

August 4-8: 77th Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.  See more here.

September 1: Deadline for papers on the concept of resonance. Learn more here.

October 19-20: 7th Annual RCRC Roundtable in Copenhagen. See above and here for details.
December 7-9, 2017, February 1-3, 2018, April 12-14, 2018Rediscovering the Heart of Health Care: A Courage to Lead Retreat Series in Island Wood – Seattle, WA. Facilitators are Richard Shugerman and RCRC Partner, Diane Rawlins. Click here to learn more, register and download the brochure.


Have an event to share with the RCRC community?  Email Tanya Allain at