According to the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative (RCRC), RC is “a mutually reinforcing process of communicating and relating for the purpose of task integration.” The mission of the research collaborative is to “transform relationships for high performance by building shared goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect across boundaries through communication that is timely, accurate, and problem-solving oriented.”

The collaborative connects with practitioners and academics to develop and test new models of change by transforming relational dynamics underlying their work processes and redesigning their structures to support and sustain the new dynamics.

Founded in 2011, RCRC works to build knowledge, evidence, and tools to help organizations transform relationships for high performance. Based at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, RC is also a validated tool for measuring and analyzing the communication and relationship networks through which work is coordinated across functional and organizational boundaries.

Prior research in health care settings has found that the design of organizational structures influences the strength of RC, and that RC in turn predicts quality and efficiency performance as well as customer and worker satisfaction.