The RC Survey
THE RELATIONAL COORDINATION (RC) SURVEY is the cornerstone of the resources available to RCRC partners. The RC survey is a seven question instrument based on the theory of relational coordination. Relational coordination is measured by surveying participants in a particular work process about their communication and relationships with other participants in that work process. Because coordination is the management of interdependencies between tasks, and because people are typically assigned to tasks through their roles, relational coordination is most often measured as coordination between roles rather than between unique individuals.
RCRC founder Jody Hoffer Gittell has spent the past decade and a half developing, validating, testing, and refining the relational coordination metric, increasingly joined by colleagues from around the US and beyond. It is a tool that enables organizations to understand where relationships are strongest and weakest amongst functional groups in a focal work process and can serve as one of the first diagnostic steps in improving organizational performance and/or as a way to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention.
A brief history: The relational coordination survey was developed in 1994 in the context of flight departures. It has been validated for use in flight departures (the original six item measure) then in healthcare (including "accurate communication" to become a seven item measure). Using the same seven items, the survey has been used to assess cross-functional coordination as well as cross-organizational coordination, and has been used to assess coordination among workers as well as coordination between workers and customers. An alternative shorter measure (with 4 items only) was developed and validated in long term care.
The RC survey has been used in over one hundred studies to date, including doctoral dissertations, consulting interventions as well as published studies. All known published findings, as well as working papers that are heading toward publication, are summarized here.