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Coordinating Mechanisms in Care Provider Groups: Relational Coordination as a Mediator and Input Uncertainty as a Moderator of Performance Effects

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  • Jody Hoffer Gittell

    () (Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454)

Abstract

This paper proposes a model of how coordinating mechanisms work, and tests it in the context of patient care. Consistent with organization design theory, the performance effects of boundary spanners and team meetings were mediated by relational coordination, a communication- and relationship-intensive form of coordination. Contrary to organization design theory, however, the performance effects of routines were also mediated by relational coordination. Rather than serving as a replacement for interactions, as anticipated by organization design theory, routines work by enhancing interactions among participants. Likewise, all three coordinating mechanisms, including routines, were found to be increasingly effective under conditions of uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Jody Hoffer Gittell, 2002. "Coordinating Mechanisms in Care Provider Groups: Relational Coordination as a Mediator and Input Uncertainty as a Moderator of Performance Effects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(11), pages 1408-1426, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:48:y:2002:i:11:p:1408-1426
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.48.11.1408.268
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
    2. Saul A. Rubinstein, 2000. "The Impact of Co-Management on Quality Performance: The Case of the Saturn Corporation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 197-218, January.
    3. Martha S. Feldman, 2002. "Organizational Routines as Sources of Connections and Understandings," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 309-331, May.
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