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Journal Articles European Management Journal Year : 2012

Coordination Practices in Extreme Situations


Summary This article addresses coordination practices in extreme situations. Whereas past literature has heavily focused on a structural and contingent approach of the phenomena, we argue that a practice-based approach of coordination fruitfully enhances our understanding. We draw on an abductive approach and perform a systematic comparative analysis of four case studies: the crew of a sailing boat engaged in a race, military air and ground forces in theater, medical staff in a neonatology unit and a polar expedition confronted with polar bears. We outline highly heterogeneous coordination practices along four dimensions (formalization, verticality, openness, and specificity). Our results lead to invalidate both a configurational and a contingent perspective on coordination. We show that despite high heterogeneity, these four attributes represent a useful framework for managers to leverage coordination practices produced in situ.


Dates and versions

hal-01625226 , version 1 (27-10-2017)



Isabelle Bouty, Cécile Godé, Carole Drucker-Godard, Pascal Lièvre, Jean Nizet, et al.. Coordination Practices in Extreme Situations. European Management Journal, 2012, 30 (6), pp.475--489. ⟨10.1016/j.emj.2012.03.015⟩. ⟨hal-01625226⟩
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