4Can Coordination in Extreme Environments be Learned? A Managerial Approach

Adopting a practical approach in order to analyze team coordination in extreme environments opens up promising research. It offers the chance to discover the “implicit” side of the phenomenon, by examining the players’ actions under the pressure of the changes, uncertainties and risks they are exposed to. Furthermore, viewing team coordination as a set of practices emerging in situ makes it a phenomenon, which is, in principle, difficult to implement. Coordination is thus no longer predetermined; it is shaped during action, in the continuous construction of the players’ practices and ways.

Under these circumstances, adopting a practical approach to understand the coordination as it is “being made” involves thinking about its implementation differently. It leads to the search for answers to the two following questions: can coordination in extreme environments be learned? And what roles can the managers play in order to guide and support their teams in the development of their coordination?

The different case studies presented here describe an emerging coordination, closely tied to the players and their context: team coordination results from a process of experimentation, which makes sense through the players’ past and present actions.

For this reason, the knowledge and expertise that the team and its members possess, the way in which they utilize and circulate them and the part the organization plays ...

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