COORDINATION THEORY: A Ten-Year Retrospective

Kevin Crowston, Joseph Rubleske, James Howison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

32 Scopus citations


Since the initial publication in 1994, coordination theory has been referenced in nearly three hundred journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, and theses. Coordination theory provides an approach to a core problem in HCI: It analyzes group work to suggest alternative approaches involving computer support. Coordination theory suggests identifying the dependencies between the tasks the different group members are carrying out and the coordination mechanisms the group uses to coordinate its work, and then considering alternative mechanisms. This chapter will analyze the contribution of this body of research to determine how coordination theory has been used for user task analysis and modeling for HCI. Issues that will be addressed include: (1) how the theory has been applied; (2) factors that led to the success of the theory; and (3) identification of areas needing further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction and Management Information Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781317468387
ISBN (Print)9780765614865
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Coordination Theory
  • Group Work
  • HCI
  • Process Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Social Sciences


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