A Typology for the Application of Team Coordination Dynamics Across Increasing Levels of Dynamic Complexity

Jamie Gorman, Travis Wiltshire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This review and synthesis examines approaches for measuring and assessing team coordination dynamics (TCD). The authors advance a system typology for classifying TCD approaches and their applications for increasing levels of dynamic complexity.
There is an increasing focus on how teams adapt their coordination in response to changing and uncertain operational conditions. Understanding coordination is significant because poor coordination is associated with maladaptive responses, whereas adaptive coordination is associated with effective responses. This issue has been met with TCD approaches that handle increasing complexity in the types of TCD teams exhibit.
A three-level system typology of TCD approaches for increasing dynamic complexity is provided, with examples of research at each level. For System I TCD, team states converge toward a stable, fixed-point attractor. For System II TCD, team states are periodic, which can appear complex, yet are regular and relatively stable. In System III TCD, teams can exhibit periodic patterns, but those patterns change continuously to maintain effectiveness.
System I and System II are applicable to TCD with known or discoverable behavioral attractors that are stationary across mid-to long-range timescales. System III TCD is the most generalizable to dynamic environments with high requirements for adaptive coordination across a range of timescales.
We outline current challenges for TCD and next steps in this burgeoning field of research.
System III approaches are becoming widespread, as they are generalizable to time- and/or scale-varying TCD and multimodal analyses. Recommendations for deploying TCD in team settings are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number1
Early online date28 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Team coordination dynamics
  • Coordination
  • Dynamic Complexity


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