If we do not know what coordination is (as Wildavsky suggested), it is not because there are no definitions. On the contrary, if there is a reason for ignorance, it is because there are too many different definitions, and too little agreement. Rogers and Whetten and their associates reviewed much of the research on IOC in 1982. 1 In this review, IOC is defined as
the process whereby two or more organizations create and/or use existing decision rules that have been established to deal collectively with their task environment.(Mulford and Rogers, 1982:12) The problem with this definition is that it leaves several issues unresolved. Does IOC happen between organizations, to produce outcomes that are different from what they might have been if no IOC had occurred? Or is IOC a structure of relationships between organizations? Or perhaps, like light in physics, which can be at the same time a particle or a wave, IOC can be a process and a structure, depending on the point of view and the situation.