This conceptual paper addresses previous calls for the development of new theoretical frameworks to better account for the multi-agency emergency management coordination required in complex events. It uses, as a departure point, a teamwork model that includes four phases: situation assessment; plan formulation, plan execution and team learning. The thesis put forward here is that we need to move the focus of analysis beyond the team to one of multi-layered multiple team and multiple organisation systems. To further develop this research framework indicators from multi-organisational literature are added to those found in the individual and teamwork literature to develop a more comprehensive account of multi-team multi-organisational coordination. The paper identifies key anchor points for future use in data collection.