Heller-Brown Building, 206
Departments/ProgramsThe Heller School for Social Policy and Management
DegreesMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D.
New School for Social Research, M.A.
Reed College, B.A.
ExpertiseOrganizational change; organizational effectiveness; organizational resilience; organizational theory; human resource management; relational coordination
ProfileJody Hoffer Gittell, PhD, is a professor at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management and a leading expert on relational coordination and organizational performance. She founded the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, bringing scholars and practitioners together to help organizations build relational coordination for high performance. She co-founded a university spinoff called Relational Coordination Analytics Inc. offering measurement and intervention support to organizations seeking to improve their performance, and serves as its Chief Scientific Officer.
Gittell's research explores how workers, leaders and customers contribute to quality and efficiency outcomes through their coordination with each other. She has developed a theory of relational coordination, proposing that highly interdependent work is most effectively coordinated through relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, supported by frequent, timely, accurate and problem-solving rather than blaming communication. Research demonstrates that relational coordination is associated with a wide range of performance outcomes, and that organizations can support it through the design of their work systems. The RC survey, a validated instrument that is widely used for research as well as practice, assesses dynamics among participants and opens up dialogues to foster fundamental organizational change.
In The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance (McGraw-Hill), and in High Performance Healthcare: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve Quality, Efficiency and Resilience (McGraw-Hill), Gittell describes how relational coordination drives performance in airlines and in healthcare, and how organizations support - or undermine - its development. In Up In the Air: How the Airlines Can Improve Performance by Engaging Their Employees (Cornell University Press), co-authored with Bamber, Kochan and von Nordenflycht, she analyzes the transformation of the global airline industry. Up In the Air: How the Airlines Can Improve Performance by Engaging Their Employees (Cornell University Press) analyzes the transformation of the global airline industry in response to low cost competition. Sociology of Organizations: Structures and Relationships (Sage Publications) brings together classic and new authors to show how structures and relationships enable organizations to address their most basic challenges. Her newest book, Relational Coordination: Transforming Relationships for High Performance (Stanford University Press) demonstrates how relational, work process and structural interventions work together synergistically to enable organizations to achieve sustainable systemic change.
Gittell has published her research in scientific journals such as Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Management Science, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Management Studies, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, Medical Care, Health Services Research, Health Care Management Review, Journal of Nursing Management, and Journal of Early Childhood Research.
Gittell has won a Best Book Award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a Best Paper award from the Human Resource Division of the Academy of Management, the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award for Best Paper of the Year in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, and an Honorable Mention for the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award for Best Paper on Organizational Change. She was selected Outstanding Young Scholar of the Year by the Labor and Employment Relations Association.
Gittell received her PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management, her MA from The New School and her BA from Reed College, and taught for six years at the Harvard Business School before joining the faculty of Brandeis University. She has served as Chair of the Board for Families First Health and Support Center, as MBA Program Director at the Brandeis Heller School, and as Acting Director of the MIT Leadership Center. She now serves on the boards of the Labor and Employment Relations Association and the Endowment for Health, and on the editorial board for the Academy of Management Review. She lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with her husband Ross and their daughters Rose and Grace. Webpage
|HS||254a||Human Resource Management|
|HS||501a||Innovations in Health and Human Service Systems|
|HS||509f||AHRQ Practicum III: Relational Coordination Research and Analysis|
|HS||526a||Organizational Theory and Behavior|
Awards and Honors
Editorial Board, Academy of Management Review (2014)
Chief Scientific Officer, Relational Coordination Analytics, Inc. (2013)
Executive Director, Relational Coordination Research Collaborative (2013)
Board of Directors, Endowment for Health (2012)
International Visiting Fellow, Australian Health Workforce Institute (2012)
Board of Trustees, Reed College (2011 - 2014)
Industry Studies Association, Awards Committee (2011)
Acting Faculty Director, MIT Leadership Center (2010 - 2011)
Executive Board, Labor and Employment Relations Association (2010)
Douglas McGregor Memorial Award, Best Paper of the Year, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science (2009)
Best Paper Award, Human Resources Division, Academy of Management (2008)
Co-Chair, Health Care Industry Council (2008 - 2010)
Douglas McGregor Memorial Award, Best Article on Organizational Change, Honorable Mention, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science (2006)
MBA Program Director, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management (2006 - 2009)
Best Book Award, Sloan Industry Studies Program, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2005)
Chair of the Board, Families First Health and Support Center (2003 - 2006)
Robert Wood Johnson and Atlantic Philanthropies grant for study of nursing home practices and outcomes (2003 - 2006)
Commonwealth Fund grant for study of patient care coordination (2002 - 2004)
Harvard Business School Division of Research grant for study of patient care coordination (1996 - 1998)
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant for study of coordination in the airline industry (1993 - 1994)
Industrial Performance Center Fellowship for dissertation research on airline performance (1993 - 1994)
National Research Council Fellowship for dissertation research on airline performance (1993 - 1994)
Outstanding Young Scholar of the Year, Labor and Employment Relations Association (1991 - 1993)
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Beswick, Joanne, Goldmann, Don, Wallack, Stanley. "Teamwork Methodologies for Accountable Care: Relational Coordination and TeamSTEPPS." Health Care Management Review 40. 2 (2014). (forthcoming)
Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Suchman, Anthony. "Relational Leadership and Organizational Change." Leading Change and Changing the Way We Lead. Ed. Gene Beyt and Margaret Plews-Ogan. London: Radcliffe Publishing, 2012 (forthcoming)
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Von Nordenflycht, Andrew, Kochan, Thomas, McKersie, Robert, Bamber, Greg. "Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management in the Airline Industry." The Global Airline Industry. 2nd ed. Ed. Belobaba, Peter, Barnhardt, Cynthia, Odoni, Amadeo. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2015
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Godfrey, Marjorie, Thistlethwaite, Jill. "Interprofessional Collaborative Practice and Relational Coordination: Improving Healthcare Through Relationships." Journal of Interprofessional Care 27. 3 (2013): 210-213.
Bamber, Greg and Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "A Tale of Two Airlines: Can Low-Cost Carriers be Sustainable and Good Places to Work?." The Conversation (2012)
Douglass, Anne and Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Transforming Professionalism: Relational Bureaucracy and Parent-Teacher Partnerships in Child Care Settings." Journal of Early Childhood Research (2012).
Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Douglass, Anne. "Relational Bureaucracy: Structuring Reciprocal Relationships Into Roles." Academy of Management Review 37. 4 (2012).
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Patrick Flood and Yseult Freeney. "Relational Coordination." Encyclopedia of Management: Organizational Behavior. 2012.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "New Directions for Relational Coordination Theory." Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Ed. Kim S. Cameron and Gretchen Spreitzer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011
Godwyn, Mary and Gittell, Jody Hoffer. Sociology of Organizations: Structures and Relationships. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2011.
Bamber, Greg, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Kochan, Thomas A. and von Nordenflycht, Andrew. "Contrasting Employment Relations Strategies in European Airlines." Journal of Industrial Relations 51. 5 (2010): 635-652.
Bamber, Greg, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Kochan, Thomas A., von Nordenflycht, Andrew. "Contrasting Strategic Choices in the Airline Industry: Deregulation and Employment Relations in the Asia Pacific Region and the Middle East." Aviation Security and Safety: Some Legal Dimensions. Ed. R. Jilla. Icfai: Icfai University Press, 2010
Bond, Brenda and Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Cross-Agency Coordination of Offender Reentry: Testing Outcomes of Collaboration Policies." Journal of Criminal Justice (2010).
Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Bamber, Greg. "High and Low Road Strategies for Competing on Costs and Their Implications for Employment Relations: Studies in the Airline Industry." International Journal of Human Resource Management 21. 2 (2010): 165-179.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Seidner, Rob, Wimbush, Julian. "A Relational Model of How High-Performance Work Systems Work." Organization Science 21. 2 (2010): 490-506.
Sullivan, Donna Havens, Vasey, Joseph, Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Lin, Wei Ting. "Relational Coordination among Nurses and other Disciplines: Impact on the Quality of Patient Care." Journal of Nursing Management (2010).
Appelbaum, Eileen, Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Leana, Carrie. "High Performance Work Practices and Economic Recovery." LERA Commons (2009)
Bamber, Greg, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Kochan, Thomas A., von Nordenflycht, Andrew. Up in the Air: How the Airlines Can Improve Performance by Engaging Their Employees. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009.
Carmeli, Abraham and Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "High Quality Relationships, Psychological Safety and Learning from Failures in Work Organizations." Journal of Organizational Behavior 30. 6 (2009): 709-729.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Seidner, Rob. "Human Resource Management in the Service Sector." Handbook of Human Resource Management. Ed. A. Wilkinson, T. Redman, S. Snell and N. Bacon. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Von Nordenflycht, Andrew, Kochan, Thomas A., McKersie, Robert and Bamber, Greg. "Labor Relations and Human Resource Management in the Airline Industry." The Global Airline Industry. Ed. Peter Belobaba, Cynthia Barnhardt and Amadeo Odoni. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2009
Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Lack of Coordination Hampers U.S. Healthcare System." Modern Healthcare August 20.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer. High Performance Healthcare: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve Quality, Efficiency and Resilience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Weinberg, Dana Beth, Pfefferle, Susan, Bishop, Christine. "Impact of Relational Coordination on Job Satisfaction and Quality Outcomes: A Study of Nursing Homes." Human Resource Management Journal 18. 2 (2008): 154-170.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Relationships and Resilience: Care Provider Responses to Pressures from Managed Care." Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 44. 1 (2008): 25-47.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer; Weinberg, Dana, Bennett, Adrienne and Miller, Joseph A.. "Is the Doctor In? A Relational Approach to Job Design and the Coordination of Work." Human Resource Management 47. 4 (2008): 729-756.
Kautz, Cori, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Lusenhop, Will, Weinberg, Dana Beth, Wright, John. "Patient Benefits from Participating in an Integrated Delivery System: Impact on Coordination of Care." Health Care Management Review 32. 3 (2007): 1-11.
Miller, Joseph A., Dorsey, Joseph, Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Establishing a Teamwork Model of Care for Hospital Medicine." Comprehensive Hospital Medicine: An Evidence-Based and Systems Approach. Ed. M.V. Williams and R. Hayward. New York: Elsevier Publishing, 2007
Weinberg, Dana, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Lusenhop, Will, Kautz, Cori, Wright, John. "Beyond Our Walls: Impact of Patient and Provider Coordination Across the Continuum on Outcomes for Surgical Patients." Health Services Research 42. 1 (2007): 7-24.
Weinberg, Dana, Lusenhop, Will, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Kautz, Cori. "Coordination between Formal Care Providers and Informal Caregivers." Health Care Management Review 32(2). 140-150 (2007).
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Briscoe, Forrest. "Layoffs and Organizational Resilience: Lessons for Workers, Managers and Investors." Perspectives on Work 10. 1 (2006): 6-8.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Cameron, Kim, Lim, Sandy, Rivas, Victor. "Relationships, Layoffs and Organizational Resilience: Airline Industry Responses to September 11." Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 42. 3 (2006): 300-329.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Connecting with Employees Through Front-Line Leadership: Lessons from Southwest Airlines." What Managers Say, What Employees Hear. Ed. R. Maruca. New York: Praeger Publishing, 2006
Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Relational Coordination: Coordinating Work Through Relationships of Shared Goals, Shared Knowledge and Mutual Respect." Relational Perspectives in Organizational Studies: A Research Companion. Ed. O. Kyriakidou and M. Ozbilgin. London: Edward Elgar, 2006
Pfefferle, Susan, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Hodgkin, Dominic, Ritter, Grant. "Pediatrician Coordination of Care for Children with Mental Illnesses." Medical Care 44. 12 (2006): 1085-1091.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Weiss, Leigh. "Coordination Networks Within and Between Organizations: A Multi-Level Framework." Journal of Management Studies 41. 1 (2004): 127-153.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, von Nordenflycht, Andrew and Kochan, Thomas. "Mutual Gains or Zero Sum? Labor Relations and Firm Performance in the Airline Industry." Industrial and Labor Relations Review 57. 2 (2004): 163-179.
Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "The Power of Relationships." Sloan Management Review 45. 2 (2004): 16-17.
Perlow, Leslie, Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Katz, Nancy. "Contextualizing Patterns of Work Group Interaction: Toward a Nested Theory of Structuration." Organization Science 15. 5 (2004): 520-536.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "A Theory of Relational Coordination." Positive Organizational Scholarship: Foundations of a New Discipline. Ed. Kim S. Cameron, Jane E. Dutton and Robert E. Quinn. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2003
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Achieving Focus in Hospital-Based Health Care: The Role of Relational Coordination." Consumer Driven Health Care: Implications for Providers, Payers and Policy-Makers. Ed. Regina Herzlinger. John Wiley and Sons., 2003
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Options for Rebuilding Labor Relations." Perspectives on Work 7. 2 (2003).
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
Austin, Rob and Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "When It Should Not Work but Does: Anomalies of High Performance." Business Performance Measurement. Ed. Andy Neely. Cambridge University Press, 2002
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Coordinating Mechanisms in Care Provider Groups: Relational Coordination as a Mediator and Input Uncertainty as a Moderator of Performance Effects." Management Science 48. 11 (2002): 1408-1426.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Relationships between Service Providers and their Impact on Customers." Journal of Service Research 4. 4 (2002): 299-311.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Investing in Relationships." Harvard Business Review 79. 6 (2001).
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Supervisory Span, Relational Coordination, and Flight Departure Performance: A Reassessment of Post-Bureaucracy Theory." Organization Science 12. 4 (2001): 467-482.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer with Martin Charns. "Work Design." Healthcare Management: Organization Design and Behavior. Ed. Stephen Shortell and Arnold Kaluzny. Delmar Press, 2000
Gittell,Jody Hoffer, Fairfield, Kathleen, Bierbaum, Benjamin, Head, William, Jackson, Robert, Kelly, Michael, Laskin, Richard, Lipson, Stephen, Siliski, John, Thornhill, Thomas and Zuckerman, Joseph. "Impact of Relational Coordination on Quality of Care, Post-Operative Pain and Functioning, and Length of Stay: A Nine Hospital Study of Surgical Patients." Medical Care 38. 8 (2000): 807-819.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Organizing Work to Support Relational Coordination." International Journal of Human Resource Management 11. 3 (2000): 517-539.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Paradox of Coordination and Control." California Management Review 42. 3 (2000): 177-183.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer with Thomas A. Kochan and Brenda Lautsch. "Total Quality Management and Human Resource Systems: An International Comparison." International Journal of Human Resource Management 6. 2 (1995): 201-222.
Gittell,Jody Hoffer. "Cost/Quality Tradeoffs in the Departure Process? Evidence from the Major U.S. Airlines." Transportation Research Record 1480. (1995): 25-36.