Jody Hoffer Gittell
Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Brandeis University

Related Research Interests

Jody Hoffer Gittell is a professor of management at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She founded the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, bringing scholars and practitioners together to help organizations build relational coordination for high performance. She serves as co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of a university spinoff called Relational Coordination Analytics offering relationship measurement and intervention support to organizations seeking to improve quality, efficiency, well-being and other performance outcomes.

Gittell has developed a theory of relational coordination, proposing that highly interdependent work is most effectively coordinated by frontline workers with each other, their customers and their leaders, through relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, supported by frequent, timely, accurate, problem-solving communication. The theory has two central propositions: 1) relational coordination drives performance outcomes along with client and worker well-being, especially under conditions of interdependence, uncertainty and time constraints; and 2) organizational structures support or undermine relational coordination and its associated performance outcomes, depending on their design. More recently, Gittell’s relational model of organizational change has extended the theory to address how organizations and their stakeholders increase relational coordination to achieve quality, efficiency, well-being and other performance outcomes.

Gittell’s research is published in a wide range of scientific journals, for example Management Science, Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Human Resource Management Journal, Human Resource Management, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Health Services Research, Journal of Nursing Management, Medical Care, Health Care Management Review, Journal of Interprofessional Care, and Journal of Air Transport Management. She has published five books, most recently Transforming Relationships for High Performance: The Power of Relational Coordination (2016).

Gittell received her PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management and taught for six years at the Harvard Business School before joining Brandeis University in 2001. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Endowment for Health, as Treasurer for Seacoast NAACP, and on the Editorial Review Board of the Academy of Management Review. She and her husband Ross are enjoying their empty nest in Portsmouth, NH while following with pride the adventures of their daughters Rose and Grace.

Related Publications

  • Gittell, J.H. (2016). Transforming Relationships for High Performance: The Power of Relational Coordination. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Godwyn, M., Gittell, J.H. (2011). Sociology of Organizations: Structures and Relationships. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2009). High Performance Healthcare: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve Quality, Efficiency and Resilience. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2003). The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2016). “How Interdependent Parties Build Relational Coordination to Achieve Their Desired Outcomes,” Negotiation Journal, 31(4): 387-392.
  • Gittell, J.H., Godfrey, M., Thistlethwaite, J. (2014). “Interprofessional Collaborative Practice and Relational Coordination: Improving Healthcare Through Relationships,” Journal of Interprofessional Care, 27(3): 210-213.
  • Gittell, J.H., Beswick, J., Goldmann, D., Wallack, S. (2014). “Teamwork Methodologies for Accountable Care: Relational Coordination and TeamSTEPPS,” Health Care Management Review, 40(20): 116-125.
  • Gittell, J.H., Douglass, A. (2012). “Relational Bureaucracy: Structuring Reciprocal Relationships into Roles,” Academy of Management Review, 37(4): 709-754.
  • Douglass, A., Gittell, J.H. (2012). “Transforming Professionalism: Relational Bureaucracy and Parent-Teacher Partnerships in Child Care Settings,” Journal of Early Childhood Research, 10(3): 267-281.
  • Havens, D.S., Vasey, J., Gittell, J.H., Lin, W. (2010). “Relational Coordination Among Nurses and Other Providers: Impact on the Quality of Care,” Journal of Nursing Management, 18: 926-937.
  • Gittell, J.H., Seidner, R., Wimbush, J. (2010). “A Relational Model of How High-Performance Work Systems Work,” Organization Science, 21(2): 490-506.
  • Bond, B., Gittell, J.H. (2010). “Cross-Agency Coordination of Offender Reentry: Testing Outcomes of Collaboration Policies,” Journal of Criminal Justice, 38: 118-29.
  • Gittell, J.H., Bamber, G. (2010). “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): 165-179.
  • Carmeli, A., Gittell, J.H. (2009). “High Quality Relationships, Psychological Safety and Learning from Failures in Work Organizations,” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(6): 709-729.
  • Gittell, J.H., Weinberg, D., Bennett, A., Miller, J.A. (2008). “Is the Doctor In? A Relational Approach to Job Design and the Coordination of Work,” Human Resource Management, 47(4): 729-755.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2008). “Relationships and Resilience: Care Provider Responses to Pressures from Managed Care,” Journal Applied Behavioral Science, 44(1): 25-47.
  • Gittell, J.H., Weinberg, D.B., Pfefferle, S., Bishop, C. (2008). “Impact of Relational Coordination on Job Satisfaction and Quality Outcomes: A Study of Nursing Homes,” Human Resource Management Journal, 18(2): 154-170.
  • Kautz, C., Gittell, J.H., Lusenhop, W., Weinberg, D.B., Wright, J. (2007). “Patient Benefits from Participating in an Integrated Delivery System: Impact on the Coordination of Care,” Health Care Management Review, 32(3): 1-11.
  • Weinberg, D.B., Lusenhop, W., Gittell, J.H., Kautz, C. (2007). “Coordination between Formal Providers and Informal Caregivers,” Health Care Management Review, 32(2): 140-150.
  • Weinberg, D.B., Gittell, J.H., Lusenhop, W., Kautz, C., Wright, J. (2007). “Beyond Our Walls: Impact of Patient and Provider Coordination across the Continuum on Outcomes for Surgical Patients,” Health Services Research, 42(1): 7-24.
  • Pfefferle, S., Gittell, J.H., Hodgkin, D., Ritter, G. (2006). “Pediatrician Coordination of Care for Children with Mental Illness,” Medical Care, 44(12): 1085-1091.
  • Gittell, J.H., Cameron, K., Lim, S., Rivas, V. (2006). “Relationships, Layoffs and Organizational Resilience: Airline Industry Responses to September 11,” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 42(3): 300-329
  • Perlow, L., Gittell, J.H., Katz, N. (2004). “Contextualizing Patterns of Work Group Interaction: Toward a Nested Theory of Structuration,” Organization Science, 15(5): 520-536.
  • Gittell, J.H., von Nordenflycht, A., Kochan, T.A. (2004). “Mutual Gains or Zero Sum? Labor Relations and Firm Performance in the Airline Industry,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 57(2): 163-179.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2002). “Coordinating Mechanisms in Care Provider Groups: Relational Coordination as a Mediator and Input Uncertainty as a Moderator of Performance Effects,” Management Science, 48(11): 1408-1426.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2002). “Relationships between Service Providers and their Impact on Customers,” Journal of Service Research, 4(4): 299-311.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2001). “Supervisory Span, Relational Coordination and Flight Departure Performance: A Reassessment of Post-Bureaucracy Theory,” Organization Science, 12(4): 467-482.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2000). “Organizing Work to Support Relational Coordination,” International Journal of Human Resource Management, 11(3): 517-539.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2000). “Paradox of Coordination and Control,” California Management Review, 42(3): 177-183.
  • Gittell, J.H., Fairfield, K., Bierbaum, B., Jackson, R., Kelly, M., Laskin, R., Lipson, S., Siliski, J., Thornhill, T., Zuckerman, J. (2000). “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): 807-819.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2017). “An Unexpected Detour from Ivory Tower to Action Research,” in Wegener, C., Meier, N., Masio, E. (eds.), In Praise of Detours: Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Resnick, J., Temkin, E., Lax, S., Gittell, J.H. (2016). “Building Relational Coordination Across Front-Line Work Groups at Kaiser Permanente,” in A. Avgar and T.J. Vogus (eds.), The Evolving Healthcare Landscape: How Employees, Organizations, and Institutions Adapt and Innovate. Labor and Employment Relations Association Press.
  • Gittell, J.H., Suchman, A. (2013). “Connecting and Leading with Others,” in Wisdom Leadership, eds. M. Plews-Ogan, G. Beyt. London: Radcliffe Publishing.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2013). “Relational Coordination,” Wiley Encyclopedia of Management: Organizational Behavior, 3rd edition, eds. P. Flood, Y. Freeney. London: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Suchman, A., Mainali, E., Gittell, J.H. “Addressing Chronic Conflict and Problematic Behaviors in a Group Practice,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26: S556-S556.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2011). “New Directions for Relational Coordination Theory,” in Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship, pp. 74-94, eds. K.S. Cameron and G. Spreitzer. Oxford University Press.
Blogs, etc.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2017). “An Unexpected Detour from Ivory Tower to Action Research,” Huffington Post.
  • Gittell, J.H., Storch, J. (2016). “Building a Relational Public Sector,” Stanford Social Innovations Review.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2016). “Relational Coordination Offers Seven Principles to Connect Across Roles at Work,” Huffington Post.
  • Gittell, J.H., Kochan, T.A. (2016). “A New Social Contract,” Stanford University Press Blog and Columbia University Press Blog.
  • Gittell, J.H. (2016). “Rethinking Autonomy: Relationships as a Source of Resilience in a Changing Health Care System,” Health Services Research, 51(5).
  • Boguslaw, J., Gittell, J.H. (2016). “Relational Coproduction and Relational Welfare: Asset Based Approaches to Social Well-Being,” Kognition and Paedagogic, 26(2).