The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Jody Hoffer Gittell


Jody Hoffer Gittell's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 206
Phone: 781-736-3680
Brandeis Directory


Relational coordination; human resource management; organizational effectiveness; organizational change; organizational resilience; organizational theory


  • HS 254a - Human Resource Management
  • HS 401b - Research Methods
  • HS 509f - AHRQ Practicum III: Relational Coordination Research and Analysis
  • HS 526a - Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • HS 611b - Relational Coordination Master Class


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New School for Social Research
  • Reed College

Jody Hoffer Gittell



Jody Hoffer Gittell is Professor of Management at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Executive Director of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, and Chief Scientific Officer of Relational Coordination Analytics, Inc.

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 quality and efficiency performance along with client and worker well-being, under conditions of interdependence, uncertainty and time constraints; and 2) organizational structures support or undermine relational coordination and its associated performance outcomes, depending upon 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 their desired outcomes, proposing three types of interventions needed to do so - relational and work process interventions, as well as structural interventions.

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. 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, analyzes the transformation of the global airline industry in response to low cost competition. Sociology of Organizations: Structures and Relationships (Sage Publications), co-authored with Godwyn, brings together classic and new authors to show how structures and relationships enable organizations to address their most basic challenges. Most recently, Transforming Relationships for High Performance: The Power of Relational Coordination (Stanford University Press) shows how relational, structural and work process interventions enable sustainable systemic change. Going forward Gittell will explore the relational dynamics of multi-level systems change in complex systems such as healthcare, community health and wellness, and public education.

Gittell has published in journals such as Academy of Management Review, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Organization Science, Management Science, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Management Studies, Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, Medical Care, Health Services Research, Health Care Management Review, Journal of Nursing Management, Journal of Interprofessional Care, Negotiation Journal, and Journal of Air Transport Management.

Gittell 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 and taught for six years at the Harvard Business School before joining the faculty of Brandeis University in 2001. She served as Chair of the Board for Families First Health and Support Center, MBA Program Director at The Heller School, and Acting Director of MIT Leadership Center. She currently serves as Treasurer for Seacoast NAACP, and on the Editorial Review Board for Academy of Management Review.

Awards and Honors

  • VA State of the Art Research Conference, Keynote Speaker (2018)
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education (2018)
  • Expert Panel, Cambridge Health Alliance Innovation Fellowship Symposium (2017)
  • Expert Panel, Commonwealth Care Alliance (2017)
  • Treasurer, NAACP Seacoast (2017)
  • Associate Editor, Special Topic Forum on the Changing Nature of Work Relationships, Academy of Management Review (2016)
  • Distinguished Speaker, Health Care Management Division, Academy of Management (2016)
  • Technical Expert Panel, University of California Berkeley, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Initiative (2016)
  • Editorial Board, Academy of Management Review (2014)
  • Chief Scientific Officer, Relational Coordination Analytics, Inc. (2013)
  • Executive Director, Relational Coordination Research Collaborative (2013)
  • Board of Trustees, 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, J.H. and Fletcher, J.. "Integrative Solutions in a Divided World: Toward a Relational Model of Change." The Future of Progressivism: Applying Follettian Thinking to Contemporary Issues. Ed. M. Stout and J. Love. Process Century Press, 2018 (forthcoming)
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Lauren Hajjar. "Implementing Patient-Centered Care: How the Relational Model of Organizational Change Can Help." Journal of General Internal Medicine (2019).
  • Gittell, J.H., Logan, C.K., Cronenwett, J., Foster, T., Freeman, R., Godfrey, M. and Vidal, D.C.. "Impact of Relational Coordination on Staff and Patient Outcomes in Outpatient Surgical Clinics." Health Care Management Review (2018).
  • Havens, D.S., Gittell, J.H. and Vasey, J.. "Impact of Relational Coordination on Nurse Outcomes: Achieving the Quadruple Aim." Journal of Nursing Administration 48. 3 (2018): 132-140.
  • Heaphy, E.D., Byron, K., Ballinger, G.A., Gittell, J.H., Leana, C. & Sluss, D.M.. "Introduction to Special Topic Forum: The Changing Nature of Work Relationships." Academy of Management Review 43. 4 (2018): 558-569.
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Thomas Kochan. "A New Social Contract." Stanford University Press Blog, Columbia University Press Blog (2017)
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "An Unexpected Detour from Ivory Tower to Action Research." In Praise of Detours: Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research. Ed. Wegener, C., Meier, N., Masio, E.. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
  • Perloff, Jennifer, Rushforth, Alice, Daudelin, Denise, Suchman, Anthony, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Santos, Hannah, Beswick, Joanne, Moore, Saleema, Selker, Henry. "Intervening to Enhance Collaboration in Translational Research: A Relational Coordination Approach." Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (2017).
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Jacob Storch. "Building a Relational Public Sector." Stanford Social Innovations Review (2016).
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer and Janet Boguslaw. "Relational Coproduction and Relational Welfare: Asset Based Approaches to Social Well-Being." Kognition and Paedagogic 26. 2 (2016).
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Creating the Health Care Team of the Future: A Book Review." Rev. of Creating the Health Care Team of the Future: The Toronto Model for Interprofessional Education and Practice, by Siobhan Nelson, Maria Tassone, and Brian D. Hodges. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 2016
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "How Interdependent Parties Build Relational Coordination to Achieve Their Desired Outcomes." Negotiation Journal 31. 4 (2016): 387-392.
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Relational Coordination Offers Seven Principles to Connect Across Roles at Work." Huffington Post (2016)
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer. "Rethinking Autonomy: Relationships as a Source of Resilience in a Changing Health Care System." Health Services Research 51. 5 (2016).
  • Gittell, Jody Hoffer. Transforming Relationships for High Performance: The Power of Relational Coordination. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016.
  • Resnick, Joan, Temkin, Eliana, Lax, Sarah, Gittell, Jody Hoffer Gittell. "Building Relational Coordination Across Front-Line Work Groups at Kaiser Permanente." The Evolving Healthcare Landscape: How Employees, Organizations, and Institutions Adapt and Innovate. Ed. Ariel Avgar and Timothy Vogus. Labor and Employment Relations Association Press, 2016
  • Rubinstein, Saul A., Martin-Rios, Carlos, Erhardt, Niclas, Gittell, Jody Hoffer, George, Varghese. "Organizational Responses to Uncertainty in the Airline Industry: Changes in Patterns of Communication Networks." Journal of Air Transport Management 57. (2016): 217-227.
  • 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, Beswick, Joanne, Goldmann, Don, Wallack, Stanley. "Teamwork Methodologies for Accountable Care: Relational Coordination and TeamSTEPPS." Health Care Management Review 40. 2 (2014).
  • 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 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
  • 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.