Relational Coordination Collaborative

Our Board

John Paul Stephens, Board Chair

Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University

John Paul (J.P.) Stephens, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, John Paul completed degrees in Psychology at Morgan State University (B.S.) and in Organizational Psychology (M.S. and Ph.D.) at the University of Michigan. J.P. studies work relationships and coordination in groups, focusing on how what individuals and teams perceive about their behaviors shapes complex interdependent work. This research has centered on the felt dynamics – emotions and aesthetic experience - that comprise individuals’ experience of relating with others in their work relationships and teams. His research has found that these felt dynamics interplay with cognitive (e.g. attention) and behavioral processes (e.g. contributing actions or information) to enable group coordination, performance, and resilience. His current research, funded by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, focuses on the development of high-quality relationships, teamwork and coordination on large construction sites.
Kathryn McDonald, Past RCC Board Chair

Kathryn McDonald, Past Chair

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Patient-safety expert Kathryn McDonald explores what makes for safe, affordable, and high-quality health care delivery systems and the factors that prevent health organizations from achieving that standard of care. Her research relies on close partnerships with frontline teams, including patients and families. As the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Systems, Quality and Safety, Dr. McDonald holds primary appointments in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and joint appointments in the Carey Business School and Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. McDonald also has affiliations with the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and Hopkins Business of Health Initiative. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. McDonald was founding executive director of the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and executive director of Stanford’s Center for Health Policy.  She received her PhD from University of California, Berkeley.

Anindita Roy Bannya

PhD Student, University of New South Wales

Anindita Roy Bannya is a PhD student at University of New South Wales.  She is an experienced Lead with a demonstrated history of working in HRM. Skilled in Business Planning, Analytical Skills, Microsoft Word, English, and Market Research. Strong professional with a Masters of HRM and Industrial Relations focused in Business Administration and Management from The University of Sydney Business School. Keen interest in research in areas including HRM, workplace behavior, and organizational development.  She has co-authored a review of relational approaches to human resource management.
Rendelle Bolton, RCC Board Member

Rendelle Bolton

Co-Investigator, VA Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research

Rendelle Bolton, PhD, is a a co-investigator at VA's Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research. She uses multiple methods to investigate the implementation and coordination of person-centered approaches in healthcare from a multilevel systems perspective. Her goals are to understand how organizational and system contexts inform implementation of culturally transformative healthcare initiatives, influence interdisciplinary coordination for complex conditions such as chronic pain, and contribute to interpersonal dynamics within patient-provider relationships. Dr. Bolton is particularly interested in how relational coordination can inform implementation of complex multicomponent initiatives in healthcare, and be a lens through which to understand patient-centered care coordination for patients with complex needs.

Anne Douglass

Founding Director, Institution for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, University of Massachusetts Boston

Anne Douglass, PhD, is a professor of early childhood education, director of the graduate certificate program in early education leadership, and founding executive director at the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Douglass’s work focuses on the design of programs, systems, and policies that support individual and collective leadership for quality improvement and innovation among early educators who work with children from birth to age five. She is the author of Leading for Change in Early Care and Education: Cultivating Leadership from Within (2017) and co-author of Engaging Young Engineers: Teaching Problem-Solving Skills through STEM (2015). She has been published in a wide range of academic journals, books, and news media, and presents nationally and internationally to academic, policy, and professional audiences. Since 2009, she has been awarded over $23 million in external funds for research and training from foundations and government agencies including the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services, New Profit, United Way, and The Boston Foundation. She received her PhD in social policy from Brandeis University.
Samer Faraj, RCC Board Member

Samer Faraj

Professor, Canada Research Chair in Technology, Innovation & Organizing, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

Samer Faraj is a professor at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, an associate member of the McGill Department of the Social Studies of Medicine, head of the research group on Complex Collaboration and serves as director of the Faculty’s PhD program. His current research focuses on complex collaboration in healthcare and on how emergent technologies are transforming coordination and allowing new forms of organizing to emerge.

Dr. Faraj has won multiple best published paper awards; most recently the AOM OCIS division 2021, 2018, 2016 Best Paper Award; the AOM Healthcare Management Division 2018 Best Theory to Practice Award; the FNEGE 2018 Prix Académique de la Recherche en Management as well as  McGill’s 2022 Henry Mintzberg PhD Teaching and Mentorship Award. Institutions such as SSHRC, NSF, IBM, the Fulbright foundation, and the Government of Quebec have funded his research. He is currently a Fellow at the Judge School University of Cambridge and has been a visiting professor at HEC-Paris, VU University, and a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the American University of Beirut.

Jody Hoffer Gittell

Jody Hoffer Gittell

Faculty Director, RCC; Managing Board Member, RC Analytics; Professor, Brandeis University

Jody Hoffer Gittell is a Professor of Management at Brandeis University's Heller School, Faculty Director of the Relational Coordination Collaborative, and Co-Founder and Board Member of Relational Coordination Analytics.  Gittell developed Relational Coordination Theory, proposing that highly interdependent work is most effectively coordinated through networks of shared goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect, supported by frequent, timely, accurate, problem-solving communication. The Relational Model of Change shows how structural, relational and work process interventions can strengthen those networks. Gittell has published dozens of scientific articles and multiple books including The Southwest Airlines Way; High Performance Healthcare; Sociology of Organizations; Transforming Relationships for High Performance; and Relational Analytics: Guidelines for Analysis and Action, and she helps organizations with performance improvement.

Lauren Hajjar

Assistant Professor, Suffolk University

Lauren Hajjar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Service and Healthcare Administration at the Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University. She holds degrees in Psychology from Saint Anselm College (B.A.), Public Administration from Suffolk University (MPA), and Social Policy from Brandeis University (M.S. and Ph.D.). Lauren’s research has focused on the coordination of inter and intra-organizational work in multiple contexts, with recent projects exploring organizational mindfulness, relationships, and resilience in the workplace. She is skilled in quantitative and qualitative analysis and uses diverse methodologies to answer research questions, including ethnographic methods such as interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and field-based surveys. Her recent research has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, National Institute of Corrections, and the Sawyer Business School. Lauren serves as a Senior Advisor at CNA Institute for Public Research, an independent, nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to the safety and security of the nation, and is a Co-Founder of the Resilient Communities Innovation Lab. Previously, she was the Director of Research at the Relational Coordination Collaborative and an NIH Research Fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Health at the Heller School. Prior to her academic roles, Lauren spent a decade providing services to adults with disabilities and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in the nonprofit sector.

Jonas Hedegaard

Organizational Consultant, Team Working Life

Jonas Hedegaard is an organisational consultant (with a focus on psycho-social work environment, management, change, coaching, organisation, and collaboration). He is an industrial researcher (in the management and organisation of value-based organisations and the paradoxes they face). He gives talks (in topics such as organisational paradoxes, leadership in contradictions, informal leadership, value-based leadership, and volunteer management). He is also a volunteer (in associations, boards, committees, and advisory boards).  He works as an organisational consultant at TeamArbejdsliv (where they work quite a lot with relational coordination), while also completing his Industrial PhD with Roskilde Festival, working as an independent consultant, giving talks, and doing volunteer work. His interests are within work environment, leadership, management, governance and strategy, civil society and volunteering, and organisational paradoxes.
Carsten Hornstrup, RCC Board Member

Carsten Hornstrup

CEO, Joint Action Analytics

Carsten Hornstrup is CEO at Joint Action, a Scandinavian based consultancy and action research company, specialized in building strategies and advise leaders on building coordinated processes around very complex welfare challenges. He holds a MSc in Political Science and a PhD on building capacity for change. Together with his colleagues in Joint Action, he works with welfare organizations in Scandinavia and the US. He is a member of the Relational Coordination Collaborative Advisory Board. His primary research interest is how leaders at all levels can support stronger and more coordinated welfare services.
Darren McLean, RCC Board Member

Darren McLean

Principal Advisor, Clinical Teaming, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service

Darren works as a Principal Advisor, Clinical Teaming, at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Services in Australia. In this role, Darren plans and implements a range of hospital-based initiatives to improve the efficiency of care delivery. His work includes applying Relational Coordination to improve how individuals and groups work together to coordinate the provision of clinical care within the hospital that he works.  

Darren worked as Registered Nurse for over 10 years before turning to health improvement project work 15 years ago. He has a Bachelor of Nursing Science and a Master of Public Health, and is competing a PhD part-time at Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia. His PhD thesis examines how contextual factors such as the economy, professions, and gendered work affects the implementation of a Relational Coordination designed to improve patient centred care.   

Ingrid Nembhard, RCC Board Member

Ingrid Nembhard

Fishman Family President’s Distinguished Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Ingrid M. Nembhard, Ph.D., M.S., is the Fishman Family President’s Distinguished Professor, Professor of Health Care Management, and Professor of Management (Organizational Behavior) at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on how characteristics of health care organizations, their leaders, and staff contribute to their ability to implement new practices, engage in continuous organizational learning, and ultimately improve quality of care. She uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine health care delivery from provider and patient perspectives, and to evaluate organizational performance. Her research has provided and continues to provide insights about how health care leaders manage change, the role of psychological safety in organizations, teamwork within and across organizations, strategies for improving patient experience, and organizational efforts to learn new clinical and operational practices. 

Prior to joining the faculty at the The Wharton School, she was the Ira V. Hiscock Tenured Associate Professor at Yale School of Public Health, Associate Professor at Yale School of Management, and Associate Director of the Health Care Management Program at Yale. Dr. Nembhard received her Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management, with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University through a joint program between Harvard Business School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She received her M.S. in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University School of Public Health, and her B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics and in Psychology from Yale University.

Olawale Olaleye

Post Doctoral Fellow, Brandeis University; Human Capital Consultant, Deloitte; Consultant, Relational Coordination Analytics

Wale Olaleye is a Pharmacist, a Human Capital Consultant for Deloitte, a Consultant for Relational Coordination Analytics, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He received a PhD in Social Policy at The Heller School, an MBA with a focus on Health Systems Management from the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and his Pharmacy degree from the University of Ibadan Nigeria. Olaleye studied interprofessional teams at Beth Israel Lahey Medical Center in Boston where he identified workforce diversity as an impediment to effective communication and relationship building between and within teams. His dissertation focused on the use of Relational Coordination principles to uncover professional and social identity-related discrimination on health care teams. 

He now serves as Co-Principal Investigator on Relating Across Differences - An Improvement Process for Clinical Units, funded by the Josiah Macy Foundation, implementing the results of his research in three U.S. health systems over a three-year period. Prior to joining the Heller School, he worked at Steward Health Care System of Massachusetts and Care New England Corporate of Rhode Island as a Hospital Manager. He has also worked as a Clinical Pharmacist at government-owned hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria. His research interests include team-based care, diversity equity and belonging, opioid policy, performance of healthcare organizations and issues related to the healthcare workforce.

Ina Sebastian

Research Scientist, Center for Information Systems Research, MIT Sloan School of Management

Ina Sebastian is a Research Scientist at the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her work centers on how companies unlock innovation and value through partnering in digital ecosystems. Ina has a particular interest in how digital leaders effectively coordinate ecosystem collaboration to solve complex challenges, such as affordable healthcare and climate change. Before joining MIT CISR in 2014, Ina completed a Ph.D. in International Management with a focus on Information Systems at the University of Hawaii, where she studied the role of digital technologies for coordination in multi-disciplinary healthcare teams.

Daniel Slater

Chair of Pediatrics & Associate Chair of Primary Care for Optum Massachusetts

Dan Slater, MD, is an experienced Chair of Pediatrics & Associate Chair of Primary Care for Optum Massachusetts (Atrius Health & Reliant Medical Group) in Boston, with a demonstrated history of achieving results in the healthcare industry. Skilled in Patient-Centered Medical Home Development, Quality Improvement, Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Medical Education, and most importantly, in the delivery of Pediatric Care. Graduated from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.