The Heller School for Social Policy and Management


Jody Hoffer Gittell

Executive Director

Jody Hoffer Gittell, PhD, 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 co-founded a university spin-off 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 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.

Gittell’s research is published in a wide range of scientific journals, including Organization ScienceManagement ScienceAcademy of Management Review and Journal of Organizational Behavior.  She has published five books, starting with The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance (2003),  and most recently, Transforming Relationships for High Performance: The Power of Relational Coordination (2016). Gittell received her Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and taught for six years at the Harvard Business School before joining Brandeis in 2001. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Endowment for Health, as Treasurer for Seacoast NAACP, and on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Review.

781-736-3680 Schneider 206
Tanya Allain, Director, Communications and Partner Relations

Tanya Allain

Director, Partner Relations and Communications

Tanya Allain, MBA, is the RCRC Director of Partner Relations and Communications. She is a creative problem solver who values making a difference. Her primary role is to support our partners as they use relational coordination for research or to facilitate organizational change. She comes to us from her role as Manager of Community Programs and Events for the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, where she created and managed partnerships with footwear companies, media partners, market research firms and universities, and where she led the Women in Footwear Industry (WIFI) program to engage and empower women in the footwear industry. Tanya holds a BS from Roger Williams University and an MBA from Bentley University.

781-736-3963 Schneider 211
Lainie Loveless, Research Program Manager

Lainie Loveless

Research Program Manager

Lainie Loveless, MBA, is a Research Program Manager for the RCRC and brings over 20 years of experience working with business intelligence, product development and non-profit teams. Her interest in quantifying perception and continuous improvement within organizations led her to relational coordination research. Lainie began her career working as an engineer supporting the development of communications equipment, automated robotic equipment and consumer electronics products. She progressed to business process analysis, leading teams through successful change management and process improvement initiatives to improve quality, efficacy, efficiency and customer satisfaction. She actively volunteers in the community, supporting civic engagement and educational programs.

Lainie has advanced training in program management, high performing teams and Lean Six Sigma methodologies. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Boston College.

781-736-3903 Schneider 211
Lauren Hajjar, PhD'16, Director of Research

Lauren Hajjar, PhD'16

Research Advisor

Lauren Hajjar, PhD'16, is the Research Advisor at the RCRC and an Assistant Professor at Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University where she previously served as a Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Public Service. Lauren started as a direct care worker and manager in the non-profit sector, then became a researcher using qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand organizational development and change. She has worked on various state and federally funded research projects, ranging from community policing and gang violence initiatives to diversity in community healthcare organizations and outcomes evaluation for HIV and substance abuse populations. She is a peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance Programs. Her research has provided important implications for how community organizations like police departments leverage human, social and organizational capital to improve outcomes. She has a strong interest in how public service organizations build strategic partnerships and encourage enhanced coordination, communication, and collaboration to achieve their goals. 

Lauren is eager to partner with the RCRC community on research that explores the outcomes and drivers of relational coordination at all levels and in all contexts. She received her MA and PhD from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and holds an MPA from Suffolk University.