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 of relational coordination has two central propositions: 1) relational coordination drives quality and efficiency performance outcomes 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.
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 Journaland 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 on the Board of Trustees of the Endowment for Health, as Treasurer for Seacoast NAACP, and on the Editorial Review Board for Academy of Management Review.