Jody Hoffer Gittell

Professor, Director, Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, Brandeis University

Jody Hoffer Gittell is a Professor of Management at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, where she teaches human resource management, operations management, and organisational theory. She serves as Director of the newly formed Relational Coordination Research Collaborative at Brandeis, and as Acting Faculty Director of the MIT Leadership Center.

Gittell’s research explores how coordination by front-line workers contributes to quality and efficiency outcomes in service settings, with a particular focus on the airline and healthcare industries. She has developed a theory of relational coordination, proposing that highly interdependent work is most effectively coordinated through relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, and demonstrating how organizations can support relational coordination through the design of their work systems.

Gittell is the author of dozens of articles and chapters, and several books that translate her findings for practitioners. She won the Outstanding Young Scholar of the Year Award in 2004 from the Labor and Employment Relations Association, a Best Book Award for Industry Studies in 2005 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a Best Paper in 2008 from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management, and the Douglas McGregor Award for Best Paper of the Year in 2008 from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.

Before joining the faculty at Brandeis University, Gittell received her PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management and taught at the Harvard Business School.

Her books include The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance (McGraw-Hill, 2003), Up in the Air: How the Airlines Can Improve Performance by Engaging Their Employees (Cornell University Press, 2009), High Performance Healthcare: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve Quality, Efficiency and Resilience (McGraw-Hill, 2009), and most recently Sociology of Organizations: Structures and Relationships (Sage, 2011).


  • –present
    Professor of Management, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University


    MIT Sloan School of Management, PhD