Dear all–

Hoping all is well with you, your colleagues, your friends and your family. It’s an uncertain time given the aftermath of the US elections, the rise of radical nationalist governments in Hungary and Poland, and the upcoming elections in Europe. I hope you are hanging in there and making a difference wherever you can.

At times I feel energized and hopeful, part of the emerging activism, for example the recent Martin Luther King Day events and the amazing Women’s March. As we were surrounded in Washington, DC by peaceful power and as the numbers grew beyond our wildest expectations, Gloria Steinem said: “True power isn’t vertical it’s horizontal. It’s time to stop asking Daddy for permission.”

Yet an Australian partner pointed out last week: “As we’re seeing with Trump’s latest directives, and as I witness constantly in organizations, the vertical does and will continue to exercise ‘real’ power – just not the kind that we might wish to see exercised.”

How to respond? A US partner shared his strategy: “We’ve been focusing in on consistent resistance, working on local issues where we can have some influence, and trying to build positive experiences with the kiddos (taking them to marches, etc.). It’s going to be a tough slog, but we’re in it for the slog too.” A Danish partner argued that: “It just calls for more relational work at all levels.”  And the same Australian partner pointed out:  “We have absolutely co-created where we are now and we will have to co-create our way out of it.”

With so many competing interests, we need relational systems thinking more than ever.  So let’s continue to strengthen the RCRC community, and dedicate ourselves to developing relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect among all stakeholders as we carry out our work in healthcare, consulting, banking, construction, retail, community wellness, global supply  chains, social change and more. Consider becoming a partner if you haven’t already.  

Read on for some surprise news, new publications, and a host of great events!
–Jody Hoffer Gittell

Newly Published and Forthcoming Articles
Van der Meer, L., Anna Petra Nieboer, A., Finkenflügel H. and Murray Cramm, J. (2017). The importance of person-centred care and co-creation of care for the well-being and job satisfaction of professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences.

McDermott, A.M., Conway, E., Cafferkey, K., Bosak, J. and Flood, P.C. (2017). Performance management in context: Formative cross-functional performance monitoring for improvement and the mediating role of relational coordination in hospitals. International Journal of Human Resource Management.

Hean, S., Ødegård, A. and Willumsen, E. (2017). Improving collaboration between professionals supporting mentally ill offenders. International Journal of Prisoner Health.

Shortell, S.M., Poon, B.Y., Ramsay, P.P., Rodriguez, H.P., Ivey, S.L., Huber, T., Rich, J. et al (2017). A multi-level analysis of patient engagement and patient reported outcomes in primary care practices of accountable care organizations. Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Romanow, D.S. et al. (2017). CPOE-enabled coordination: Appropriation for deep structure use and impacts on patient outcomes. Management of Information Systems Quarterly, forthcoming.

Have an article or book to share with the RCRC community? Email Tanya Allain at

Partner Updates
New Additions
Anna Perlmutter welcomed Luna Beloudon Kroehlmutter to the world January 18, 2017
Na Fu welcomed Clara Yueyi Qiu to the world January 28, 2017

New Roles
Eva-Maria Oppel was appointed to Assistant Professor at the University of Hamburg
Lauren Hajjar was hired as Director of Research at the RCRC, Brandeis University

Welcome Lauren Hajjar, RCRC Director of Research

Lauren Hajjar, PhD, comes to us from the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University where she 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 contexts. She received her MA and PhD from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and holdsan MPA from Suffolk University. Please join us in welcoming Lauren – we are thrilled to have her!

We Need Your Help!!
As we work to improve the RCRC website, we need your help to take this 10 minute survey about the site. It is not necessary for you to have visited the site before in order to take the survey. Please take the survey by February 19th. Those who do will be entered in a contest to win a Starbucks gift card.

Click to take the survey

Upcoming Events

  • February 17: Early bird applications and final nominations are due for the Positive Business Project to RCRC Partner Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan.  Learn more about this event here.
  • February 17: Announcing an update to the RCRC Mentor Match Up Program. All Partners – not only Student Partners – can now request a peer mentor. Fill out the form here by February 17th if you would like to participate. It’s easy!
  • March 3: Partnering for Change the RC Way by Jody Hoffer Gittell at TEDx in Rochester NY.  Learn more here. The video will be available after the event.
  • May 1-3: Humble Healthcare Workshop: Building Relationships and Culture for System Transformation led by RCRC partners Diane B. Rawlins and Tony Suchman along with Edgar Schein in Half Moon Bay, CA. Find more details here.
  • May 11-12: At the University of Michigan Positive Business Conference you’ll engage with thought leaders and the latest research on positive business approaches that yield extraordinary results. You’ll network with like-minded individuals from diverse industries and participate in practical hands-on workshops. Finally, you’ll leave with a plan to translate inspiration into action when you return to your organization. Learn more here.
  • June 15-16, 2017: In the RC Intervention Training you will learn to use relational coordination as part of  interventions to improve collaboration and performance across the continuum from small co­-located work groups to virtual teams to whole organizations and inter-organizational consortia.  The course includes self-study modules, a 1.5 day workshop, and coaching support for a project of your choice. Led by Dr. Tony Suchman of Relationship Centered Health Care and Jody Hoffer Gittell of Brandeis University in the lively city of Boston. Learn more here – registration now open!
  • October 19-20, 2017: The 2017 RCRC Roundtable in Copenhagen.  See here for a preview of this year’s theme!