Richard Hackman conducts research on a variety of topics in social and organizational psychology, including team dynamics and performance, leadership effectiveness, and the design of self-managing teams and organizations. He has studied group and organizational factors that shape the behavior and performance of aircraft flightdeck crews; leadership, organizational dynamics, and player engagement in professional symphony and chamber orchestras; and the dynamics and performance of analytic teams in the U.S. intelligence community.

Recent projects include development and validation of methodologies for diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of work teams, development and testing of a theoretical model of team coaching, a book that explores the special dynamics of senior leadership teams, empirical investigation of the joint impact of neurocognitive processes and social interaction on teamwork, and development of educational materials for use in enhancing the leadership of groups that generate creative products or performances in real time.