Thomas W. Malone

Thomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.  He was also the founder and director of the MIT Center for Coordination Science and one of the two founding co-directors of the MIT Initiative on "Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century."  Professor Malone teaches classes on organizational design, information technology, and leadership, and his research focuses on how work can be organized in new ways to take advantage of the possibilities provided by information technology. 

For example, Professor Malone predicted, in an article published in 1987, many of the major developments in electronic business over the following 25 years: electronic buying and selling, electronic markets for many kinds of products, outsourcing of non-core functions in a firm, and the use of intelligent agents for commerce. Then, in 2004, Professor Malone summarized two decades of his groundbreaking research in his critically acclaimed book, The Future of Work
(also translated into six other languages).

Professor Malone has published over 100 articles, research papers, and book chapters, including a widely cited 2010 article in Science magazine on measuring the collective intelligence of human groups.  He is also an inventor with 11 patents and the co-editor of four books: Coordination Theory and Collaboration Technology(2001), Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century (2003), Organizing Business Knowledge: The MIT Process Handbook (2003), and Handbook of Collective Intelligence (2015). In 2012, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich. 

Malone has been a cofounder of three software companies and has consulted and served as a board member for a number of other organizations.  He speaks frequently for business audiences around the world and has been quoted in numerous publications such as the New York Times, the Economist, and Wired.  Before joining the MIT faculty in 1983, Malone was a research scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).  His background also includes a B.A. in mathematical sciences from Rice University, an M.S. in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in cognitive and social psychology from Stanford University.

Last updated: February 9, 2017

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