Faculty & Research

Thomas Malone

  • Patrick J. McGovern (1959) Professor of Management
  • Professor of Information Technology
  • Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

Thomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern (1959) Professor of Management, a Professor of Information Technology, and the Founding Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligenceat the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

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.” Malone teaches classes on leadership and information technology, and his research focuses on how new organizations can be designed to take advantage of the possibilities provided by information technology. For example, in an article published in 1987, Malone predicted many of the major developments in electronic business over the last decade—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. The past two decades of Malone’s groundbreaking research are summarized in his critically acclaimed book, The Future of Work: How the New Order of Business Will Shape Your Organization, Your Management Style, and Your Life (Harvard Business School Press, 2004). This book has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian.

Malone also has published over 75 articles, research papers, and book chapters. He is the co-editor of three books: Coordination Theory and Collaboration Technology (Erlbaum, 2001), Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century (MIT Press, 2003), and Organizing Business Knowledge: The MIT Process Handbook (MIT Press, 2003). An inventor with 11 patents, 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 Fortune, The New York Times, and Wired. Before joining the MIT faculty in 1983, Malone was a research scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where his research involved designing educational software and office information systems. 

Malone holds a BA from Rice University, two master’s degrees and a PhD from Stanford University, as well as degrees in applied mathematics, engineering-economic systems, and psychology.