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Thinkers50 awards recognize 13 from MIT Sloan


Several researchers with ties to MIT Sloan were recognized at the 2023 Thinkers50 awards, biennial honors given in different categories to leading management and business thinkers.

The winners were named during an event in London on Nov. 5 and 6.

an operations management professor at MIT Sloan, won the Talent Award, which goes to researchers who look at how companies can attract and retain talent. Ton, president of the nonprofit Good Jobs Institute, looks at how companies can design operations to satisfy customers, employees, and investors at the same time. Her book “The Case for Good Jobs” outlines the importance of investing in employees, how high-quality jobs are essential for competitive advantage, and the four operational choices managers must make.

Ton was also named to the Thinkers50 Ranking, a list of 50 top management thinkers. 

Stephanie Woerner, Peter Weill, and Ina Sebastian, researchers with the MIT Center for Information Systems Research, were nominated for the Strategy Award, which honors highly regarded strategic thinkers.

Woerner, Weil, and Sebastian are the authors of “Future Ready,” which serves as a playbook for business looking to undergo digital transformation. Their research includes a four-pathways framework that details the different ways businesses undertake transformation and the types of organizational disruption that are necessary for change.

a professor of management science and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT Sloan, was nominated for the Digital Thinking Award, which honors researchers who shed light on the digital reality of business. Rand’s work looks at why people believe and share misinformation and false news, how people respond to political messaging, and what drives human cooperation. Rand was also named to the 2023 Thinkers50 Radar list.

Ben Bensaou, PhD ’92, was named to the shortlist for the Innovation Award, which honors people who have contributed to the understanding of innovation over the past two years.

Bensaou, a professor of technology management, Asian business, and comparative management at INSEAD, looks at how companies build, maintain, and accelerate collective innovation capabilities. He is the author of the book “Built to Innovate,” in which he argues that companies can democratize innovation by employing specific innovative practices and defining innovative roles at every level of an organization.

In addition to Ton, MIT Sloan faculty and alumni named to the 2023 Thinkers50 ranking include:

Marshall Van Alstyne, SM ’91, PhD ‘98 and Dartmouth College professor Geoffrey Parker, PhD ’98, who study two-sided markets and platform business models. They are both affiliated with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

a professor of management, IT, marketing, and data science at MIT Sloan who studies social media and disinformation. Aral is the director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

Stanford University professor Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91, and Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, for their work “providing a road-map to success in the digital economy.”

Erica Dhawan, MBA ’12, for her work helping leaders break team siloes and driving exponential growth through teamwork. She is also the author of “Digital Body Language.”

a senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at MIT Sloan, who explores how asking the right questions builds leadership and innovation and drives change.

This article has been updated to include award results and the Thinkers50 rankings.

Read next: MIT Sloan professor named to 2023 Thinkers50 Radar List

For more info Sara Brown Senior News Editor and Writer