JoAnne Yates


JoAnne Yates


JoAnne Yates is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and a Professor of Work and Organization Studies and Managerial Communication at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Yates developed MIT Sloan's Managerial Communication curriculum starting in 1980. From 2007-2012 she served as Deputy Dean for programs at MIT Sloan.

Her research examines communication and information as they shape and are shaped by technologies and policies over time, in both contemporary and historical organizations. In her work on contemporary organizations, she has collaborated with Wanda Orlikowski (of MIT Sloan’s Information Technology group) and various students and researchers to study how groups and organizations use communication and information technologies, and how that use shapes their work. Specific studies have looked at the use of technologies such as electronic mail, instant messaging, the BlackBerry, and corporate blogging.

Her best known historical book is Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989)Her most recent single-authored historical book, Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), provides insight into the largely unexplored evolution of information processing in the commercial sector and the underrated influence of corporate users in shaping the history of modern technologies. She is currently collaborating with her husband, Craig N. Murphy, professor of political science at Wellesley College, on a study of the history of voluntary standard setting. An initial short book has already emerged out of that project: Craig N. Murphy and JoAnne Yates, The International Organization for Standardization (IS0): Global Governance through Voluntary Consensus (London: Routledge Press, 2009). Another, longer book will be published in spring 2019: JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy, Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting Since 1880 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).

She is currently also working with a team of faculty from the Work and Organization Studies Group on a social-psychological intervention to improve academic performance of underrepresented minority students.

Yates holds a BA from Texas Christian University as well as an MA and a PhD from the University of North Carolina.



JoAnne Yates and Wanda Orlikowski win Best Information Systems Publications Award

JoAnne Yates was chosen to give the Laurent Picard Lecture at McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management


"The Memo."

Yates, JoAnne. In Information: A Historical Companion, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Forthcoming.

"Values, Media, and Genres for Standardization."

Yates, JoAnne. In Historical Studies in Computing, Information, and Society: Insights from the Flatiron Lectures, edited by William Aspray, New York, NY: Springer, 2019.

"The Industrial Standardization Movement and the World Outside Europe and North America."

​Craig N. Murphy and JoAnne Yates. In 2nd International Symposium on Standardization and Governance, Hunan University, Changsha: October 2017.

"The International Standardization Community and Movement: Advancing ‘Industrial Civilization’ from the 1880s to the Present."

Craig N. Murphy and JoAnne Yates. In Digitalisation: Challenges and Opportunities for Standardisation—EURAS Proceedings 2017, edited by Kai Jakobs, Knut Blind, Aachen: June 2017.

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