"Good standards...usually result from cooperation among engineers working with their shared technical understanding."
Centers & Initiatives
JoAnne Yates is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management, Emerita and Professor Post Tenure 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 is both historical and contemporary.
Her most recent historical book, coauthored with her husband, a professor of political science at Wellesley College, is JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy, Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting Since 1880 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), a study of the rise and important role of voluntary standard setting in the global economy. As part of the longer project that culminated in this book, they also wrote an initial monograph on one standard-setting organization: Craig N. Murphy and JoAnne Yates, The International Organization for Standardization (IS0): Global Governance through Voluntary Consensus (London: Routledge Press, 2009). Her first, award-winning historical book is Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), which traces the emergence of the communication and information system characteristic of US companies during most of the 20th century. Her second single-authored 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 in the United States.
In her research on contemporary organizations she has collaborated with Professor 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 looked at the use of technologies such as electronic mail, instant messaging, the BlackBerry, and corporate blogging.
She is currently also working with a team of faculty from the Work and Organization Studies Group on research aiming 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.
Yates, JoAnne. In Information: A Historical Companion, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Forthcoming.
Yates, JoAnne. In Historical Studies in Computing, Information, and Society: Insights from the Flatiron Lectures, edited by William Aspray, New York, NY: Springer, 2020.
Yates, JoAnne and Craig N. Murphy. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 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 and Knut Blind, Aachen: June 2017.
"The Globalizing Governance of International Communications: Market Creation and Voluntary Consensus Standard Setting."
Murphy, Craig N., and JoAnne Yates. Journal of Policy History Vol. 27, No. 3 (2015): 550-558.