Thomas Kochan


Thomas Kochan

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Thomas A. Kochan is the Post-Tenure George Maverick Bunker Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a faculty member in the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research.

Kochan focuses on the need to update America's work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the need for a new social contract at work, one that anticipates and engages current and future technological changes in ways that build a more inclusive economy and broadly shared prosperity. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor‐management relations are needed to address America's critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is Shaping the Future of Work:  A Handbook for Action and a New Social Contract (Routledge, 2021). 

He is a member of the National Academy of Human Resources, the National Academy of Arbitrators, and past president of the International Industrial Relations Association and the Industrial Relations Research Association. Currently he is member of the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future.

Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin​.


"Bringing Worker Voice into Generative AI."

Kochan, Thomas A., Ben Armstrong, Julie Shah, Emilio J. Castilla, Ben Likis, and Martha E. Mangelsdorf, Working Paper. March 2024.

"An Overview of US Workers’ Current Organizing Efforts and Collective Actions."

Kochan, Thomas, Janice R. Fine, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Suresh Naidu, Jacob Barnes, Yaminette Diaz-Linhart, John Kallas, Jeonghun Kim, Arrow Minster, Di Tong, Phela Townsend, and Danielle Twiss. Work and Occupations Vol. 50, No. 3 (2023): 335-350.

"The Labor-Savvy Leader."

Bahat, Roy E., Thomas Kochan, and Liba Wenig Rubenstein. Harvard Business Review, July 2023.

"How Businesses Should (and Shouldn’t) Respond to Union Organizing."

Bahat, Roy E., and Thomas A. Kochan. Harvard Business Review, January 6, 2023.

"How Southwest Lost Its Way—and How It Can Work Its Way Back to the Top."

Gittell, Jody Hoffer, John August, and Thomas Kochan. The Dallas Morning News, January 5, 2023.

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Emerging insights suggest road maps, policy recommendations, and calls for action regarding generative artificial intelligence.

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The Link Between Worker Voice on the Job and Job Quality

New research finds that measuring the extent to which workers have as much say on the job as they think they deserve is an important aspect of evaluating job quality. In a survey of workers, a larger "voice gap" for workers was statistically associated with their having lower levels of job satisfaction and well-being as well as higher levels of burnout and a greater level of interest in looking for a new job.

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Executive Education

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