Thomas Malone

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


Thomas MaloneTom Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. 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". Professor Malone teaches classes on organizational design and leadership, and his research focuses on how new organizations can be designed to take advantage of the possibilities provided by information technology.

For example, Professor Malone predicted, in an article published in 1987, 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 Professor 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.

Professor Malone has also published over 75 articles, research papers, and book chapters; he is an inventor with 11 patents; and 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).

Tom 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, New York Times, and Wired. Before joining the MIT faculty in 1983, Malone was a research scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) where his research involved designing educational software and office information systems. His background includes a Ph.D. and two master’s degrees from Stanford University, a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Rice University, and degrees in applied mathematics, engineering-economic systems, and psychology.

Faculty Media

  • MIT’s Climate CoLab Puts Big Money Up for Big Climate Concepts

    MIT’s Climate CoLab is looking for “high impact” ideas on how to deal with climate change through 22 contests that are now open to the public.

  • On Point with Tom Ashbrook: Building A Smarter Team

    From Silicon Valley to your office, some teams work better – and smarter – than others. We’ll look at the surprising reasons why.

  • Why Women Make Teams Smarter

    MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Malone discusses why women can increase a group's collective intelligence.

  • Empathy Can Thrive in an Online World

    A team of US-based academics conducted research focused on what psychologists call “collective intelligence”, which describes how people tend to be able to achieve more than they could on their own...

  • Tackling Climate Change—Collectively

    Climate change is an enormous issue that affects us all. MIT Sloan Professor Tom Malone and his colleagues at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence have launched a crowdsourcing platform...

  • Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

    Psychologists have known for a century that individuals vary in their cognitive ability. But are some groups, like some people, reliably smarter than others?

  • Creating More Intelligent Organizations

    The Internet has given us the means to leverage collective intelligence to an extent greater than ever before; it has also given us the means to leverage collective stupidity. Fortunately, there is...

  • Thomas Malone on Building Smarter Teams

    What if you could measure the intelligence of a group? What if you could predict which committees, assigned to design a horse, would end up with a camel, versus which would develop a thoroughbred...

  • Video: Thomas Malone on the Success Factors for Collective Intelligence

    "If it's not just putting a bunch of smart people in a group that makes the group smart, what is it? We looked at bunch of factors you might have thought would affect it: things like the...

  • MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

    The Center for Collective Intelligence brings together faculty from across MIT to conduct research on how new communications technologies are changing they way people work together. This...


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