Thomas Malone

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


Thomas Malone Tom 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

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Will Collective Intelligence Change the Way We Work?

    We're in the midst of a transformation in how businesses are organized. Typical corporate hierarchies are starting to look overrated, and changes in coordination technology have the power to make...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Books by MIT Sloan Executive Education Faculty

    MIT Sloan's world-renowned faculty are experts in a vast number of subjects. Catch up on their latest research and breakthrough concepts in these books, authored or edited by the faculty themselves.

  • [Innovation@Work Webinar] Building Better Organizations with Collective Intelligence

    How can your organization be more productive, effective, and intelligent? By harnessing organizational approaches made possible by the latest communications technologies. In this webinar, MIT Sloan...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Social Perception in the Workplace Makes Organizations Smarter

    Social perceptiveness is a kind of social intelligence; it’s the ability to discern what someone is thinking through some means of human observation. Find out how this skill can greatly influence...

  • MIT Climate CoLab Looking to Crowdsource Makings of National, Global Climate Action Plans

    MIT's Climate CoLab has launched its annual set of contests seeking high-impact proposals on how people, organizations and governments can collaborate to tackle major climate change challenges.

  • Social Perception in the Workplace Makes Organizations Smarter

    In his research, Malone examined what makes a group smart. At the highest level Malone found three commonalities to highly intelligent teams: 1) The proportion of females in the group; 2) The...

  • The Gig Economy Can Actually be Great for Women

    If you’re an American worker, chances are your job either doesn’t grant you much flexibility or else requires far too much of it.

  • If You Ditch Bosses, Does the Workplace Still Work?

    Holacracy, it’s called, and it makes all previous moves toward “employee empowerment” look like the mild concessions of an 18th-century monarch.

  • How Apple and GE Create Smarter Teams

    Successful companies, MIT professor Thomas Malone says, take advantage of collective intelligence theory to improve their performance.

  • In Conversation with Thomas Malone

    Malone discusses what makes a group smart, why women can increase a group’s collective intelligence, and more in this exclusive interview with strategy+business.


Contact Information

Office: E62-424
Phone: 617-253-6843
Fax: 617-258-7579
Support Staff
Name: Richard A. Hill
Phone: 617-253-1659

Teaches In

In Building Better Organizations with Collective Intelligence, MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Malone illustrates how collective intelligence works and what it can do for your organization.