Thomas Malone

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


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

  • In defense of meetings

    So meetings in and of themselves are not bad. We just need to change the structure of meetingsliterally and physically. First we need to change the social structure of meetings. In our discussions...

  • How millions of people can help solve climate change

    If there ever was a problem thats hard to solve, its climate change. Its a complex challenge requiring more expertise than any one person can possessin-depth knowledge of the physics of the upper...

  • 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 thoroughbredor...

  • Leading the digital enterprise: Five tips on how to get there

    The 11th annual MIT Sloan CIO Symposium's theme, "Lead Your Digital Enterprise Forward," focused on how CIOs can ensure technology helps determine business strategy rather than simply enabling the...

  • Thomas Malone on Building Smarter Teams

    The head of MITs Center for Collective Intelligence explains how the social intelligence factor is critical for business success.

  • Why Women Make Teams Smarter

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

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

    If its 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...

  • Women Still Largely Absent From Corporate Boards

    New research out Tuesday examined Fortune 500 Companies and found that women hold only about 17 percent of the seats on boards of directors, and they have an even smaller share about 15 percent...

  • Welcome to the Era of Hyperspecialization

    What is "hyperspecialization?" It's a fancy way of saying economist Adam Smith was right: Divisions of labor result in lower costs, greater efficiencies, and higher quality. It was true in the pin...

  • Get Ready for Computer-Assisted Thinking

    Scientists are studying how technology can help enhance the performance of individuals and help groups work together more effectively. Tom Malone gave a very interesting talk on collective...


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