Thomas Malone

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


Thomas Malone

Thomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern (1959) Professor of Management, a Professor of Information Technology, and the Founding Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligenceat the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

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.” Malone teaches classes on leadership and information technology, and his research focuses on how new organizations can be designed to take advantage of the possibilities provided by information technology. For example, in an article published in 1987, Malone predicted 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 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.

Malone also has published over 75 articles, research papers, and book chapters. 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). An inventor with 11 patents, 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 FortuneThe New York Times, and Wired. Before joining the MIT faculty in 1983, Malone was a research scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where his research involved designing educational software and office information systems. 

Malone holds a BA from Rice University, two master’s degrees and a PhD from Stanford University, as well as degrees in applied mathematics, engineering-economic systems, and psychology.

Faculty Media

  • What Business Leaders Need to Know About Artificial Intelligence

    AI isn’t coming for your job. But leaders do need to understand how machine learning, natural language processing, and other intelligence will impact your business.

  • What AI Will Do to Corporate Hierarchies

    The conventional wisdom says we can expect a more centralized structure. Thomas Malone says the conventional wisdom has it wrong.

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Computers Take Collective Intelligence to the Next Level

    We’ve all heard the common worry that robots will take our jobs. But what if they were to work alongside us, making us better at what we do? Thomas Malone discusses why the collaboration between...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] What Makes a High-Performing Team? The Answer May Surprise You

    What sets high-performing teams apart? Strong leadership? Skilled team members? Shared goals? Maybe. But what if we told you that one of the key drivers of team performance was how many women were...

  • [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...

  • How to Harness the Collective Intelligence of the Enterprise

    What is the collective intelligence of the enterprise and how can CIOs help their companies make it greater? MIT's Tom Malone has some suggestions.

  • New Research: The Potential of Web-based Contests as a Tool to Address the World’s Most Complex Problems

    MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Malone recently presented a new research paper highlighting the potential of web-based contests to address major international issues such as those affecting the...


Contact Information

Office: E62-424
Phone: 617-253-6843
Fax: 617-258-7579
Support Staff
Name: Elizabeth McFall
Phone: (617) 253-7273

Teaches In

Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy (self-paced online) Feb 3-Apr 23, 2021 | Mar 17-May 4, 2021 | May 5-Jun 22, 2021 | Jun 16-Aug 3, 2021 | Aug 4-Sep 21, 2021 | Sep 15-Nov 2, 2021 | Oct 27-Dec 14, 2021

Machine Learning in Business (self-paced online) Jan 27-Mar 16, 2021 | Mar 31-May 18, 2021 | Jun 9-Jul 27, 2021 | Aug 11-Sep 28, 2021 | Oct 27-Dec 14, 2021

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.