Thomas W. Malone

Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

The Future of Work
50 minutes, 23mb, recorded 2005-09-18
Thomas Malone

For Thomas Malone, organization is something that sits on top of what we normally think of as the technology stack. Organizations are changing and this change mimics how human social groups have changed from bands through kingdoms and into democracies. These organizational changes will see a great deal of innovation in the future.

In this presentation Malone shows how new organizational structures can be invented. He provides examples in current companies, both large and small. Malone explains how new materials have always provided opportunities for new inventions. He illustrates how the availability of cheap communication as a material can give rise to new organizational approaches that will transform how we work in the future.

By relating the change in organizational structure to the change in human society, Malone makes a compelling case for the availability of lower cost communications as the catalyst for this change in both our societies and our organizations. He demonstrates how this single factor can allow groups to work together in ways that could not have happened before the rise of the Internet, e-mail, and other communication technologies.

Malone finishes by challenging listeners to think about using our values to create the types of organizations we want to see in the future, and the future world we will live in.

Thomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also the founder and director of the MIT Center for Coordination Science and was one of the two founding co-directors of the MIT Initiative on "Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century". Professor 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.

Professor Malone has also published over 75 articles, research papers, and book chapters; he is an inventor with 11 patents; he is the author of the book The Future of Work; and he is the co-editor of several books including: Coordination Theory and Collaboration Technology and Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century.


This free podcast is from our Accelerating Change series.

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