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Paperback | $31.00 Short | £21.95 | ISBN: 9780262632737 | 456 pp. | 7 x 9 in | August 2003

Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century


Technological changes have displaced the hierarchical corporation as the model for business organization; the large corporations of the new century are decentralizing and externalizing, creating networks of "industry ecosystems" that will replace the top-down organizations of the last century. Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century reports on a five-year multidisciplinary research initiative conducted by MIT’s Sloan School of Management and sponsored by leading international corporations. The goal of the initiative was not only to understand the way we work now but to invent new ways of working and put them into practice.

The twenty articles in the book are organized to answer three questions. The first part, "What is changing?" examines the reasons for change and the results of change. The second part, "What can you do about it?" considers the new business strategies and organizations that technology and competition demand. The third part, "What do you want in the first place?" examines the goals that animate the initiative, which go beyond pure profit to reflect the human values we want the organizations of the twenty-first century to serve.

About the Editors

Thomas W. Malone is Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.

Robert Laubacher is Research Associate at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Michael S. Scott Morton is Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management.


"A tectonic plate shift is under way in the world of organizations. The modern corporation as we have known it for the last hundred years or more is being redefined, reconfigured, and disaggregated. In the long term, this will have profound implications for many of us whose lives are somehow interdependent with firms. While the full details of the implications of the changed landscape will emerge in time, the Malone, Laubacher and Scott Morton-edited book—a series of twenty chapters written mainly by a group of MIT faculty members—is quite possibly the best and most comprehensive early look at this changing nature of the modern corporation and related issues."
Jitendra V. Singh, Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
"Occasionally in the history of ideas there is a convergence around a radical and challenging agenda. Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century is no mere compendium of occasional publications, but rather the exciting demonstration of just such a confluence: an extraordinary range of disciplines, unified by a common perspective that may come to define the 'MIT School.'"
Philip Evans, Senior Vice President, The Boston Consulting Group
"Overall, the book is a remarkable contribution of innovative thoughts and deep scholarly research"
Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business Network