Big Ideas Initiatives
MIT Sloan Management Review’s Big Ideas Initiatives develop innovative, original research on the issues transforming our fast-changing business environment.
We conduct global surveys and in-depth interviews with front-line leaders working at a range of companies from Silicon Valley startups to multinational organizations to deepen our understanding of current trends and their influence on how people work and lead.
Working with collaborative partners, we publish our findings in annual research reports, case studies, videos, articles, and interactive data visualizations.
For over a decade, MIT SMR’s Big Ideas Initiatives have explored topics such as artificial intelligence, digital leadership, sustainability, data and analytics, the internet of things, and performance management.
MIT SMR’s Big Ideas Research Reports
Opportunity Marketplaces: Aligning Workforce Investment and Value Creation in the Digital Enterprise
The MIT SMR-Deloitte global executive survey and interviews identify the design of opportunity marketplaces as perhaps the key leadership challenge for organizations seeking to ethically maximize human capital returns.
Michael Schrage et al.
The 2020 Future of Leadership Global Executive Study and Research Report finds that leaders may be holding on to behaviors that might have worked once but now stymie the talents of their employees. Organizations must empower leaders to change their ways of working to succeed in a new digital economy.
Douglas A. Ready et al.
AI promises rewards but also comes with risks ― namely, that competitors figure out how to successfully leverage it before you do. The 2019 MIT SMR and BCG Artificial Intelligence Global Executive Study and Research Report shows early AI winners are focused on organization-wide alignment, investment, and integration.
Sam Ransbotham et al.
Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy
The Artificial Intelligence & Business Strategy initiative explores the growing use of artificial intelligence in the business landscape. The exploration looks specifically at how AI is affecting the development and execution of strategy in organizations.
Read the 2019 research report, Winning With AI.
Explore perspectives on:
Future of the Workforce
The Future of the Workforce initiative demands organizations fundamentally revisit how people and technology work together to create value. While top talent still matters, the research finds executive leadership struggling with how much to invest in “typical workers.”
In advance of the 2020 report,
The Strategic Measurement initiative explores leadership's burgeoning use of next-generation measures, including key performance indicators. Through a series of research reports, video interviews, and an interactive self-assessment, these programs explore the role of key performance indicators (KPIs) as a leadership tool. A key, cross-cutting theme is to develop a deeper understanding of best practices around KPIs: What distinguishes KPIs from other metrics?
MIT SMR’s research on performance management focuses on the tensions between traditional ways of working and newer styles of team-based collaboration and the implications they have for managing individual, team, and organizational performance. Through interview-driven research reports and case studies, the initiative explores the benefits and dangers of technological approaches to feedback and performance improvement, implications for the human resources function, and the future of organizational structures.
Future of Leadership
Research on the ever-changing nature of leadership looks at the evolving mindsets and skills executives need to keep pace with changes in our fast-evolving world. Through a series of regular blogs and a forthcoming report and interactive experience, the research focuses on the specific attitudes and behaviors that distinguish the best leaders.
Read the 2020 research report, The New Leadership Playbook for the Digital Age.
The Digital Leadership initiative explores the growing use of digital technologies in the business landscape. Through a series of annual reports, blogs, articles, and case studies, the exploration examines how companies are cultivating opportunities and addressing risks in a fast-moving, digital environment.
Read the latest research report, Accelerating Digital Innovation Inside and Out.
For more on digital leadership:
Competing With Data and Analytics
The Competing With Data and Analytics initiative has investigated how technology enables competitiveness, answering the key question: How are organizations leveraging data and analytics to increase operational efficiency, engage key stakeholders, and report on business successes?
Leading Sustainable Organizations
MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) focused for eight years on the topic of sustainability. Over the course of the program, the partnership produced cutting-edge research on business adoption of sustainable practices and the integration of sustainability into business strategy.
Internet of Things
As organizations continue to champion the value of data to shape their futures, MIT SMR took a closer look at the internet of things. Our research found that obtaining business value using the connections the IoT creates between an organization and its customers, suppliers, and competitors depends on companies’ willingness to share data with other organizations.
For more, explore:
MIT SMR first investigated the topic of social business in 2010, long before Facebook boasted billions of monthly users and dominated digital advertising spending and e-commerce logins.
Our initial research and new thought leadership explore the challenges and opportunities presented by social media.