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
Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise
MIT SMR's research on Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise 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 and how organizations can deploy the technology responsibly.
Read the 2022 research report, Achieving Individual — and Organizational — Value With AI.
Read the 2022 research report, To Be a Responsible AI Leader, Focus on Being Responsible.
See what our expert panel has to say about Responsible AI as an enabler of innovation.
Listen to the related podcast, Me, Myself and AI:
- Moderna's chief data and artificial intelligence officer outlines how the company used technology to accelerate the development of its COVID-19 vaccine
- PepsiCo's senior vice president of global net revenue management talks tech talent
- Hosts Sam Ransbotham and Shervin Khodabandeh learn how Salesforce's first chief ethics and humane use officer leads the software company to design products with responsible technology in mind
Future of the Workforce
The Future of the Workforce initiative demands organizations fundamentally revisit how people and technology work together to create value.
- Read the 2022 report, Orchestrating Workforce Ecosystems
- Explore how workforce ecosystems strengthen organizations
- Learn about ways companies can redefine work for new value
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. The 2021 research report, “Leadership's Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully in an Era of Context Collapse” suggests leaders have overlooked a crucial component in digital transformation: themselves. The report offers actionable recommendations to help leaders transform themselves and their organizations in critical ways.
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.
- Read the 2019 Global Executive Study and Research Report Performance Management’s Digital Shift
- Explore how IBM revitalized its PM in the case study: Rebooting Work for a Digital Era
- Learn coaching best practices from ADP’s chief behavioral economist
- Dive into DBS Bank’s digital transformation efforts
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?
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.
We developed detailed analyses of the business cases for sustainability, sustainability-related profitability, and issues around collaboration and investment. Our recent focus has been the interface between corporations and the benefits of sustainable business practices.
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.
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.