Andrew McAfee, ’88, ’89, LGO ’90, Associate Director and Principal Research Scientist, The MIT Center for Digital Business
Andrew McAfee is the associate director and principal research scientist at The MIT Center for Digital Business. He studies the ways that information technology (IT) affects businesses and business as a whole. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, his work also investigates how computerization affects competition, society, the economy, and the workforce. He and Erik Brynjolfsson are co-authors of the ebook Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation,Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. The book brings together a range of data, examples, and research to show that the average US worker is being left behind by advances in technology.
He coined the phrase “Enterprise 2.0” in a spring 2006 Sloan Management Review article to describe the use of Web 2.0 tools and approaches by businesses. He also began blogging at that time, both about Enterprise 2.0 and about his other research. McAfee’s blog is widely read, becoming at times one of the 10,000 most popular in the world (according to Technorati). He also maintains a Facebook profile and Twitter account. In addition to the blog that is part of this site, McAfee also writes a blog as part of harvardbusiness.org’s “HBR Voices.” His posts are also regularly reprinted at forbes.com. McAfee’s book on Enterprise 2.0 was published in November 2009 by Harvard Business School Press. In the July/August 2008 issue of Harvard Business Review McAfee and Brynjolfsson published “Investing in the IT that Makes a Competitive Difference,” a summary of their research investigating IT’s links to changes in competition. This work was the first to reveal that competition began to heat up in the US in the mid-1990s—to become faster paced, more turbulent, and more winner-take-all—and that this acceleration was greater in industries that spent more on IT. This research continues, and continues to highlight that technology appears to be significantly reshaping the landscape of competition. McAfee is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles, case studies and other materials for students and teachers of technology. This work has convinced him that modern information technology is the most powerful tool available to business leaders, yet also the most misunderstood and under-appreciated resource at their disposal. He has written columns for the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and Canadian Manager, and been a guest on the Charlie Rose show.