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Current Research

Our Approach

MIT CISR investigates contemporary concerns to help executives meet the challenge of leading dynamic, global, and information-intensive organizations. MIT CISR research scientists and collaborators from around the world produce rigorous academic research using a variety of methods. The relevance of the research is ensured by the active participation of corporate sponsors and patrons from a range of industries. Insights are disseminated through research publications and events.

MIT CISR Current Research Projects


Building Relational Ecosystems for Innovation

Ecosystems for innovation require relational forms of coordination to manage conflicting priorities and collaborative work that is interdependent, uncertain, and time constrained. Building and supporting high-quality relationships is even more challenging among multiple organizations than it is within a single organization due to differences in power, communication, and digital readiness among other factors.

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Developing a Digital-First Workforce

MIT CISR research has shown that organizations that devolve decision making to empowered cross-functional teams outperform their industry peers. Yet in addition to having the authority to decide for themselves what they will accomplish and how to get things done, these teams require digital skillsets to effectively address emerging business priorities and drive organizational transformation.

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Generating Compelling Returns from Data Liquidity Investments

Investing in an organization’s data liquidity—the ease of data asset reuse and recombination—should unleash faster and more data monetization activities. At the same time, building data liquidity is costly, with challenges and risks. To date, we have identified two approaches that large organizations are using to increase the data liquidity of strategic data assets.

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Guiding Decentralized Decision Making

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, organizations have increasingly relied on decentralized decision making by cross-functional teams to rapidly sense and respond to changes in their environment. MIT CISR research found that to empower these teams, organizations rely on four decision rights guardrails that align teams with enterprise-wide interests: a company’s purpose, data, policies, and resource allocation processes.

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Learning to Create More Strategic Value Faster with Digital Innovations

We want to better understand how established companies learn to create more strategic value faster with digital innovations. In our previous research, we identified that such learning happens on three levels: within individual digital innovation initiatives, across sets of similar initiatives, and across the entire portfolio of digital innovation initiatives.

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Managing AI Scale: Identifying Approaches that Work

MIT CISR’s data research team has been tracking the journeys of fifty-two AI projects since 2019. These journeys have helped the team identify two distinct patterns of AI model growth: scale up and scale out. We have observed, however, that many of the AI initiatives are not scaling as desired.

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New Forms of Networked Collaboration Using Blockchain

Blockchain technology has become a key enabler for networked forms of organization (e.g., firm partnerships, strategic alliances, collaborative agreements). Our research has identified some interesting ways in which blockchain adoption is creating faster and novel value creation for large organizations.

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Sharing Data Within and Beyond the Organization

In recent years, MIT CISR research investigated how companies are thinking about interorganizational data sharing. However, in 2021, the MIT CISR Data Advisory Board suggested that we turn our focus inward, and instead investigate challenges and opportunities of data sharing within and across large organizations.

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Solving the Organizational Rubik’s Cube to Unlock Value from Digital

Last year, we began exploring the different goals for organizational surgery and how a number of companies have tried to achieve those goals. We identified four different goals: (1) addressing a new customer type, (2) creating a component based on a “crown jewel” of the enterprise, (3) building a new capability to be used across customer types, and (4) commercializing a component or capability as service.

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Center for Information Systems Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management
245 First Street, E94-15th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
 
617-253-2348