This is JoAnne Yates's page from the Web site of MIT's Center for Coordination Science (CCS). CCS became the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI) in 2006.

Please follow the following link if you would like to go to JoAnne's current page on the MIT Sloan School of Management site.


Professor JoAnne Yates


Professor JoAnne Yates is Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her interdisciplinary program of research is aimed at understanding how the use of communication and information technology within firms shapes and is shaped over time by its changing organizational, managerial, and technological contexts. This work includes both historical and contemporary studies.

Her first historical book, Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management, focused on the evolution of communication systems in American businesses from 1850 to 1920, the period of an earlier revolution in information and communication technologies. This prize-winning book examined the interlocking evolution of managerial beliefs, information and communication technology, and communication genres (or document types, such as the memo or report) in American firms. This historical study demonstrates many parallels between historical and contemporary developments in the relationships between information technology and organizations. Her new book, Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century, examines the life insurance industry's adoption and use of information technology in the 20th century, focusing on the mutual shaping of information technology and its use. In particular, it demonstrates how the life insurance industry's use of pre-computer tabulating technology shaped its adoption and use of early computers, and how its adoption and use of early computers shaped and was shaped by the technology and the vendor industry.

Professor Yates also studies contemporary electronic communication. After working with Professor Thomas W. Malone and Robert I. Benjamin on papers on electronic markets and hierarchies in the 1980s, she began a long-term collaboration with Professor Wanda Orlikowski on how members of teams and organizations shape use of electronic communication media over time. They have used the notions of genres, genre repertoires, and conversational coherence to study how groups use electronic mail and electronic conferencing to support group activities. They have also looked at changes in temporal and work patterns around new information and communication technology. Currently, she is on a team of five MIT Sloan faculty completing a multi-year NSF grant to study the social and economic implications of Internet technologies. In this work, she collaborates with doctoral students, faculty, and researchers on in-depth studies of how specific groups and organizations use communication and information technologies, and how that use shapes their work, communication, and temporal practices.

Professor Yates was Division Chair of the Organizational Communication and Information Systems Division of the Academy of Management in 2000/2001, and president of the Business History Conference in 2004/2005. In 1998 she was awarded the Harold F. Williamson, Sr., Medal for mid-career excellence in Business History. She serves on editorial boards or reviews for several journals.

PUBLICATIONS [partial list]:
JoAnne Yates, Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Information Technology in the 20th Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).

JoAnne Yates and John Van Maanen, eds., IT and Organizational Transformation: History, Rhetoric, and Practice, Sage Publications, 2001.

Toshiro Wakayama, Srikanth Kannapan, Chan Meng Khoong, Sham Navathe, and JoAnne Yates, eds., Proceedings of the International Working Conference on Information and Process Integration in Enterprises, Kluwer Press, 1998.

Control Through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989; paperback edition, 1993).

Selected Journal Articles
Kate Kellogg, Wanda J. Orlikowski, and JoAnne Yates, "Enacting New Ways of Organizing: Exploring the Activities and Consequences of Post-Industrial Work," in press, Organization Science.

Hyun Im, JoAnne Yates, Wanda J. Orlikowski, "Temporal Coordination through Genres and Genre Systems," Information, Technology and People 18:2 (2005), 89-119. (Special issue on genre.)

Wanda J. Orlikowski and JoAnne Yates, "It's About Time: An Enacted View of Time in Organizations," Organization Science, 13: 6 (November-December 2002), pp. 684-700.

JoAnne Yates and Wanda J. Orlikowski, "Genre Systems: Structuring Interaction through Communicative Norms," Journal of Business Communication 39:1 (2002), pp. 13-35.

Takeshi Yoshioka, George Herman, JoAnne Yates, and Wanda J. Orlikowski, "Genre Taxonomy: A Knowledge Repository of Communicative Actions," ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 19: 4 (2001), pp. 431 - 456.

JoAnne Yates, "The Structuring of Early Computer Use in Life Insurance," Journal of Design History, 12:1 (1999), pp. 5-24.

JoAnne Yates, Wanda J. Orlikowski, and Kazuo Okamura, "Explicit and Implicit Structuring of Genres: Electronic Communication in a Japanese R&D Organization," Organization Science, 10: 1 (January-December 1999), pp. 83-103.

Wanda J. Orlikowski and JoAnne Yates, Kazuo Okamura, and Masayo Fujimoto, "Shaping Electronic Communication: The Metastructuring of Technology in the Context of Use," Organization Science, 6 (1995), 423-444.

Wanda J. Orlikowski and JoAnne Yates, "Genre Repertoire: Examining the Structuring of Communicative Practices in Organizations," Administrative Science Quarterly, 39 (1994), 541-574.

JoAnne Yates, "Co-evolution of Information Processing Technology and Use: Interaction between the Life Insurance and Tabulating Industries," Business History Review, 67 (Spring 1993), 1-51.

JoAnne Yates and Wanda J. Orlikowski, "Genres of Organizational Communication: A Structurational Approach to Studying Communication and Media, Academy of Management Review, 17 (April 1992), 299-326.

Thomas W. Malone, JoAnne Yates, and Robert I Benjamin, "Electronic Markets and Electronic Hierarchies: Effects of New Information Technologies on Market Structures and Corporate Strategies," The Communications of the ACM, 30 (June 1987), 484-497.

Selected Chapters in Edited Volumes
JoAnne Yates and Wanda Orlikowski, "The PowerPoint Presentation and its Corollaries: How Genres Shape Communicative Action in Organizations," in Mark Zachry and Charlotte Thralls (eds.) The Cultural Turn: Communicative Practices in Workplaces and the Professions. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing, forthcoming.

Michael O'Leary, Wanda J. Orlikowski, and JoAnne Yates, "Distributed Work over the Centuries: Trust and Control in the Hudson's Bay Company, 1670-1826," chapter in Distributed Work, ed. Pamela J. Hinds and Sara Kiesler (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002).

JoAnne Yates, "Business Use of Information and Technology from 1880-1950," in A Nation Transformed by Information: How Information Has Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present, ed. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., and James Cortada (Oxford Press, 2000), pp. 107-135.

JoAnne Yates, "Evolving Information Use in Firms, 1850-1920: Ideology and Information Techniques and Technologies," in Information Acumen: The Understanding and Use of Knowledge in Modern Business, ed. Lisa Bud-Frierman (London: Routledge, 1994).

JoAnne Yates, "Investing in Information: Supply and Demand Forces in the Use of Information in American Firms, 1850-1920," in Inside the Business Enterprise, ed. Peter Temin (Chicago, IL: NBER and University of Chicago Press, 1991), pp. 117-154.

Selected Recent Conference Proceedings
Tanu Ghosh, JoAnne Yates, and Wanda Orlikowski, "Using Communication Norms for Coordination: Evidence from a Distributed Team." Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Information Systems, Washington D.C., December 2004.

JoAnne Yates, Wanda Orlikowski, and Stephanie Woerner, "Virtual Organizing: Using Threads to Coordinate Distributed Work," Proceedings of the HICSS Conference, January, 2003.

Kate Kellogg, Wanda Orlikowski, and JoAnne Yates, "Enacting New Ways of Organizing: Exploring the Activities and Consequences of Post-Industrial Work," Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings, 2002.

Takeshi Yoshioka, JoAnne Yates, and Wanda J. Orlikowski, "Community-based Interpretive Schemes: Exploring the Use of Cyber Meetings within a Global Organization," Published in electronic Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2002.

MIT Sloan School
50 Memorial Drive, E52-475
Cambridge, MA 02142
Fax: 617-253-2660
Tel: 617-253-7157
Email: jyates AT