New MIT center aims to measure and enhance information-worker performance

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 4, 2003

1 Min Read

In just a few years, the world may have an answer as to whether--and how much--IT affects the productivity of knowledge workers, and companies may gain a better understanding of how to harness technology to improve employees' performance.

Microsoft last week teamed with a number of IT industry heavyweights, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel, to pledge $4.5 million over the next three years to fund independent research to be conducted by the new Information Work Productivity Center at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

The center aims to determine the best methods for measuring information-worker productivity, and then find ways to improve those productivity levels.

"The big irony of the information age is that we don't measure productivity well," says Erik Brynjolfsson, the MIT Sloan School of Management professor who's heading the center.

The coalition will develop data sets and methodologies with support from business executives. "We'll give the academic, neutral view and offer a framework. Businesses should then build on it," Brynjolfsson says. The MIT teams will study how as many as 25 companies design new products, enhance existing products, learn from their customers, collaborate, and manage employee communications.

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