My research studies both contemporary and historical groups and organizations as users of communication and information technology.  It was interrupted by five years as Deputy Dean at MIT Sloan, but the historical work is now picking back up.

My c.v. lists many papers from the contemporary stream many of them coauthored with colleague Wanda Orlikowski and various current and former students and colleagues.  Several years ago former doctoral student Melissa Mazmanian, Wanda Orlikowski, and I wrote a paper presented at the Academy of Management and published in the AOM Proceedings in 2006.  Entitled "Ubiquitous Email: Individual Experiences and Organizational Consequences of Blackberry Use," it is posted here. Recently a much developed version of it was accepted for publication in Organization Science in 2013 or 2014with the title “The Autonomy Paradox: The Implications of Mobile Email Devices for Knowledge Professionals.”

My best known historical book is Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).  My most recent historical book, Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005; paperback release fall 2008) examines how a large user industry (life insurance) adopted and used pre-computer information technology, and how that experience shaped (and was shaped by) their adoption and use of early computers.  You can find the book here or on

Currently I am working on a study of voluntary consensus standard setting over the past 100 years, co-authoring with my husband, Craig Murphy.  Here are links to two of our joint papers: "Coordinating International Standards: The Formation of the ISO"; "Charles Le Maistre: Entrepreneur in International Standardization."  We also have a small book on the ISO published in 2009 ( and are now researching and writing a scholarly history of the evolution of standardization, from 1900 up to the present.