School of Communication

Paul Leonardi

Department of Communication Studies
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences

Paul Leonardi

Pentair-Nugent Associate Professor
Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive Room 2-158
Evanston IL 60208
Graduate Programs: Media Technology and Society, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences

Paul Leonardi (Ph.D., Stanford University) is the Pentair-Nugent Associate Professor at Northwestern University. He teaches courses on the management of innovation and organizational change in the School of Communication, the McCormick School of Engineering, and the Kellogg School of Management. Leonardi’s research focuses on how companies can create organizational structures and employ advanced information technologies to more effectively create and share knowledge. He is particularly interested in how data intensive technologies, such as simulation and social media tools, enable new ways to access, store, and share information; how the new sources of information these technologies provide can change work routines and communication partners; and how shifts in employees’ work and communication alter the nature of an organization's expertise.

He has won awards for his research from the Academy of Management, the American Sociological Association, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Association for Information Systems, the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, and the National Science Foundation.

Over the past decade, he has worked with for-profit and non-profit organizations to help them manage the human aspects of new technology implementation. His recent engagements have focused on improving communication between departments, using social technologies to enhance internal knowledge sharing, strengthening global product development operations.

Personal web site


PhD Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
MA Organizational Communication, University of Colorado at Boulder
BA Communication and Spanish, Saint Mary’s College of California


Leonardi, P. M., Neeley, T. B., & Gerber, E. M. (2012). How Managers Use Multiple Media: Discrepant Events, Power, and Timing in Redundant Communication. Organization Science, 23(1), 98-117.

Leonardi, P. M. (2011). When Flexible Routines Meet Flexible Technologies: Affordance, Constraint, and the Imbrication of Human and Material Agencies. MIS Quarterly, 35(1), 147-167.

Leonardi, P. M. (2009). Why Do People Reject New Technologies and Stymie Organizational Changes of which They Are in Favor? Exploring Misalignments Between Social Interactions and Materiality. Human Communication Research, 35(3), 407-441.

Leonardi, P. M. (2008). Indeterminacy and the Discourse of Inevitability in International Technology Management. Academy of Management Review, 33(4), 975-984.

Leonardi, P. M. (2007). Activating the Informational Capabilities of Information Technology for Organizational Change. Organization Science, 18(5), 813-831.

Recent Awards and Honors

2013 Galbut Outstanding Faculty Award
2012 Ascendant Scholar Award
Western Academy of Management

Young Scholar Award
International Communication Association

Best Paper of 2011
MIS Quarterly

Clarence Ver Steeg Graduate Faculty Award
Northwestern University
2011 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award
National Science Foundation

Article of the Year Award

Organizational Communication Division, National Communication Association

Best Published Paper Award

Organizational Communication and Information Systems Division, Academy of Management
2010 Alfred P. Sloan Industry Studies Fellow
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Article of the Year Award
Organizational Communication Division, National Communication Association


OB 342 Organizational Behavior
MTS 512 Technology and Organizing
MSC 492 Technology Management