Shoshana Zuboff

Shoshana Zuboff

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (retired). She was born in 1951 [place unknown] and is an American citizen. One of the first tenured women at the Harvard Business School, she earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and her B.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago.

In the Age of the Smart Machine

Author of the celebrated classic "In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power" (1988). This book won instant critical acclaim in both the academic and trade press—including the front page review in the New York Times Book Review-- and is now considered the definitive study of information technology in the workplace. Of particular interest, this book introduced the concept of Informating, the process that translates descriptions and measurements of activities, events and objects into information. By doing so, these activities become visible to the organization at all levels. As a result, Informating has both an empowering and oppressing influence.


In 1993, Professor Zuboff founded the executive education program “ODYSSEY: School for the Second Half of Life” at the Harvard Business School – which she lead for the next 10 years. The program addressed the issues of transformation and career renewal at midlife.

The Support Economy

At the same time as running ODYSSEY, Professor Zuboff began to question the vision of the progressive corporation espoused in most management literature, including her earlier work. She took time out from teaching and publishing for a prolonged period of study and reflection. That began a decade-long intellectual journey from which she concluded that today's business models based on twentieth century “managerial capitalism” have reached the limits of their adaptive range. Once the engines of wealth creation, they have turned into its impediments. The society of the twenty-first century requires a new approach to commerce based on a new "distributed capitalism."

These insights led to Professor Zuboff’s most recent book, "The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism", co-authored with her husband, former Chief Executive of Laura Ashley Jim Maxmin, and published by Viking.

Professor Zuboff lives with her husband, Jim Maxmin, and their two children on a fresh water farm in mid-coast Maine.


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