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Centre for Digital Built Britain completed its five-year mission and closed its doors at the end of September 2022

This website remains as a legacy of the achievements of our five-year foundational journey towards a digital built Britain

Michael is Academic Director of Cambridge Digital Innovation and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics. He has served as Head of the Organisation Theory & Information Systems group, Director (Associate Dean) of Programmes, and Director of the MPhil in Innovation, Strategy & Organisation (ISO) programme at Cambridge Judge Business School. He has published in many top-tier IS (information systems) and organisation journals, and has won several best paper awards at EGOS and the Academy of Management (AOM). In 2016, Michael was awarded the Distinguished Scholar award by the OCIS division of the AOM.

Professor Barrett is currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Information & Organization journal responsible for the RICK section, and is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of the Association of Information Systems. He has held several editorial responsibilities including: Senior Editor of MIS Quarterly, Associate Editor of Information Systems Research; Senior Editor of Information & Organization and Senior Editor of the Journal of the Association of Information Systems. Michael has also served as a member of the Editorial Board of Organization Science. He has contributed to articles in The Economist, The Times, and The Financial Post, and has served as an external examiner at Oxford University, the University of Edinburgh and the London School of Economics.

Professor Barrett has served on the Steering Board of the Cambridge Service Alliance and as a member of the Management Executive Group of the knowledge translation research group Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC). He was co-lead for implementation of this £9.6m multidisciplinary grant between 2008-2013. As part of the ESRC's Expert Advisory Group, he currently helps inform their strategic engagement of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF); a £1.5b fund distributed across multiple delivery partners to be spent on international development research over five years.

Michael has worked as an industrial engineer for Colgate Palmolive and won the Most Valuable Employee award for consulting and business development at Oracle Canada. He continues to work closely in research and executive education for a number of organisations, including Thomson Reuters, Statoil, Bank of China, China Mobile, BT, IBM, HP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Coventry Building Society, Shell Exploration, and the World Health Organization.

Michael is Academic Lead for the following CDBB funded projects on the Digital Innovation and Policy theme: 

  • AI and Service Innovation;
  • The Smart Digital Hospital of the Future ;
  • The use of Co-Innovation and Digital Twins for developing Smart Villages


Smart Hospital of the Future: Digital technologies, service innovation, and hospital design

Service innovation; ecosystem leadership; digital innovation and co-working spaces; platform ecosystems for self-care; AI and healthcare innovation for personalised medicine; FinTech and disruptive innovation in banking; mobile platforms for financial inclusion and clean energy; IT and globalisation; knowledge exchange in cross-cultural and multidisciplinary teams.

Michael draws primarily on practice-based theories for understanding digital innovation and transformation. He has also developed rhetorical strategies for understanding IT diffusion, and deploys longitudinal case study research using interpretive and mixed-methods approaches.


Key publications: 

Oborn, E., Barrett, M., Orlikowski, W. and Kim, A. (2019) "Trajectory dynamics in innovation: developing and transforming a mobile money service across time and place." Organization Science (forthcoming)

Barrett, M., Oborn, E. and Orlikowski, W. (2016) "Creating value in online communities: the sociomaterial configuring of strategy, platform, and stakeholder engagement." Information Systems Research, 27(4):704-723 (DOI: 10.1287/isre.2016.0648)

Barrett, M., Davidson, E., Prabhu, J. and Vargo, S. (2015) "Service innovation in the digital age: key contributions and future directions." MIS Quarterly, 39(1): 135-154

Barrett, M., Oborn, E., Orlikowski, W. and Yates, J. (2012) "Reconfiguring boundary relations: robotic innovations in pharmacy work." Organization Science, 23(5): 1448-1466 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1100.0639)

Heracleous, L. and Barrett, M. (2001) "Organizational change as discourse: communicative actions and deep structures in the context of information technology implementation." Academy of Management Journal, 44(4): 755-778

Barrett, M. and Walsham, G. (1999) "Electronic trading and work transformation in the London Insurance Market." Information Systems Research, 10(1): 1-22

Professor of Information Systems & Innovation Studies
Director of Research