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HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study

Case Title:

MIT's Media Lab: Frank Moss' Culture Change

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Kalyani,Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: General Business


Case Code: HRM0015

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Established in 1985, MIT's Media Lab became the most popular research lab in the world by popularising the 'digital revolution'. The Lab had been mainly funded by corporate sponsors since its inception. However, since the early 21st century, it has been witnessing a decline in sponsorships. Increasing competition, failure of its expansion ventures in India and Ireland and its research leading to only few commercially-viable products are some of the reasons cited for the decline in its funding. On February 1st 2006, Nicholas Negroponte, the founder director of the Lab, retired and Frank Moss was appointed as the new director. It is believed that Moss' experience as an entrepreneur would be beneficial for the Lab to increase its corporate sponsorship. True to that belief he has brought in new initiatives whose efficacy is yet to be tested.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the transformation of MIT's Media Lab as the most popular research lab in the world
  • To focus on the issues behind the decline in the corporate funding of the lab
  • To discuss how Frank Moss' culture change initiatives might help the Lab to regain its ability to attract corporate sponsorship.

Keywords : Media research labs, MIT's Media Labs in Asia and Europe, Main sponsors of MIT's Media Lab, Companies spun off from MIT's Media Lab, MIT's industry-academia rapport, Corporate sponsorship of Media Research Labs, Digital revolution, Leadership Case Study, Constraints of Media Research Labs, Scientific contribution of Media Research Labs


  • MIT's Media Lab: The Pioneer of Digital Revolution
  • Media Lab's Top Sponsors
  • Companies Spun off from Media Lab
  • Frank Moss: Initiating a Culture Change

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