Kenneth C. Laudon

Professor, Information Systems


Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences
NYU Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
Tel: (914) 282-6290
Fax: (914) 788-1155

| Teaching | | Background | Publications: Books, Selected Articles| | Research & Professional Activities |


Managing the Digitial Firm
IT and Corporate Strategy
Electronic Commerce
Professional Responsibility


Ken holds a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and a Ph.D from Columbia University. He has authored a dozen books dealing with information systems, organizations, and society, including Computers and Bureaucratic Reform; Communications Technology and Participation; Dossier Society; Information Technology and Management Strategy; Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm; E-commerce, Business Technology Society; Business Information Systems: A Problem Solving Perspective; Solving Classic Business Problems; Information Technology and Society, and Interactive Computing: Concepts and Skills. In addition, he has written over 35 articles and book chapters concerned with the organizational, social and management impacts of information systems.

Ken is primarily known for his path-breaking work in privacy, and the role that information technology plays in corporate strategy and management. Ken Laudon is the author of Dossier Society, one of the first book-length treatments of the difficulties of preserving privacy in an environment of large-scale, national information systems in both the private and public sectors. His widely cited paper, Markets and Privacy (Communications of the ACM), is considered a 'classic' article describing a market-based view of privacy where individuals own their personal information and can sell this information to bidders in a marketplace. Currently he is involved in research on private information markets, and the role which markets could play in reducing invasions of privacy. Several online firms now offer personal information data banks where consumers can sell and control their personal private information. Ken's article Data Quality and Due Process identified errors in the FBI's National Criminal History and Automated Warrant systems, and described the impact these errors have on criminal justice and judicial decision making. In corporate strategy and management, Ken's article Environmental and Institutional Models of System Development was one of the first articles to empirically document the extent to which organizations adopt information systems for non-rational reasons, essentially imitating what other organizations are doing. Ken's other academic books include Communications Technology and Political Participation and Computers and Bureaucratic Reform.

Ken is also well known for his college and graduate level textbooks. Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm 13th edition (Ken Laudon and Jane Laudon, Pearson Prentice Hall) is the most widely adopted MIS textbook in the world. It has been translated into fifteen languages. Ken's E-commerce. Business. Technology. Society 9th edition (Ken Laudon and Carol Guercio Traver, Pearson Prentice Hall) is the most widely adopted e-commerce textbook in the world. It has been translated into six languages, and has a global edition as well.

Ken Laudon has testified as an expert before the United States Congress. He has been a researcher and consultant to the Office of Technology Assessment (United States Congress), the Office of the President, several executive branch agencies, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the House Committee on Government Operations. Prof. Laudon has acted as a consultant on systems planning and strategy to several Fortune 500 firms and federal agencies.

Ken's hobby is building sail boats and racing them in off-shore ocean competitions. He is a veteran racer in the Newport-Bermuda Race, and the Vineyard, and Block Island offshore races.



1. 2014 Management Information Systems. Managing the Digital Firm 13th ed. [with Jane Laudon] Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Higher Education.
2. 2013 E-commerce. Business. Technology. Society. 9th ed. [with Carol G. Traver]. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Higher Education.
3. 1998 Information Systems and the Internet: A Problem Solving Approach [with Jane Laudon], 4th ed., Fort Worth: The Dryden Press (Harcourt Brace).
4. 1998 Interactive Computing. Introduction to Computer Concepts, 2nd ed., New York: McGraw-Hill.
5. 1997 Information Technology: Concepts and Issues [with Carol Traver and Jane Laudon], 2 ed., Cambridge, Mass.: Course Technology Inc. (The Thompson Group).
6. 1996 Interactive Computing. Introduction to Computer Concepts 1st ed., New York: McGraw-Hill.
7. 1996 Information Technology and Society [with Carol Traver and Jane Laudon]. 2nd ed., Cambridge, Mass.: Course Technology Inc. (The Thompson Group).
8. 1992 Solving Classic Business Problems [with Jane Price Laudon]. Reading, Mass.: Addison Wesley
9. 1990 The Integrated Solution: Problem Solving With PC Software [with Jane Laudon]. Chicago: The Dryden Press.
10. 1989 Solve it! Management Problem Solving With PC Software. [with Jane Laudon and Peter Weill]. New York: Azimuth Corporation.
11. 1989 Information Technology and Strategic Management [with Jon Turner]. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
12. 1986 Dossier Society. Value Choices in the Design of National Information Systems. New York: Columbia University Press.
13. 1978 Communications Technology and Political Participation. New York: Praeger Publishing.
14. 1974 Computers and Bureaucratic Reform. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Selected Articles

1996 Markets and privacy. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM, 39, 9; ABI/INFORM Global

1996 "Extensions to the Theory of Privacy and Markets: Establishing the Price of Information (Purchaser view). Working Paper Stern School of Business, IS Department.

1995 Ethical Concepts and Information Technology. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM; 38, 12

1995 "Privacy, Law and Markets in a Networked Society," National Human Genome Project, Department of Energy & the Center for Study of Social Issues (Hackensack, N.J.)

1995 "Management Strategy, Investment in IT, and Productivity" [with Kenneth L. Marr] Working Paper, Center for Information Systems Research, Stern School of Business, IS Department.

1986 Data Quality and Due Process. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM; 29, 1.

1985 Environmental and Institutional Models of Systems Development. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM; 28, 7.

1995 "Occupational and Structural Changes in Post Industrial Organizations Due to Information Technology: 40 Years of Computing at the IRS, FBI, and SSA." Working Paper, Center for Information Systems Research, Stern School of Business, IS Department.


Ken’s research focuses on three areas: the social and organizational uses of information technology, privacy of personal information, and the development of interactive digital higher education materials.

Social and Organizational Uses of Information Technology
Ken's organizational research focuses on the role of management strategy and larger cultural influences in shaping the use of information technology in large complex organizations. This research inverts the normal concerns with "the social impacts of IT" and instead focuses on how and why social actors use information technology as they do. Ken's research is not mainstream IS research but instead fits more closely into the organizational theories of sociology and economics. Specifically, Ken's research has:
• Illustrated how political and bureaucratic forces shape the uses of information technology (Computers and Bureaucratic Reform)
• Shown how to design telecommunications systems so as to enhance democratic participation (Communications Technology and Democratic Participation)
• Described how ideology, cultural assumptions, and politics have shaped the evolution of large scale government national information systems (Dossier Society)
• Described how managers can use information technology to achieve strategic effects (as well as strategic disasters) (Information Technology and Strategic Management)
• Shown how management strategies and collective cultural beliefs shape the productivity results--and organizational structures-- achieved by organizations as they invest in IT .

Personal Information Privacy
Ken's book Dossier Society: Value Choices in the Design of National Information Systems is widely considered to be a landmark second generation statement of the problem of maintaining privacy in an increasingly information-rich society. Dossier Society traced the development of national information systems at the FBI, Social Security, and Internal Revenue Service. (Office of Technology Assessment, US Congress). The conclusion was that existing first generation regulatory protections would prove to be inadequate to protect individual privacy in the Internet era. Dossier Society called for new mechanisms--including market mechanisms--to ensure privacy protection.

As the Internet developed in the 1990s, and as progress is made in identifying unique and powerful individual level predictors of human behavior which take on increasing market value (genetic codes, personal credit behavior, consumption behavior), the difficulties of protecting privacy in a free-market society are increasing. Ken's more recent privacy research focuses on market-based solutions to personal privacy in which individuals would have a common law property right to their personal information, these rights could be sold, and national information markets would emerge (along with necessary intermediary and depository institutions). The outline of this solution is spelled out in "Markets and Privacy" Communications of the ACM 1996. This research was funded by the Department of Energy through a grant to the Center for the Study of Legal Issues. An article published by the Department of Commerce discusses the mechanics of pricing personal information.

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