Noshir Contractor
Noshir Contractor

Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering
Professor of Management & Organizations

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Noshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, translational science and engineering communities, public health networks and virtual worlds. His research program has been funded continuously for over 15 years by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional current funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, Air Force Research Lab, Army Research Institute, Army Research Laboratory, the Gates Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.

Professor Contractor has published or presented over 250 research papers dealing with communicating and organizing. His book titled Theories of Communication Networks (co-authored with Professor Peter Monge and published by Oxford University Press, and translated into simplified Chinese in 2009) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association. In 2014 he received the National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar Award recognizing a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. In 2015 he was elected as a Fellow of the International Communication Association. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Syndio, which offers organizations products and services based on network analytics.

Professor Contractor has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.

Download Professor Contractor's CV here

The Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group advances social network theories, methods, and tools to better understand and meet the needs of diverse communities. SONIC develops cutting-edge techniques to study and improve social and knowledge networks in distributed working groups, online communities, virtual teams, and other large communities. Using a comprehensive methodology, SONIC researchers model, assess, validate, and enable the emergence of social and knowledge networks. SONIC helps communities discover their existing communication and knowledge networks, diagnose their network's health by measuring its robustness, connectedness, bottlenecks, etc., and design the social incentives and technical infrastructure needed for networks to function at optimal effectiveness.

Print Vita
Ph.D, 1987, Communication, University of Southern California
M.A., 1986, Communication, University of Southern California
B. Tech, 1983, Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology

Academic Positions
Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences, Departments of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences Communication Studies, and Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2007-present
Professor of Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001-2007
Director, Team Engineering Collaboratory, Department of Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, 1991-2007
Director, Computing and Instructional Laboratories, Department of Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, 1987-2007
Associate Professor of Speech Communication, University of Illi nois at Urbana - Champaign, 1993-2001
Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, 1987-1993

Honors and Awards
Best Conference Poster Award for "The MyDreamTeam Builder: A Recommender System for Assembling & Enabling Effective Teams", Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research
Top Paper Award for Murase, T., Asencio, R., McDonald, J., Poole, M. S., DeChurch, L. A., & Contractor, N. S. (2015). The Effect of Entrainment of Group Processes on Multiteam System Effectiveness, National Communication Association
International Communication Association Fellow, International Communication Association

Editorial Positions
Member of Editorial Board, Human Communication Research, 2010
Associate Editor, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 2013
Editor for Communication, Engineering & Management, Network Science, 2012

Print Research
Pilny, A., A. Schecter, M.S. Poole and Noshir Contractor. Forthcoming. An illustration of the relational event model to analyze group interaction processes. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice.
Leenders, Roger, Noshir Contractor and Leslie DeChurch. 2016. Once upon a time: Understanding team dynamics as relational event networks. Organizational Psychology Review. 6(1): 92-115.
Zeng, Xiaohua, Ximeng Wang, Yunjie Xu, Yun Huang and Noshir Contractor. 2015. Circadian Rhythms in Socializing Propensity. PLOS ONE. 10(9)
Wax, Amy, Leslie DeChurch and Noshir Contractor. 2015. Little Teams, Big Data: Big Data Provides New Opportunities for Teams Theory. Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 8(4): 550-555.
Tiropanis, T, J Crowcroft, Noshir Contractor and L Tassiulas. 2015. Network Science, Web Science and Internet Science: Comparing interdisciplinary areas. Communications of the ACM. 58(8): 76-82.
Contractor, Noshir and Welles Foucault. 2015. Individual motivations and network effects: A Multi-Level Analysis of the Structure of Online Social Relationship. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,. 659: 180-190.
Sullivan, S, Razvan Lungeanu, Leslie DeChurch and Noshir Contractor. 2015. Space, time, and the development of shared leadership networks in multiteam systems. Network Science.: 1-32.
Carter, D, Leslie DeChurch, M Braun and Noshir Contractor. 2015. Social network approaches to leadership: An integrative conceptual review. Journal of Applied Psychology.
Book Chapters
Zhu, M, V Kuskova, Stanley Wasserman and Noshir Contractor. 2016. "Correspondence analysis of multirelational multilevel networks." edited by E. Lazega & T.A.B. Snijders, Springer International Publishing..
Huang, Y, C Weng, B Lee and Noshir Contractor. 2015. "Semantic and Social Spaces: Identifying Keyword Similarity with Relations." edited by E. Bertino & S. Matei.
Contractor, Noshir and P. R. Monge. 2003. Theories of Communication Networks. New York: Oxford University Press.
Conference Proceedings
Hogan, B, J.R. Melville, G.L. Philips, P. Janulis, Noshir Contractor, B.S. Mustanski and M Birkett. 2016. "Evaluating the Paper-to-Screen Translation of Participant-Aided Sociograms with High-Risk Participants.".
lungeanu, A., S Sullivan, Noshir Contractor and Uri Wilensky. 2015. "A Computational Model of Team Assembly in Emerging Scientific Fields.".
Wang, M., W. Chen, Y Huang, Noshir Contractor and Y. Fu. 2015. "A Multidimensional Network Approach for Modeling Customer-Product Relations in Engineering Design.".
Whalen, R. and Noshir Contractor. 2015. "Patent Application Citations and the Examination Process: A Network-Based Date-Sensitive Method to Analyze Patent Applications.".
Neidhardt, J., Y Huang and Noshir Contractor. 2015. "Team vs. Team: Success Factors in a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Game.".

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Executive Education
Leading Into the Future: Managing in a Changing World

As the world of business changes at breakneck speed, executives must stay at the forefront of management thinking and practice. This program delivers a wealth of new knowledge and insights for managing change with confidence in the 21st century.

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Leading Into the Future: Managing in a Changing World

As the world of business changes at breakneck speed, executives must stay at the forefront of management thinking and practice. This program delivers a wealth of new knowledge and insights for managing change with confidence in the in 21st century.

View Program