Noshir Contractor
Noshir Contractor

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

Print Overview

Noshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the School of Engineering, 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 communities. Specifically, his research team is developing and testing theories and methods of network science to map, understand and enable more effective networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, science and engineering communities, disaster response teams, public health networks, digital media and learning networks, and in virtual worlds, such as Second Life. His research program has been funded continuously for over a decade by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Rockefeller 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 in English and scheduled to be published by China Renmin University Press in simplified Chinese in 2008) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association. He is the lead developer of IKNOW (Inquiring Knowledge Networks On the Web), and its Cyberinfrastructure extension CI-KNOW, a network recommender system to enable communities using cyberinfrastructure, as well as Blanche, a software environment to simulate the dynamics of social networks.

His papers have received Top Paper awards from the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association. In 2000 he was awarded the Outstanding Member Award by the Organizational Communication Division of the International Communication Association. He has served on the editorial boards of Human Communication Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Management Communication Quarterly, Organization Science, and the World Wide Web Electronic Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.

He has consulted with Procter & Gamble, Boeing, Charles Schwab, Fiat, Illinois Power, McKinsey Management Consulting, Merrill Lynch, Michigan Consolidated, National Cancer Institute, Paramount Pictures, the Utah Transit Authority, and Vodafone. He developed one of the first graduate and undergraduate “virtual” courses on "Emerging Technologies in the Workplace" to be webcast and cablecast by Jones International University. Internationally, Professor Contractor has also conducted workshops on social network analysis and the management of knowledge networks in China, Finland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

Professor Contractor holds a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (Chennai). He was on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for twenty years prior to joining Northwestern in 2007.

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

Print Research
Contractor, Noshir and E. M. Rogers. 1988. Metatheoretical Perspectives on Satellite Television and Developent in India. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 32(2): 129-148.
Contractor, Noshir and M. D. Cozzens. 1987. The Effect of Conflicting Information on Media Skepticism. Communication Research. 14: 437-451.
Contractor, Noshir, P. R. Monge and A Singhal. 1986. Cultural Assumptions That Influence The Implementation of Communication Technologies. Vikalpa. 11: 287-300.
Borner, Katy, Noshir Contractor, Holly Falk-Krzesinski, Joann Keyton, D Stokols, William Trochim and Brian Uzzi. 2010. A Multi-level Systems Perspective for the Science of Team Science. Science Translational Medicine. 2
Falk-Krzesinski, Holly, Katy Borner, Noshir Contractor, Joann Keyton, D. Stokols, William Trochim and Brian Uzzi. 2010. Advancing the Science of Team Science. Clinical and Translation Sciences. 3: 263-266.
Book Chapters
Contractor, Noshir, A Singhal and E M Rogers. 1992. "Metatheoretical Perspectives on Satellite Television and Development in India." In Perspectives on Development Communication, edited by K.S. Nair & S.A. White, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Contractor, Noshir and B. O'Keefe. 1992. "Consensus Management in Engineering Design." In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, & Cybernetics.
Contractor, Noshir and E. M. Eisenberg. 1990. "Communication Networks and New Media in Organizations." In Organizations and Communication Technology, edited by J. Fulk & C. W. Steinfield, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Contractor, Noshir and P. R. Monge. 1988. "Communication Networks: Measurement Techniques." In A Handbook for the Study of Human Communication: Methods and Instruments for Observing, Measuring, and Assessing Communi, edited by C.H. Tardy, Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Contractor, Noshir and D Srivastava. "What Can Gold Farmers Teach Us About Criminal Networks?." The ACM Magazine for Student.
Contractor, Noshir. "Complexity - The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos." Jounral of Communication.
Contractor, Noshir. "Complexity - Life at the Edge of Chaos by Roger Lewin." Journal of Communication.
Contractor, Noshir. "Research and Reflexivity." Jounral of Communication.
Contractor, Noshir. "A Self-Renewing Society: The Role of Television and Communications Technology by N.D. Batra." Journalism Quarterly.
Contractor, Noshir and P. R. Monge. 2003. Theories of Communication Networks. New York: Oxford University Press.

Print Teaching
Executive Education
Leading Into the Future: Managing in a Changing World
Formerly "21st Century Management"
Explore the innovations in marketing, talent management, operations and leadership that formulate the new frontiers of today’s rapidly changing business environment. You will come away with a clear understanding of the technology and managerial tools that will enable you to tackle tomorrow’s challenges, today.

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