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Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson

University Senior Lecturer in Information Systems
Deputy Director of the MPhil in Innovation, Strategy & Organisation and MPhil in Management Science & Operations Programmes

BA (University of Oxford), MSc (SOAS, University of London), PhD (University of Cambridge)

Professional experience

Mark has 22 years of information and systems and change management experience and is currently Strategy Director & Co-owner, Methods Group, where he has created two thriving startups since 2011 (Methods Advisory and Methods Digital). He is a member of the National Audit Office's Digital Advisory Panel, and was until recently a Main Board Member, Intellect UK (now TechUK). Prior to Methods, Mark was a Change Management Consultant at Accenture.

Mark is acknowledged within the public domain as one of architects of Open Innovation thinking within the UK public sector. In 2007-8 he was a senior adviser to UK Shadow Cabinet under George Osborne, for whom he delivered an influential report proposing widespread adoption of open standards in government IT that has since become policy, helping to create a sea-change in the way the government approaches and uses technology. Mark was credited by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude as having laid the foundation for the government's current technology procurement strategy and has subsequently authored, co-authored, or significantly influenced a series of white papers, policy documents, and a parliamentary report. Such papers include a think-tank document, Better for Less with Liam Maxwell, which formed the strategy for Cabinet Office's Efficiently and Reform Group, a journal article that has been widely shared in government, the Government IT Strategy and Strategic Implementation Plan.

Mark is a regularly invited industry and government speaker, and is pioneering these ideas in practice through London-based Methods Group, where he is delivering radical, often disruptive transformation with over 15 pathfinding government organisations. He has appeared in digital panels at both Labour and Conservative Party conferences - as well as critiquing some of the early policy developments for the coming manifesto period.

Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Research interests

The implications of a process-oriented perspective for understanding people, social organisation, technology, and markets; open platform architectures for radical service redesign in the public sector.

Mark Thompson is a member of the Organisational Behaviour & Information Systems subject group.

Selected publications

Thompson, M. (2005) "Structural and epistemic parameters in communities of practice." Organization Science, 16(2): 151-164

Thompson, M. (2008) "ICT and development studies: towards development 2.0." Journal of International Development, 20(6): 821-835 (DOI: 10.1002/jid.1498)

Thompson, M. and Walsham, G. (2010) "ICT research in Africa: need for a strategic developmental focus." Information Technology for Development, 16(2): 112-127 (DOI: 10.1080/02681101003737390)

Thompson, M. (2011) "Ontological shift or ontological drift? Reality claims, epistemological frameworks and theory generation in organization studies." Academy of Management Review, 36(4): 754-773

Thompson, M. (2012) "People, practice, and technology: restoring Giddens' broader philosophy to the study of information systems." Information and Organization, 22(3): 188-207 (DOI: 10.1016/j.infoandorg.2012.04.001)

Fishenden, J. and Thompson, M. (2013) "Digital government, open architecture, and innovation: why public sector IT will never be the same again." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 23(4): 977-1004 (DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mus022)

More publications

Contact details

Mark Thompson
Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1AG

Fax: +44 (0)1223 339701
Personal WWW: Visit Mark's website  

Research impact

Preventing the next government IT disaster

From Obamacare to Universal Credit, government has a poor record when it comes to handling major IT projects. Happily research by Dr Mark Thompson is laying the foundations of a new IT strategy which many hope will open up new markets and opportunities for innovation.

Read more

Mark's blog