Paul M. Leonardi is the Duca Family Professor of Technology Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and serves as the Founding Director of the Master of Technology Management Program at the Investment Group of Santa Barbara. His pivotal role involves establishing the Technology Management Program at UCSB, where he initiated the Master of Technology Management and Ph.D. programs. Prior to his tenure at UCSB, Leonardi contributed his expertise as a faculty member at various esteemed institutions, including Northwestern University's School of Communication, McCormick School of Engineering, and Kellogg School of Management.
Leonardi’s research focuses on how companies can design their organizational networks and implement new technologies to more effectively create and share knowledge. His specific focus lies in exploring the impact of data-intensive technologies, such as simulation and social media tools, on the accessibility, storage, and exchange of information. He delved into how these technologies introduce fresh data sources that can potentially reshape work practices and communication dynamics, consequently reshaping the expertise within an organization. His interdisciplinary research, spanning Organization Studies, Communication Studies, and Information Systems, has been prominently featured in prestigious journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, and Organization Science. Furthermore, he authored three influential books, namely "Car Crashes Without Cars: Lessons About Simulation Technology and Organizational Change from Automotive Design" (2012, MIT Press), "Materiality and Organizing: Social Interaction in a Technological World" (2012, Oxford University Press), and "Technology Choices: Why Occupations Differ in Their Embrace of New Technologies" (2015, MIT Press).
He won awards for his research from the Academy of Management, American Sociological Association, International Communication Association, National Communication Association, and Association for Information Systems
In the last ten years, he provided consultation services for both for-profit and non-profit organizations, specializing in managing the intricate human dynamics associated with the implementation of emerging technologies. His recent endeavors primarily involved advising companies on enhancing inter-departmental communication, leveraging social technologies to foster internal knowledge exchange, and bolstering global product development operations.