Robert Gibbons

Robert Gibbons

Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and Professor of Applied Economics

Research Fields

Organizational Economics

Contact Information

Office Phone 617-253-0283
Email Address
Office E62-519
Assistant Name Samuel Reisman
Assistant Phone 617-715-3366
Additional Websites MIT Sloan page Personal website


Bob Gibbons is an organizational economist whose research and teaching concern the design and performance of organized activities within firms (e.g., decentralization as a promise), between firms (e.g., alliances, joint ventures), and beyond firms (e.g., hospitals, schools, agencies, communities). He often studies “relational contracts”—informal agreements that cannot be adjudicated by courts—especially the difficulties in building, managing, and changing the shared understandings that must underlie relational contracts.

Featured Awards & Honors

Founder and Director, NBER working group in organizational economics (2002-2022)
Founder and Co-Director (with Woody Powell), CASBS summer institute on organizations and their effectiveness (2016-present)
Ronald Coase Lecture, London School of Economics
Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising for the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Teacher of the Year, MIT Economics Department, 2009-10 and 1987-88