Kenneth Lipartito seeks to understand the deep history and evolutionary process by which information technologies have become woven into our economic systems, political institutions and everyday lives.
Drawing on history, economics, political science and sociology in his research, Lipartito is critical of the idea that new technologies can be easily created and controlled and do not raise profound moral and ethical considerations. With a historical lens, he offers lessons and roadmaps for actors today as they seek to mitigate the negative impacts of information and related technologies.
In particular, Lipartito is interested in the history of surveillance systems as they have grown more prominent in the modern world. He examines the role of corporations and private actors in building, managing and controlling surveillant technologies, providing insight into how small developments and actions, seemingly innocuous, have often given rise to unpredictable outcomes. This includes unexpectedly powerful new ways of observing and controlling often vulnerable populations or recreating hierarchies of race, gender or identity.
Social Issues in Management Best Book Award, American Academy of Management, 2014
President, Business History Conference, 2013
Fellowship in History, Association for Computing Machinery, 2010
Thomas K. McCraw Fellowship, Harvard Business School, 2009
Abbott Payson Usher Prize, Society for the History of Technology, 2004
Capitalism’s Hidden Worlds. University of Pennsylvania Press, appearing in Fall, 2019 (co-editor and contributor)
Carroll, A.; Lipartito, K.; Post, J.; Werhane, P. Corporate Responsibility: The American Experience. Cambridge University Press, 2012
Butler, O.; Lipartito, K. A History of Kennedy Space Center. University Press of Florida, 2007
“Offshoring, Outsourcing and Global Production Networks in Historical Context,” Enterprises et Histoire 94 (April, 2019)
“Reassembling the Economic: New Departures in Historical Materialism,” American Historical Review, 121:1 (February 2016), 101-139
“Regulation Reconsidered: The Telecommunications Industry since 1975,” Enterprises et Histoire 61 (December 2010), 164-191
“The Social Meaning of Failure: Picturephone and the Information Age,” Technology and Culture, 44 (January, 2003), 50-79
"Component Innovation: The Case of Automatic Telephone Switching, 1891-1920," Industrial and Corporate Change 3:2 (1994), 325-357