Batten Institute

Malcolm Gladwell

Background

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Bio: Malcolm Gladwell is a best-selling author and gifted storyteller. From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter for the Washington Post, first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for the New Yorker. His New Yorker articles are known for exploring seemingly mundane subjects, revealing surprisingly fresh insights about many aspects of our culture. He released his first best-selling book, The Tipping Point, in 2000. It remains on the New York Times best seller list. Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking was released in January 2005 and quickly became a best seller.

Mr. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in Canada. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto.

Expertise: The Business Implications of Blink

Research

Fellowship Focus: During his Batten Fellowship, Malcolm Gladwell will meet with his faculty host, Jack Weber, to discuss his first book, The Tipping Point, and his latest book, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking. According to the New York Times, in writing about The Tipping Point, “Correctly applied, Gladwell’s theories could be used to run businesses more effectively, to turn products into runaway bestsellers, and, perhaps most important, to alter human behavior.”

Blink, a New York Times best seller, is about choices that seem to be made in an instant—in the blink of an eye—that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Mr. Gladwell posits that people make decisions instantaneously, often with greater accuracy than if they had devoted months of thought to the process. The lessons of making snap decisions “lead to profound truths about the way we make sense of the world,” Mr. Gladwell writes. He warns, however, that “our decisions are often hijacked by our biases and outside influences, and we are bad at knowing when our snap decisions have been corrupted.”

As a Batten Fellow, he will help produce materials that investigate the business potential inherent in his research. Professor Weber will conduct a studio interview with Mr. Gladwell, questioning him about the ideas behind his books. This videotaped interview is to be used as an educational tool for students and executives taking classes at Darden. Students in Professor Weber’s course, Power and Leadership, will use Mr. Gladwell’s writings as part of their course work. Mr. Gladwell will also give a presentation open to the community and write a Batten Briefings article based on his Blink research.

Contact Info

Email:malcolm@gladwell.com

Appointment: 2005

Publications & News

Books:

The Tipping Point

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking

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