Faculty Directory

Siobhan O’Mahony

Visiting Scholar




PhD, Stanford University, 2002; MPA, Cornell University, 1993; BS, Cornell University, 1991

Areas of Expertise

Strategy and Innovation

Current Research Topics

  • The process of innovation
  • Innovation communities

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • Visiting Scholar, Tuck School of Business, 2016–present
  • Chair, Strategy and Innovation Department, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, 2013–16
  • Associate Professor, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, 2009–present
  • Assistant Professor, University of California Davis, 2007–09
  • Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School, 2002–07

Nonacademic positions

  • Consultant, Electronic Data Systems, 1996–97
  • Consultant, Price Waterhouse LLP, 1993–96

Board memberships

Member, Board of Directors, Sustainable Nantucket

Editorial positions

Editorial boards:

  • Administrative Science Quarterly, 2013–present
  • Academy of Management Journal, 2012–present

Working Papers

  • With J. Kirtley, “Deciding When to Change: How Problems and Opportunities Trigger Change in Entrepreneurial Firm Strategy”
  • With S. Grodal, “How do Grand Challenges Become Diluted: Explaining the Dualities of Field Mobilization”
  • With F. Massa, “Building Tools of Insurgency: Explaining Community Repertoire Escalation,” Revise & Resubmit
  • With R. Karp, “Competing on a Common Platform: Explaining How Firm Strategies Evolve in Collectively Managed Ecosystems”
  • “From Self Regulated to Venture Backed: Explaining Why and How Organizations Change Their Form”
  • With M. Besherov, “The Rationalization Dilemma: How Communities Formalize Without Subverting Founding Values”
  • With T. Guo and P. Carlile, “What Inhibits Industry Emergence? The Case of Cape Wind”


  • Dean’s Scholar, 2016–17, 2015–16
  • Questrom Award for Institutional Excellence, Boston University, 2015
  • Recognized in Editor’s Choice Collection, Administrative Science Quarterly, for authoring one of eight key articles on networks and knowledge, 2013
  • Outstanding Author Contribution Award for best paper in Research in the Sociology Organization, Emerald Literati Network Publisher, 2010
  • Outstanding Paper Award, American Sociological Association, 2005

Selected Publications

  • With V. Seidel and K. Packalen, “Help Me Do It on My Own: How Entrepreneurs Manage Autonomy and Constraint within Incubator Organizations, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 2016
  • With L. Dahlander, “One Foot In, One Foot Out: How Does Individuals’ External Search Breadth Affect Innovation Outcomes?”, Strategic Management Journal, 37(2), 2016
  • With B. Bechky, “Leveraging Comparative Field Data for Theory Generation,” Chapter in Leveraging Comparative Field Data for Theory Generation, eds. K.D. Elsbach and R. M. Kramer, Rouledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2015
  • With V. Seidel, “Managing the Repertoire: Stories, Metaphors, Prototypes, and Concept Coherence in Product Innovation,” Organization Science, 25(3), 2014
  • With F. Ferraro, “Managing the Boundary of an Open Project,” in Market Emergence and Transformation, Princeton University Press, 2012
  • With K. Lakhani, “Organizations in the Shadow of Communities,” Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 2011
  • With L. Dahlander, “Progressing to the Center: Coordinating Project Work,” Organization Science, 22(4), 2011
  • With E.L. Lingo, “Nexus Work: Brokerage on Creative Projects,” Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(1), 2010
  • With K. Chen, “Differentiating Organizational Boundaries,” Research in Sociology of Organization, 2009
  • With T.A. Kochan, M.F. Guillen, and L.W. Hunter, “Introduction to the Special Research Forum - Public Policy and Management Research: Find the Common Ground,” Academy of Management Journal, 52(6), 2009