Faculty Directory

Sydney Finkelstein

Associate Dean for Executive Education; Steven Roth Professor of Management



DegreePhD, Columbia University, 1988; MSc, London School of Economics, 1981; BComm, Concordia University, 1980

AREAS OF EXPERTISELeadership and strategy

Current Research Topics

  • Developing leadership talent
  • Why smart executives fail
  • Early warning signs for corporate disasters
  • Learning from mergers and acquisitions
  • Board of director effectiveness

Selected Publications

  • With J. Kim and J. Haleblian, “When Firms Become Desperate to Grow via Acquisition: The Effect of Growth Patterns and Acquisition Experience on Acquisition Premiums," Administrative Science Quarterly, 2011
  • How to Avoid a Bad Call, FT Press, 2010
  • With A. Campbell and J. Whitehead, "Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions," Harvard Business Review, February, 2009
  • With J. Kim, "The Effects of Strategic and Locational Complementarity on Acquisition Performance: Evidence from the U.S. Commercial Banking Industry, 1989-2001," Strategic Management Journal, 30, 2009
  • With J. Whitehead and A. Campbell, Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It From Happening to You, Harvard Business School Press, 2009
  • With D.C. Hambrick and A. Cannella, Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards, Oxford University Press, 2008
  • With C. Helfat, W. Mitchell, M. Peteraf, H. Singh, D. Teece, and S. Winter, Dynamic Capabilities: Understanding Strategic Change in Organizations, Blackwell Publishing, 2007
  • Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn From Their Mistakes, Portfolio, 2003
  • With A. Mooney, "Not the Usual Suspects: How to Use Board Process to Make Boards Better," Academy of Management Executive, May 2003
  • With J.B. Quinn and P.C. Anderson, "Managing Professional Intellect: Making the Most of the Best," Harvard Business Review, 74 (March–April), 1996


  • Academy of Management George R. Terry Award nominee, 2010, 1998
  • Finalist, Best Article of 2004, Academy of Management Executive
  • Elected as a Fellow, Academy of Management; Honorable Mention, McKinsey & Company Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper, 2002
  • Best Article of 1997, Academy of Management Executive

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • Tuck School of Business, 1993–present
  • Assistant Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California, 1987–93 

Board memberships

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Assembly of Overseers, Kimball Union Academy

Editorial positions

  • Editorial Boards
    Journal of Business Strategy
    Journal of Strategy and Management