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Associate Professor Conor O'Kane

BSc MBS PhD(NUI Galway)C_Okane_image

Room OBS 715
Tel +64 3 479 8121

Conor O'Kane is Director of the Masters in Entrepreneurship and an Associate Professor in Strategic Management at Otago Business School.


Conor’s research interests broadly focus on academic entrepreneurship and the strategies underpinning the commercialisation of university research. Specifically, Conor utilises stakeholder and identity theory in his study of knowledge transfer, Science-Industry engagement and R&D processes.

In New Zealand, Conor is a member of the “Building New Zealand’s Innovation Capacity” research team funded with the National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation (funded for $30m over 5 years).
Read about this research in He Kitenga (2018)

Read about Conor's research in He Kitenga (2014) University of Otago research highlights.

Read an opinion piece by Conor on university governance in the Otago Bulletin

Conor is an active member of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM). He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Management and Organisation. He sat on the ANZAM Board for three years (2015–2017) and he was Chair of the annual ANZAM conference in Queenstown in 2015.

See Conor's latest research on his Google Scholar profile


Conor teaches strategic management at an introductory and undergraduate level as well as at an advanced level to postgraduate and executive students. Preferred teaching methods focus on case discussions, simulated games, debates and live case projects.
Conor’s teaching and coordination responsibilities include:


Conor welcomes PhD applications in the area of strategic innovation and University-Industry interactions.

To be considered, you will have a postgraduate qualification with a significant research project, training in research methods and have studied strategy at university level. The University of Otago provides PhD scholarships to top-quality candidates.

Conor is currently supervising the following students:


Nana Awuah Bortsie-Arye – Water Footprinting: Theory to Reality – Building competitive advantage around water. (Supervisors: Sara Walton, Conor O'Kane, Peter Fennessy) - ongoing.


Hamizah Abd Hamid (2017).  The entrepreneurship process of ethnic immigrant enterpreneurs. (Supervisors: André Everett, Conor O'Kane)

Regina Maniam - University-industry collaboration: University student activities in developing an entrepreneurial cluster. (Supervisors: André Everett, Conor O'Kane, Sergio Biggemann) - completed.



Josephine Tan (2017) – The key influences in spin-off development (Supervisors: Conor O'Kane, Jing (Annie) Zhang) – completed with distinction.

Matt Lowe (2015). Dynamic capabilities as a key determinant of M&A success – completed with distinction.

Regina Maniam (2014). Roles of universities in clusters – The University of Otago and the Dunedin ICT cluster. (with André Everett) - completed with distinction.


  • New Zealand Institute of Directors
  • Strategic Management Society
  • Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management
  • International Society for Professional Innovation Management


Conor has received the following awards:

  • Co-winner of the 2015 Otago Business School’s Emerging Researcher Award
  • Best Paper Award 7th Colloquium on organisational change and development: European Institute for advanced studies in management, Bern, Switzerland, 2012
  • ‘Best Leadership Track’ paper at the British Academy of Management, Sheffield, 2010
  • 'Best Strategy Track’ paper award at the Irish Academy of Management in 2005
  • 'Best Postgraduate’ paper award at the Irish Academy of Management in 2005