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Dr Conor O'Kane

BSc MBS PhD(NUI Galway)C_Okane_image

Senior Lecturer
Room: OBS 604
Tel: +64 3 479 8121
Fax: +64 3 479 8173

Conor O' Kane is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management. Conor graduated with a PhD on the leadership of corporate turnaround in 2009 in Ireland. His postdoctoral research looked at the strategic behaviours and entrepreneurial role of principal investigators in their delivery of publicly funded research. Conor also worked in industry where he held a business development and strategic advisory role for one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs.

Conor was an ANZAM Board member and was Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference in Queenstown 2015.

In 2015 Conor was co-winner of the Otago Business School’s Emerging Researcher Award.


Conor’s current research interests focus on academic entrepreneurship and the strategies underpinning the commercialisation of university research. Specifically, Conor is studying technology transfer offices, the changing role-identity of scientists and the (entrepreneurial) university.

Conor is part of a research team in Europe examining the strategic behaviours of publicly funded Principal Investigators (PIs).
View a research observatory set up by Conor and colleagues on this subject 

In New Zealand Conor is a member of the Portfolio 1 research team leading the project “Building New Zealand’s Innovation Capacity” within the National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation (funded for $30m over 5 years).

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 teaches strategic management at an introductory level to undergraduate students and 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 turnaround strategy, innovation, dynamic capabilities, and University-Industry interactions.
To be successful 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) - under examination

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


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


Joel Clarke - Business Strategy (Supervisors: Jing (Annie) Zhang, Conor O'Kane)

Josephine Tan - Organisational Ambidexterity (Supervisors: Conor O'Kane, Jing (Annie) Zhang)



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

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


  • 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