Rory M. McDonald

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Rory McDonald is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. He teaches Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise (BSSE) in the MBA elective curriculum and previously taught the Technology and Operations Management course in the MBA required curriculum. In 2016, he was named one of the world’s top 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets and Quants.

Professor McDonald’s research focuses on how firms compete and innovate effectively in new technology-enabled markets. Drawing on a mix of in-depth fieldwork and archival data, he studies how executives develop viable strategies in these contexts and how they obtain resources that improve their chances of success. For his research on entrepreneurial firms, Professor McDonald received both the Kauffman Foundation Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship as well as the Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. He was also a finalist for best dissertation award in business policy and strategy by the Academy of Management.

Professor McDonald received his PhD in Management Science and Engineering from the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. He also holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MA in economic sociology from Stanford University, as well as two engineering degrees from the University of South Florida. Before joining Harvard, he was on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin where he received the CBA Foundation Teaching award. McDonald is on the board of YCG Funds, an Austin-based mutual fund company, and is an advisor to several startups.

Professor McDonald and his wife Anne live in Sudbury, MA with their four children. They are active in their church and enjoy a variety of family activities.

  1. Included as one of the “40 Under 40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors” by Poets & Quants in 2016.

  2. Finalist for the 2016 Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Student Mentoring.

  3. Recipient of a 2014 Kauffman Foundation Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research.

  4. Finalist for the 2013 Wiley Blackwell Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Academy of Management, Business Policy and Strategy Division for his dissertation entitled, “Competition and Strategic Interaction in New Markets.”

  5. Winner of the 2013 Trammell/CBA Foundation Teaching Award for Assistant Professors at the University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business.

  6. Received a 2010-2011 Gerald J. Lieberman Fellowship from Stanford University.

  7. Received a 2008-2010 National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

  8. Received a 2009-2010 Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.