Rory McDonald

Visiting Associate Professor of Business Administration


FOB 121

Education: B.S., M.S., University of South Florida; MBA, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business; M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University

Rory McDonald is the Thai-Hi T. Lee (MBA 1985) Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and a Visiting Associate Professor at Darden. He is Faculty Co-Chair of the "Disruptive Innovation: Strategies for a Successful Enterprise" HBS Executive Education program. At Darden, he will teach “Disruptive Strategy: Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise.” McDonald was named one of the world’s top 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets and Quants, and his article “What is Disruptive Innovation?” was named as one of Harvard Business Review’s Definitive Management Ideas. He is the co-author (along with Christopher Bingham) of the recent book, “Productive Tensions: How Every Leader Can Tackle Innovation’s Toughest Trade-Offs,” (MIT Press).

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, he was named the Past Chairs’ Emerging Scholar by the Academy of Management (Technology and Innovation Management Division) and received both a 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. He was previously 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 are the parents of four children. They are active in their church and enjoy a variety of family activities.