Faculty Directory

Mary Tripsas

Associate Professor


Management and Organization


Professor Mary Tripsas is a leading management scholar whose research and teaching focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy. Her work on the transformation of industries by new technology has illustrated the importance of organizational identity and managerial mental models in shaping strategic responses to technological shifts. She has explored the emergence of digital imaging, the evolution of the typesetter industry, and is currently engaged in studies of eBooks, air taxis, and innovation in music. 

Prior to joining the Carroll School, Professor Tripsas was on the faculties of the Harvard Business School and the Wharton School. Before entering academia, she was a strategy consultant in the Cambridge and Milan offices of the Monitor Group and worked for IBM in the early 1980’s as both a software developer and member of the sales force. She also served on the board of directors of Lexar Media (NASDAQ: LEXR) from 2003 to 2006, when the company was acquired by Micron. 


  • Senior Editor, Organization Science
  • Editorial Boards: Strategic Management JournalStrategic Entrepreneurship Journal


  • 2015 – Dan and Mary Lou Schendel Best Paper Award, Strategic Management Journal
  • 2015 – Best Paper Award, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal
  • 2013 –  Graduate Teaching Award, Carroll School of Management
  • 2008 – Thought Leader Award, Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division
  • 2005 – Journal of Product Innovation Management Thomas P. Hustad Best Paper Award
  • 2013 and 2005 – Winner of the Citation for Excellence Award from Emerald Group Publishing
  • 1997 – Winner of the MIT Sloan Zannetos Prize for best Ph.D. thesis


Selected articles

  • “Start-up Inertia versus Flexibility: The Role of Founder Identity in a Nascent Industry,” (with T. Zuzul), Administrative Science Quarterly, 2019, forthcoming
  • “Managing Technological Transitions by Building Bridges” (with S. Cohen) Academy of Management Journal, 2018, 61(6): 2319-2342.
  • “Who Are You?…I Really Wanna Know’” Product Meaning and Competitive Positioning in the Nascent Synthesizer Industry,” Strategy Science, 2016, 1(3):163-183. (with C. Anthony and A. Nelson)
  • “Prior Industry Affiliation and Framing in Nascent Industries: The Evolution of Digital Cameras,” (with M. Benner) Strategic Management Journal, 2012, 33:277-302.
  • “Technology, Identity, and Inertia: through the Lens of ‘The Digital Photography Company’” Organization Science, 2009, 20(2): 441-460.
  • “Thinking about Technology: Applying a cognitive lens to technical change” (with S. Kaplan) Research Policy, 2008, 37(5):790-805.
  • “The Accidental Entrepreneur: The Emergent and Collective Process of User Entrepreneurship” (with S. Shah) Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2007, 1:123-140.
  • “Inter-firm Modularity and the Implications for Product Development,” (with N. Staudenmayer & C. Tucci) Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2005, 22: 303-321.
  • “Capabilities, Cognition, and Inertia: Evidence from Digital Imaging” (with G. Gavetti) Strategic Management Journal  2000, 21:1147-1161.

Selected teaching cases

  • “The Atavist: Reinventing the Book” (with M. Khaire) 2012. Harvard Business School Case #812-177.
  • “TOTO: The Bottom Line” (with M. Egawa & J. Fukuyoshi) 2010. Harvard Business School case #809-064.
  • “Linear Air: Creating the Air Taxi Industry” (with D. Chow, A. Prewett & K. Yttre) 2009. Harvard Business School case #808-107.
  • “Montague Corporation: Unfolding the Future in Cycling” 2008. Harvard Business School case # 808-087.


  • Current: Board of Directors, CCC (Consortium on Competitiveness and Cooperation)
  • Current: Advisory Board, BC Rappaport Center
  • 2012-2017 Chair, Academy of Management Technology and Innovation Management Division (5-year leadership rotation)
  • 2004-2008 INFORMS College of Organization Science Board of Directors
  • 2004-2007 Academy of Management Organization and Management Theory Division Representative at Large
  • 2002-2004 Academy of Management Business and Policy Sciences Executive Committee
  • 1998-2000 Academy of Management Technology and Innovation Management Executive Committee
  • 1998-2000  Academy of Management Business and Policy Sciences Research Committee