Mary Benner Headshot

Mary Benner

Department Chair, John and Nancy Lindahl Professor for Excellence in Business Education, Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship Academic Director
Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship



  • PhD 2002
    Management Columbia University
  • MBA 1989
    Stanford University
  • BS 1982
    Economics University of Minnesota


  • Organizational learning and innovation
  • Management of technology and technological change
  • Influence of capital markets and other institutional pressures on firm innovation


Mary Benner is the Department Chair and Professor in the Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship Department. She has a PhD in management from Columbia University, an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, and a BS in economics from the University of Minnesota. She joined the Carlson School in 2010.

Her research, at the intersection of organization theory and strategic management, explores how firms innovate and initiate, and adapt to technological changes. She has studied the effects of systematic process management practices such as ISO 9000 and Six Sigma on firms' innovation and responses to new technologies, and is currently examining the influence of financial markets and securities analysts in how established firms innovate and address the opportunities and challenges of technological change. Her research is published in leading academic journals and has won several awards, including the Academy of Management Review's Decade Award and Best Paper Award. She has been a Co-Editor of the Strategic Management Journal since January 2023.  She served as a Senior Editor at Strategy Science in 2022, as an Associate Editor at Administrative Science Quarterly from 2012 to 2021, and as a Senior Editor at Organization Science from 2010-2012.  She also serves on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Review.  She was named to the Poets & Quants list of the Best 50 Undergraduate Professors in 2020.

She was an assistant professor in the Management Department at The Wharton School from 2001-2010, and prior to that, she also held managerial positions at Honeywell and as a consultant.

Selected Works & Activities

  • Journal Articles
    Mary J. Benner and Daniel Beunza, 2023. The Influence of Analysts on Innovation: An Evolutionary View of Evaluative Frames. Academy of Management Review
  • Mary J. Benner and Joel Waldfogel, 2023. Changing the channel: Digitization and the rise of “middle tail” strategies. Strategic Management Journal.
  • Bapna, Sofia, Mary J. Benner, and Liangfei Qiu, 2019. Nurturing online communities: An empirical analysis. MIS Quarterly, 43(2): 425-452.
  • Mary J Benner and Ram Ranganathan, 2017. Measuring up? Persistence and change in analysts' evaluative schema following technological change. Organization Science, 28(4):760-780.
  • Mary Benner and Joel Waldfogel, 2016. The song remains the same? Technological change and positioning in the recorded music industry. Strategy Science 1(3): 129-147
  • Mary Benner and Todd Zenger, 2016. The lemons problem in markets for strategy. Strategy Science, 1(2):71-89.
  • Mary Benner and Michael Tushman, 2015. Reflections on the 2013 decade award: “Exploitation, exploration, and process management: The productivity dilemma revisited” ten years later. Invited paper, Academy of Management Review (40) 4: 497-514.
  • Mary J. Benner and Ram Ranganathan, 2013. Divergent reactions to convergent strategies: Investor beliefs and analyst reactions during technological change, Organization Science, 24(2): 378-394.
  • Mary J. Benner and Mary Tripsas, 2012. The influence of prior industry affiliation on framing in nascent industries: The evolution of digital cameras. Strategic Management Journal, 33 (3): 277-302.
  • Mary J. Benner and Ram Ranganathan, 2012. Offsetting illegitimacy? How pressures from securities analysts influence incumbents in the face of new technologies. Academy of Management Journal, 55(1): 213-233.
  • Mary J. Benner, 2010. Securities analysts and incumbent response to radical technological change: Evidence from digital photography and internet telephony. Organization Science 21 (1): 42-62.
  • Mary J. Benner and Francisco Veloso, 2008. ISO 9000 practices and financial performance: A technology coherence perspective, Journal of Operations Management, 26(5): 611-629.
  • Mary J. Benner and Joel Waldfogel, 2008. Close to you? Bias and precision in patent-based measures of technological position, Research Policy, 37: 1556-1567.
  • Mary J. Benner, 2007. The incumbent discount: Stock market categories and response to radical technological change. Academy of Management Review, 32: 703-720. (lead article)
  • Mary J. Benner and Michael L. Tushman, 2003. Exploitation, exploration, and process management: The productivity dilemma revisited. Academy of Management Review, 28: 238-256.
  • Mary J. Benner and Michael Tushman, 2002. Process management and technological innovation: A longitudinal study of the photography and paint industries. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47: 676-706
  • Named to the Poets & Quants list of the Best 50 Undergraduate Professors, 2020

  • Officer, Strategic Management Division (formerly Business Policy and Strategy Division), Academy of Management, 2014-2019

    Executive Committee (elected), Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management, 2011-2013

    Representative-at-Large (elected), Technology and Innovation Management Division, Academy of Management, 2007-2009 

    Member, Research Committee, Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management, 2006-2008 

  • Co-Editor, Strategic Management Journal, 2023 - present

    Senior Editor, Strategy Science, 2022 

    Associate Editor, Administrative Science Quarterly, 2012 - 2021

    Editorial Board, Academy of Management Review, 2008 - present

    Senior Editor, Organization Science, 2010-2012

  • 2023 Best Paper Award, Strategy Science

    2019 Carlson School of Management Outstanding Service Award

    2018 Exemplary Performance as Editorial Board Outstanding Reviewer, Academy of Management Review

    2013 Academy of Management Review Decade Award

    2011 Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Review

    2010 Best Paper Award in the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management

    2009 Stan Hardy Award for an outstanding paper published in the field of operations management

    2004 Excellence in Teaching Award, The Wharton School

    2003 Academy of Management Review Best Paper Award

    2003 Outstanding Dissertation Award, Academy of Management Business Policy and Strategy Division

    1999 Best Student Paper Award, Technology and Innovation Management Division, Academy of Management

  • Department Chair, Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, 2020 - present

    Academic Director, Carlson Ventures Enterprise, 2010-2014

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