About Sydney

Curriculum Vitae


  • Columbia University, Ph.D., Management of Organization, 1988
  • London School of Economics, M.Sc., Industrial Relations, 1981
  • Concordia University, B.Commerce with Distinction, 1980

Academic Positions

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

  • Steven Roth Professor of Management 2002–present
  • Faculty Director, Tuck Center for Leadership 2014–2018
  • Director, Tuck Executive Program 2001–2016
  • Associate Dean for Executive Education 2012-2015
  • Chair, Strategy Group 2001-2004; 2010-2012
  • Professor of Strategy and Leadership 1998-2002
  • Associate Professor (tenured) 1996-1998
  • Associate Professor 1994-1996

University of Southern California

  • Assistant Professor 1988-1993

Concordia University

  • Lecturer 1981-1983


  • On Thinkers 50 list of top management experts in the world, 2013, 2015, 2017.
  • Superbosses named by Amazon as one of the Best Business Books of the Year, 2016.
  • Finalists for the Academy of Management Terry Book Award, 2010 (“Strategic Leadership,” and “Think Again.”)
  • Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence (for having been selected as one of the 50 best articles published in 2009 (out of 15,000) in management) for “Inappropriate Attachments.”
  • Elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Management in 2007.
  • Article included in Special issue: Classic Articles from AME, which “reprises and celebrates the most enduring articles from its past as chosen by the editors.” Academy of Management Executive, 2005.
  • Finalist for the Academy of Management Executive Best Article of the Year, 2004.
  • Honorable Mention for the McKinsey & Co. SMS Best Conference Paper Prize, 2002.
  • Finalist for the Academy of Management’s George R. Terry Award, 1998
  • Academy of Management Executive Best Article of the Year, 1997.
  • Selected as one of the “Best Papers,” SMS Annual Conference, 1997.
  • Citations of Excellence, ANBAR Management Intelligence, for "Interindustry Merger Patterns" (1998) and “Leveraging Intellect" (1997).
  • Ascendant Scholar, Western Academy of Management, 1993.
  • The Leadership Research Fund, The Leadership Institute, USC, 1993.
  • Zumberge Faculty Research and Innovation Fund, USC, 1991-1992.
  • Cenafoni Award for Best Research Proposal in Entrepreneurship, 1991.
  • A.T. Kearney Award Finalist, 1988.
  • Irwin Foundation Fellowship, 1986-1987.

Board Memberships

  • Assembly of Overseers, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital
  • Board of Overseers, Dartmouth College Hillel

Editorial Review Boards

  • Administrative Science Quarterly (1996-2008)
  • Strategic Organization (2001–2009)
  • Journal of Business Strategy (2003–present)
  • Journal of Strategy and Management (2008–present)
  • Strategic Management Journal (1994 - 2007)
  • Academy of Management Journal (1991-1996)
  • Journal of Management (1989-1999; Consulting Editor 1995-1999)
  • Organization Science (1995 - 2002)

Selected Books and Articles


  • Finkelstein, S. 2019. The Superbosses Playbook. New York: Penguin Portfolio.
  • Finkelstein, S. and Hambrick, D.C. 1996.  Strategic Leadership: Top Executives and Their Effects on Organizations.  St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company (Finalist, Academy of Management Terry Book Award).
  • Finkelstein, S. 2003.  Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn From Their Mistakes.  New York: Portfolio (#1 Business Bestseller in the US and Japan).
  • Helfat, C. E., Finkelstein, S., Mitchell, W., Peteraf, M. A., Singh, H., Teece, D. J., Winter, S. G.  2007.  Dynamic Capabilities: Understanding Strategic Change in Organizations.  London: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Finkelstein, S., Harvey, C. E., and Lawton, T. C. 2007.  Breakout Strategy: Meeting the Challenge of Double-Digit Growth.  New York: McGraw-Hill (#1 Business Bestseller in Asia).
  • Finkelstein, S., Whitehead, J., and Campbell, A. 2009. Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep it From Happening to You.  Cambridge: Harvard Business Press (Finalist, Academy of Management Terry Book Award).
  • Finkelstein, S., Hambrick, D. C., and Cannella, A. 2009. Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards.  Oxford: Oxford University Press (Finalist, Academy of Management Terry Book Award).
  • Finkelstein, S. 2010.  How to Not Make Bad Decisions. FT Press: Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Finkelstein, S. 2010. The 7 Bad Habits of Unsuccessful People. FT Press: Upper Saddle River, NJ (#1 Business Bestseller).
  • Finkelstein, S. 2016. Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent. New York: Penguin Portfolio (#1 Amazon Business Management Bestseller).


  • Hambrick, D.C. and Finkelstein, S. 1987.  "Managerial discretion: A bridge between polar views of organizational outcomes.”  In L. L. Cummings and B. Staw (eds.), Research in Organizational Behavior, 9: 369-406.  Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.  Reprinted in B. M. Staw and L. L. Cummings (eds.), The Evolution and Adaptation of Organizations: 101-138, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1990.
  • Finkelstein, S. and Hambrick, D.C. 1988.  "Chief executive compensation: A synthesis and reconciliation." Strategic Management Journal, 9: 543-558.
  • Finkelstein, S. and Hambrick D.C. 1989.  "Chief executive compensation: A study of the intersection of markets and political processes." Strategic Management Journal, 10: 121-134.
  • Finkelstein, S. and Hambrick D.C. 1990.  "Top-management-team tenure and organizational outcomes:  The moderating role of managerial discretion." Administrative Science Quarterly, 35: 484-503.
  • Finkelstein, S. 1992.  "Power in top management teams: Dimensions, measurement and validation.”  Academy of Management Journal, 35: 505-538.
  • Rajagopalan, N. and Finkelstein, S. 1992.  "Effects of strategic orientation and environmental change on senior management reward systems.”  Strategic Management Journal, 13 (Special Summer Issue): 127-142.
  • Haleblian, J. and Finkelstein, S. 1993.  "Top-management-team size, CEO dominance, and firm performance: The moderating roles of environmental turbulence and discretion.”  Academy of Management Journal, 36: 844-863.
  • Finkelstein, S. and D'Aveni, R.A. 1994.  "CEO duality as a double-edged sword: How boards of directors balance entrenchment avoidance and unity of command.”  Academy of Management Journal, 37: 1079-1108 (lead article).
  • Hambrick, D.C. and Finkelstein, S. 1995.  "The effects of ownership structure on conditions at the top: The case of CEO pay raises.”  Strategic Management Journal, 16: 175-194.
  • Quinn, J.B., Anderson, P.C., and Finkelstein, S. 1996.  "Managing professional intellect: Making the most of the best."  Harvard Business Review, 74, (March - April): 71-80. 
  • Finkelstein, S.  1997.  "Inter-industry merger patterns and resource dependence: A replication and extension of Pfeffer (1972)."  Strategic Management Journal, 18: 787-810.
  • Finkelstein, S. and Boyd, B.K. 1998.  "How much does the CEO matter?: The role of managerial discretion in the setting of CEO compensation."  Academy of Management Journal, 41: 179-199.
  • Larsson, R. and Finkelstein, S. 1999.  "Integrating strategic, organizational, and human resource perspectives on mergers and acquisitions: A case survey of synergy realization."  Organization Science, 10: 1-26 (lead article).
  • Haleblian, J. and Finkelstein, S.  1999. "The influence of organization acquisition experience on acquisition performance: A behavioral learning theory perspective".  Administrative Science Quarterly, 44: 29-56.
  • Geletkanycz, M. A., Boyd, B., and Finkelstein, S. 2001.  “The strategic value of CEO external directorate networks: Implications for CEO compensation.”  Strategic Management Journal, 22: 889-898.
  • Finkelstein, S. and Haleblian, J. 2002.  "Understanding acquisition performance: The role of transfer effects," Organization Science, 13: 36-47.
  • Finkelstein, S. and Mooney, A. 2003.  “Not the usual suspects: How to use board process to make boards better,” Academy of Management Executive, 17(2): 101-113 (Finalist for Best Paper of the Year, Academy of Management Executive).
  • Finkelstein, S.  2004. “Seven habits of spectacularly unsuccessful executives and how to spot them,” Ivey Business Journal, January-February: 1-6.
  • Hambrick, D. C., Finkelstein, S., and Mooney, A.  2005.  “Executive job demands: New insights for explaining strategic decisions and leader behaviors,” Academy of Management Review, 30: 472-491.
  • Hambrick, D. C., Finkelstein, S., and Mooney, A.  2005.  “Executives sometimes lose it, just like the rest of us,” Academy of Management Review, 30: 503-508.
  • Boyd, B. K., Finkelstein, S., and Gove, S. 2005.  “Determinants of accumulation advantage,” Strategic Management Journal, 26: 841-854.
  • Kim, J. and Finkelstein, S.  2009. “The effects of strategic and locational complementarity on acquisition performance: Evidence from the U.S. commercial banking industry, 1989-2001,” Strategic Management Journal, 30: 617-646.
  • Campbell, A., Whitehead, J., and Finkelstein, S. 2009. “Why good leaders make bad decisions,” Harvard Business Review, February, 60-66. 
  • Kim, J., Haleblian, J., and Finkelstein, S. 2011. “When Firms Become Desperate to Grow via Acquisition: The Effect of Growth Patterns and Acquisition Experience on Acquisition Premiums, Administrative Science Quarterly, 56: 26-60.
  • Kim, J., Finkelstein, S., and Haleblian, J. 2015. “All aspirations are not created equal: The differential effects of historical and social aspirations on acquisition behavior,” Academy of Management Journal, 58: 1361-1388.
  • Finkelstein, S. 2016. “Lessons from the Superboss Playbook: A New Perspective on Talent,” Harvard Business Review, January-February.