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University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Jonathan P. O'Brien Photo

Jonathan P. O'Brien

Department Chair and Professor of Management and U.S. Bank Distinguished Professor of Business
HLH 325 Q
P.O. Box 880491
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491
(402) 472-3915
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Jonathan P. O'Brien Photo
Ph.D. in Management
Krannert Graduate School of Management, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
M.S. in Marketing
J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
B.A. in Psychology
University of New Brunswick (Saint John, Canada)

Research Interests
  • Behavioral Influences on Corp
  • The Governance of Strategic Assets
  • Real Options; Capital Structure; The Institutional Environment
  • Emerging Economies

Jonathan O’Brien received a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from Purdue University and is currently the US Bank Distinguished Professor of Business and Department Chair at the University of Nebraska. He has previously served on the faculties at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University College Dublin, and at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on the governance of strategic assets, and he has studied such topics as: real options; capital structure; the institutional environment; and behavioral influences on firm strategy.

Mithani MA, O’Brien JP. 2021. So what exactly is a “coalition” within an organization? A review and organizing framework. Journal of Management, forthcoming.

Ye P, O’Brien JP, Carnes C, Hasan I. 2020. The influence of bondholder concentration and temporal orientation on investments in R&D. Journal of Management, forthcoming.Video Abstract

Deb P, David P, O’Brien JP, Duru A. 2019. Attainment discrepancy and investment: Effects on firm performance. Journal of Business Research, 99: 186-196.

Golder PN, Markovitch DG, O’Brien JP. 2018. When do investors reward acquisitions and divestitures? The contrasting implications of normative and behavioral economic theories. Managerial and Decision Economics, 39: 226-239.

Shaikh A, O’Brien JP, Peters L. 2018. Inside directors and the underinvestment of financial slack towards R&D-intensity in high-technology firms. Journal of Business Research, 82: 192-201.

O’Brien JP, Sasson A. 2017. A contingency theory of entrepreneurial debt governance. Journal of Business Research, 81: 118-129.

Deb P, David P, O’Brien JP. 2017. When is cash good or bad for firm performance? Strategic Management Journal, 38: 436-454.

Zambuto F, Lo Nigro G, O’Brien JP. 2017. The importance of alliances in firm capital structure decisions: Evidence from biotechnology firms. Managerial and Decision Economics, 38: 3-18 [Note: Lead article for the year].

Zambuto F, Kumar S, O’Brien JP. 2014. Financial health and partner attractiveness in the market for inter-firm collaboration. Advances in Strategic Management, 31: 147-184.

O’Brien JP, David P, Delios A, Yoshikawa T. 2014. How capital structure influences diversification performance: A transaction cost perspective. Strategic Management Journal, 35: 1013-1031.

O’Brien JP, David P. 2014. Reciprocity and R&D search: A behavioral theory perspective applied to a communitarian context. Strategic Management Journal, 35: 550–565.

Brush, TH, Dangol R, O’Brien JP. 2012. Customer capabilities, switching costs and bank performance. Strategic Management Journal, 33: 1499-1515.

McClelland P, O’Brien JP. 2011. Transaction cost economics and corporate governance: The case of CEO age and financial stake. Managerial and Decision Economics, 32: 141-158.

Le T, O’Brien JP. 2010. Can two wrongs make a right? State ownership and debt in transition economies. Journal of Management Studies, 47: 1297-1316.

O’Brien, JP, Drnevich P, Crook R, Armstrong, C. 2010. Does business school research add economic value for students? Academy of Management Learning & Education, 9: 638-651.

David P, O’Brien J, Yoshikawa T, Delios A. 2010. Do shareholders or stakeholders appropriate the rents from corporate diversification? The influence of ownership structure. Academy of Management Journal, 53: 636 - 654.

O’Brien JP, David P. 2010. Firm growth and type of debt: The paradox of discretion. Industrial and Corporate Change, 19: 51-80.

O'Brien JP, Folta TB. 2009. A transaction cost perspective on why, how, and when cash impacts firm performance. Managerial and Decision Economics, 30: 465-479.

O'Brien JP, Folta TB. 2009. Sunk costs, uncertainty and market exit: A real options perspective. Industrial and Corporate Change, 18: 807-833.

David P, O’Brien JP, Yoshikawa T. 2008. The implications of debt heterogeneity for R&D investment and firm performance. Academy of Management Journal, 51: 165-181.

Folta TB, O’Brien JP. 2008. Determinants of firm-specific thresholds in acquisition decisions. Managerial and Decision Economics, 29: 209-225.

Folta TB, O’Brien JP. 2007. Market versus managerial valuations of real options. Advances in Strategic Management, 24: 199-224.

Folta TB, Johnson DR, O'Brien JP. 2006. Uncertainty, irreversibility, and the likelihood of entry: An empirical assessment of the option to defer. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 61: 432-452.

Folta TB, O’Brien JP. 2004. Entry in the presence of dueling options. Strategic Management Journal, 25: 121-138.

O’Brien JP. 2003. The capital structure implications of pursuing a strategy of innovation. Strategic Management Journal, 24: 415-431.

O’Brien JP, Folta TB, Johnson DR. 2003. A real options perspective on entrepreneurial entry in the face of uncertainty. Managerial and Decision Economics, 24: 515-533.

Goddard M, Holland M, O’Brien J, Hansen D. 1994. Improving conditioning with unsignaled, but not signaled, unconditioned stimuli. Learning and Motivation, 25: 288-312.

  • GRBA 898 – Strategies for Sustainability
  • MNGT 905 – Research Design and Methods
  • MNGT 475 – Strategic Management
Editorial Boards:
  • Strategic Management Journal (2011-2021)
  • Journal of Management Studies (2010-Present)
  • Journal of Business Research (2017-Present)
  • Strategic Organization (2020-2022)
  • Journal of International Business Studies (2020-2022)