Skip to main content
University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Samantha Fairclough Photo

Samantha Fairclough

Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor of Practice in Management
Center for Entrepreneurship
HLH 315 D
730 N. 14th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508-1515
(402) 472-3353
google scholar icon
Samantha Fairclough Photo
Areas of Expertise
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Design Thinking
  • Female Entrepreneurship
  • Family Business
  • Associate Director of the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship, 2016
  • Assistant Professor of Management, 2016
CliftonStrengths ®
  • Achiever
  • Learner
  • Input
  • Intellection
  • Connectedness

Dr. Samantha Fairclough is the associate director of the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship and an assistant professor of practice in management. She earned her Ph.D. in management from the University of Oxford in 2009 and has held appointments at the Universities of Oxford, Alberta, Mississippi, and California Davis.

Originally from the United Kingdom, she has been teaching since 2009, and has more than ten years of experience in the private sector as an environmental lawyer and an entrepreneur. Since joining the College of Business at UNL in 2016 she has taught a variety of entrepreneurship courses to students (both graduate and undergraduate), executives and community members, with a particular focus on creativity, the lean startup process, design thinking, and family business strategy.

As associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship she is involved in creating, marketing and organizing classes, competitions, seminars, conferences and networking events, as well as mentoring students about their business ideas. She is passionate about helping others reach their creative potential and their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Selected Publications/Articles
  • Kim, J. Fairclough, S. and Dibrell, C. (2016) Attention, action and greenwash in family-influenced firms? Evidence from polluting industries. Organization and Environment, 30(4): 304-323.
  • Dibrell, C. Fairclough, S. and Davis, P. (2015). The impact of external and internal entrainment on firm innovativeness: A test of moderation. Journal of Business Research, 68(1): 19-26.
  • Fairclough, S. and Micelotta, E. (2013). Beyond the family firm: Reasserting the influence of the family institutional logic across organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 39B: 63-98.
  • Greenwood, R., Fairclough, S., Morris, T., and Boussebaa, M. (2011) The organizational design of transnational professional service firms. Organizational Dynamics, 39(2): 173-183.
Books and Book Chapters
  • Fairclough, S. (2015). We are global or we are nothing. Conflict and cover-up at ColequarterMaine. In Elsbach, K,. Kayes, A. and Kayes, D.C. (eds), Contemporary Organizational Behavior: From Ideas to Action.
  • Fairclough, N. and Fairclough, S. (2012). Mergers between professional service firms: How the 'Big Eight' became the 'Big Five' In D. Faulkner, S. Teerikangas, and R.J. Dean (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Mergers and Acquisitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp 593-618.
  • Lounsbury, M., Fairclough, S. and Lee, M.D. (2012). Institutional approaches to organizations and the natural environment. In A.J. Hoffman and T. Bansal (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Environment. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 211-228.
Graduate Courses

Initiating and Managing Entrepreneurial Growth (ENTR/MNGT 821) - Using business cases, readings, videos, real-world activities and on-line discussions, students learn about design thinking, the lean startup process, and the early stages of business growth.

Undergraduate Courses

Identifying and Exploring Entrepreneurial Opportunities (ENTR/MNGT 421) - This course encourages students to discover and ideate their own business ideas, and to explore their creativity. As they do so, they are introduced to methods for analyzing the feasibility of those ideas.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Organizations (for Clifton Builders) (MNGT 321B) - Students experience entrepreneurship "hands on" via real-world assignments and by starting their own businesses.

Family Business (ENTR/MNGT 322) - Students develop an understanding of the dynamics of joining and managing a family firm, and the issues and process of transitioning ownership and management to a new generation.


Teaching Interests
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Design thinking
  • The Lean Startup process
  • Customer discovery
  • Experiential learning
Professional Service
  • Trainer, Nebraska Introduction to Customer Discovery, August-December 2091.
Institutional Service
  • Faculty Representative, DreamBig Academy, 2017 - present.
  • Faculty Ambassador, Nebraska@Oxford Study Abroad program, 2019-present.
  • Faculty Advisor, Women in Business RSO, 2017-present.
  • Faculty Advisor, Family Business Club RSO, 2019-present.
  • Nominated for Distinguished Service Award, 2018
Selected Media Placement