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Ian McCarthy

Academic Director, TECK Program

Professor, Technology and Operations Management / Strategy / Business and Society / Innovation and Entrepreneurship

W.J. VanDusen Professor

Area Coordinator, Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Room: SGL 3955

Phone: 778.782.5298


Curriculum Vitae: View


B.Eng, M.Sc., Ph.D.


I am the W.J. VanDusen Professor of Innovation and Operations Management. I came to SFU from the University of Warwick, England where he was a Reader and Head of the Organizational Systems Strategy Unit. I worked for several years as a manufacturing engineer before earning his Ph.D. in operations strategy from the University of Sheffield.

My research and teaching focus on operations management, change and innovation management, and social media. I have published well-cited articles that help us to better understand issues such as:

  • How firms should work with and learn from creative consumers?
  • How firms should design new product development processes?
  • Using gamification practices in business.
  • The dark and bright side of social media functionality.
  • Why do some technology patents get licensed while others do not?
  • The determinants and impact of licensing speed.
  • Intellectual property strategies when crowdsourcing.
  • Creating and capturing value from big data.
  • Measuring and dealing with bullshit in the workplace,
  • The threats and opportunities of deepfakes.
  • Evolutionary analysis of firm strategic configurations.
  • The multiplexity of entrepreneurial networks.
  • Management control systems.
  • The impact of outsourcing on industry size.

My publication record can be viewed here.

I enjoy monitoring the progress of the biggest and best football club in England  (i..e, Everton F.C.) and blogging about the management of innovation, operations, and strategic change at It Depends.

I receive many emails from potential Ph.D. students claiming to be closely interested in me and my research. To prove you have read my profile and are not just sending a robot-like boilerplate enquiry, please begin your email to me by concisely stating (i) who is the current manager of Everton F.C., and (ii) the focus of my first ever journal publication. Then explain how my current research fits with your interests, how you think your research could eventually benefit society, and why you wish to become an academic.

Google Scholar: Ian McCarthy

Research Interests

Operations management; outsoucing; mass customization; innovation management; user innovation; creative consumers; new product development; social media; gamification; taxonomy; cladistics; complexity theory; organizational design; change management

Selected Publications

articles and reports

Keegan, B. J., McCarthy, I. P., Kietzmann, J., & Canhoto, A. I. (2023). On your marks, headset, go! Understanding the building blocks of metaverse realms. Business Horizons, 67(1), 107-119.

McCarthy, I. P., & Bogers, M. L. (2023). The open academic: Why and how business academics should use social media to be more 'open' and impactful. Business Horizons, 66(1), 153-166.

Ferreira, C., Hannah, D., McCarthy, I., Pitt, L., & Lord Ferguson, S. (2023). This Place Is Full of It: Towards an Organizational Bullshit Perception Scale. Psychological Reports, 65(6), 751-763.

Johnson, M. R., Naik, H., Chan, W. S., Greiner, J., Michaleski, M., Liu, D., Silvestre, B., & McCarthy, I. P. (2023). Forecasting ward-level bed requirements to aid pandemic resource planning: Lessons learned and future directions. Health Care Management Science, 26(3), 477-500.

McCarthy, I. P. (2023, July). Are you an observer, promoter, connector or influencer? 4 ways to harness social media for innovation. Conversation.

Johnson, M. R., & McCarthy, I. P. (2022). Cultural similarity and impartiality on voting bias: The case of FIFA's World's Best Male Football Player Award. PLoS ONE, 17(7 July).

Lee, L. W., Boon, E., & McCarthy, I. P. (2021). Does getting along matter? Tourist-tourist rapport in guided group activities. Tourism Management, 87.

Pitt, C., Park, A., & McCarthy, I. P. (2021). A bibliographic analysis of 20 years of research on innovation and new product development in technology and innovation management (TIM) journals. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management - JET-M, 61.

Greiner, J., Naik, H., Johnson, M. R., Liu, D., Silvestre, B., Ballouk, H., & McCarthy, I. P. (2021). Learning from the first wave: Lessons about managing patient flow and resource utilization on medical wards at providence health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare, 9(2).

Cappa, F., Oriani, R., Peruffo, E., & McCarthy, I. (2021). Big Data for Creating and Capturing Value in the Digitalized Environment: Unpacking the Effects of Volume, Variety, and Veracity on Firm Performance*. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 38(1), 49-67.

Robson, K., de Beer, J., & McCarthy, I. P. (2020). Open branding: Managing the unauthorized use of brand-related intellectual property. Business Horizons, 63(6), 773-785.

McCarthy, I. P., Hannah, D., Pitt, L. F., & McCarthy, J. M. (2020). Confronting indifference toward truth: Dealing with workplace bullshit. Business Horizons, 63(3), 253-263.

McCarthy, I. P., Hannah, D. R., & McCarthy, J. (2020, April). Bullshit is everywhere. Here's how to deal with it at work. Conversation.

Lee, L. W., Hannah, D., & McCarthy, I. P. (2020). Do your employees think your slogan is “fake news?” A framework for understanding the impact of fake company slogans on employees. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 29(2), 199-208.

Lee, L. W., Dabirian, A., McCarthy, I. P., & Kietzmann, J. (2020). Making sense of text: artificial intelligence-enabled content analysis. European Journal of Marketing, 54(3), 615-644.

Kietzmann, J., Lee, L. W., McCarthy, I. P., & Kietzmann, T. C. (2020). Deepfakes: Trick or treat? Business Horizons, 63(2), 135-146.

Baccarella, C. V., Wagner, T. F., Kietzmann, J. H., & McCarthy, I. P. (2020). Averting the rise of the dark side of social media: The role of sensitization and regulation. European Management Journal, 38(1), 3-6.

Robertson, J., McCarthy, I. P., & Pitt, L. (2019). Leveraging social capital in university-industry knowledge transfer strategies: a comparative positioning framework. Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 17(4), 461-472.

Baccarella, C. V., Wagner, T. F., Kietzmann, J. H., & McCarthy, I. P. (2018). Social media? It's serious! Understanding the dark side of social media. European Management Journal, 36(4), 431-438.

McCarthy, I. P., Silvestre, B. S., von Nordenflycht, A., & Breznitz, S. M. (2018). A typology of university research park strategies: What parks do and why it matters. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management - JET-M, 47, 110-122.

McCarthy, I. P., & Ruckman, K. (2017). Licensing speed: Its determinants and payoffs. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management - JET-M, 46, 52-66.

McCarthy, I. P., Collard, M., & Johnson, M. (2017). Adaptive organizational resilience: an evolutionary perspective. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 28, 33-40.

Ruckman, K., & McCarthy, I. (2017). Why do some patents get licensed while others do not? Industrial and Corporate Change, 26(4), 667-688.

de Beer, J., McCarthy, I. P., Soliman, A., & Treen, E. (2017). Click here to agree: Managing intellectual property when crowdsourcing solutions. Business Horizons, 60(2), 207-217.

Bogers, M., Zobel, A. K., Afuah, A., Almirall, E., Brunswicker, S., Dahlander, L., Frederiksen, L., Gawer, A., Gruber, M., Haefliger, S., Hagedoorn, J., Hilgers, D., Laursen, K., Magnusson, M. G., Majchrzak, A., McCarthy, I. P., Moeslein, K. M., Nambisan, S., Piller, F. T., ... Ter Wal, A. L. (2017). The open innovation research landscape: established perspectives and emerging themes across different levels of analysis. Industry and Innovation, 24(1), 8-40.

Wang, E. (., Berthon, P., Pitt, L., & McCarthy, I. P. (2016). Service, emotional labor, and mindfulness. Business Horizons, 59(6), 655-661.

Bliemel, M. J., McCarthy, I. P., & Maine, E. M. (2016). Levels of Multiplexity in Entrepreneur's Networks: Implications for Dynamism and Value Creation. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 6(3), 247-272.

Xie, Z., Hall, J., McCarthy, I. P., Skitmore, M., & Shen, L. (2016). Standardization efforts: The relationship between knowledge dimensions, search processes and innovation outcomes. Technovation, 48-49, 69-78.

Robson, K., Plangger, K., Kietzmann, J. H., McCarthy, I., & Pitt, L. (2016). Game on: Engaging customers and employees through gamification. Business Horizons, 59(1), 29-36.

Hannah, D. R., McCarthy, I. P., & Kietzmann, J. (2015). We're leaking, and everything's fine: How and why companies deliberately leak secrets. Business Horizons, 58(6), 659-667.

Berthon, P., Pitt, L., Kietzmann, J., & McCarthy, I. P. (2015). CGIP: MAnaging consumer-generated intellectual property. California Management Review, 57(4), 43-62.

Prpić, J., Shukla, P. P., Kietzmann, J. H., & McCarthy, I. P. (2015). How to work a crowd: Developing crowd capital through crowdsourcing. Business Horizons, 58(1), 77-85.

Bogers, M., McCarthy, I. P., & Pitt, L. (2015). Leveraging users as innovators: Managing the creative potential of individual consumers. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management - JET-M, 37, 3-5.

Robson, K., Plangger, K., Kietzmann, J. H., McCarthy, I., & Pitt, L. (2015). Is it all a game? Understanding the principles of gamification. Business Horizons, 58(4), 411-420.

Robson, K. E., Plangger, K. A., Kietzmann, J. H., McCarthy, I. P., & Pitt, L. F. (2014). Understanding gamification of consumer experiences. Advances in Consumer Research, 42, 352-356.

Bliemel, M. J., McCarthy, I. P., & Maine, E. (2014). An integrated approach to studying multiplexity in entrepreneurial networks. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 4(4), 364-402.

Johnson, M. R., & McCarthy, I. P. (2014). Product recovery decisions within the context of Extended Producer Responsibility. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management - JET-M, 34, 9-28.

Malek, K., Maine, E., & McCarthy, I. P. (2014). A typology of clean technology commercialization accelerators. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management - JET-M, 32, 26-39.

Kitcher, B., McCarthy, I. P., Turner, S., & Ridgway, K. (2013). Understanding the effects of outsourcing: Unpacking the total factor productivity variable. Production Planning and Control, 24(4-5), 308-317.

McCarthy, I. P., Silvestre, B. S., & Kietzmann, J. H. (2013). Understanding outsourcing contexts through information asymmetry and capability fit. Production Planning and Control, 24(4-5), 277-283.

Xie, Z., Hall, J. K., & McCarthy, I. P. (2012). Review and some ideas on the research of sustainable development innovation. Keji Jinbu yu Duice [Journal of Science & Technology Progress and Policy], 29(24), 191-195.

Kietzmann, J. H., Silvestre, B. S., Mccarthy, I. P., & Pitt, L. F. (2012). Unpacking the social media phenomenon: Towards a research agenda. Journal of Public Affairs, 12(2), 109-119.

Campbell, C. L., Berthon, P. R., Pitt, L. F., McCarthy, I., & Plangger, K. (2012). Making a face: Graphical illustrations of managerial stances toward customer creativity. Australasian Marketing Journal, 20(1), 9-15.

Berthon, P., Campbell, C., Pitt, L., & McCarthy, I. (2011). Creative consumers: Awareness, attitude and action. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 28(7), 500-507.

Mccarthy, I. P., & Gordon, B. R. (2011). Achieving contextual ambidexterity in R&D organizations: A management control system approach. R and D Management, 41(3), 240-258.

Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 54(3), 241-251.

McCarthy, I., Lawrence, T., Wixted, B., & Gordon, B. (2010). A multidimensional conceptualization of environmental velocity. Academy of Management Review, 35(4), 604-626.

Bliemel, M. J., & McCarthy, I. P. (2008). Networks of dedicated biotechnology and service fi rms in Vancouver. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 14(3), 265-273.

Pitt, L., & McCarthy, I. (2008). Connecting product innovation management and marketing. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 14(3), 197-200.

McCarthy, I. P., Pitt, L., Campbell, C., van der Merwe, R., & Salehi-Sangeri, E. (2007). Exploiting the business opportunities in biotech connections: The power of social networks. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 13(4), 245-257.

Berthon, P. R., Pitt, L. F., McCarthy, I., & Kates, S. M. (2007). When customers get clever: Managerial approaches to dealing with creative consumers. Business Horizons, 50(1), 39-47.

McCarthy, I. P., Tsinopoulos, C., Allen, P., & Rose-Anderssen, C. (2006). New product development as a complex adaptive system of decisions. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 23(5), 437-456.

McCarthy, I. P. (2005). Toward a phylogenetic reconstruction of organizational life. Journal of Bioeconomics, 7(3), 271-307.

Rose-Anderssen, C., Allen, P. M., Tsinopoulos, C., & McCarthy, I. (2005). Innovation in manufacturing as an evolutionary complex system. Technovation, 25(10), 1093-1105.

McCarthy, I., & Anagnostou, A. (2004). The impact of outsourcing on the transaction costs and boundaries of manufacturing. International Journal of Production Economics, 88(1), 61-71.

McCarthy, I. P. (2004). Manufacturing strategy: Understanding the fitness landscape. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 24(1-2), 124-150.

McCarthy, I. P. (2004). The what, why and how of mass customization. Production Planning and Control, 15(4), 347-351.

McCarthy, I., & Tsinopoulos, C. (2003). Strategies for agility: An evolutionary and configurational approach. Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 14(2), 103-113.

Rakotobe-Joel, T., McCarthy, I. P., & Tranfield, D. (2003). A structural and evolutionary approach to change management. Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory, 8(4), 337-364.

McCarthy, I. P. (2003). Technology management - A complex adaptive systems approach. International Journal of Technology Management, 25(8), 728-745.

McCarthy, I., & Menicou, M. (2002). A classification schema of manufacturing decisions for the GRAI enterprise modelling technique. Computers in Industry, 47(3), 339-355.

Fernandez, P., Mccarthy, I. P., & Rakotobe-Joel, T. (2001). An evolutionary approach to benchmarking. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 8(4), 281-305.

McCarthy, I. P., & Tan, Y. K. (2000). Manufacturing competitiveness and fitness landscape theory. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 107(1-3), 347-352.

Tsinopoulos, C., & McCarthy, I. P. (2000). Achieving agility using cladistics: An evolutionary analysis. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 107(1-3), 338-346.

Lowe, A., Ridgway, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Atkinson, H. (2000). An evaluation model for determining the business process benefits of thixoforming. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 214(1), 11-23.

McCarthy, I., Ridgway, K., Leseure, M., & Fieller, N. (2000). Organisational diversity, evolution and cladistic classifications. Omega (United Kingdom), 28(1), 77-95.

McCarthy, I. P., Rakotobe-Joel, T., & Frizelle, G. (2000). Complex systems theory: implications and promises for manufacturing organizations. International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2(1-7), 559-579.

McCarthy, I., & Ridgway, K. (2000). Cladistics: a taxonomy for manufacturing organizations. Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 11(1), 16-29.

McCarthy, I., Leseure, M., Ridgway, K., & Fieller, N. (1997). Building a manufacturing cladogram. International Journal of Technology Management, 13(3), 269-286.

McCarthy, I. P., & Ridgway, K. (1995). The implementation of a marketing orientation and focused manufacturing techniques in a hand tool company. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 209, 237-243.

McCarthy, I. P., & Ridgway, K. (1995). Re-engineering manufacturing systems at presto engineers cutting tools. Business Change & Re-engineering, 2(4), 31-33.

McCarthy, I. (1995). Manufacturing classification: Lessons from organizational systematics and biological taxonomy. Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 6(6), 37-48.

books chapters and monographs

Lam, J., Robson, K. E., Plangger, K. A., Kietzmann, J. H., McCarthy, I. P., & Pitt, L. F. (2022). Play, games and gamification: Possibilities for customer loyalty. In Keeling, D. I., de Ruyter, K., & Cox, D. (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Customer Loyalty (pp. 173-188). Edward Elgar Publishing (UK).

Robertson, J., McCarthy, I. P., & Pitt, L. F. (2021). Building sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: A mediated model of university–industry collaboration, knowledge creation, and the entrepreneurial environment. In Fernandes, C., Ramirez-Pasillas, M., & Ferreira, J. J. (Eds.), Universities, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, and Sustainability (pp. 107-132). Walter de Gruyter GmbH.

Plangger, K. A., McCarthy, I. P., Kietzmann, J. H., Robson, K. E., & Pitt, L. F. (2019). Dynamic Game Plans. In Tuncdogan, A., Lindgreen, A., Volberda, H., & van den Bosch, F. (Eds.), Strategic Renewal: Core Concepts, Antecedents, and Micro Foundations (pp. 15). Routledge (UK).

McCarthy, I. P., Pitt, L. F., & Berthon, P. (2010). Service customization through dramaturgy. In Fogliatto, F. S., & da Silveira, G. J. C. (Eds.), Mass customization: Engineering and managing global operations (pp. 43-64). Springer-Verlag (UK).

McCarthy, I., & Gordon, B. (2010). Leveraging dynamic capabilities: A contingent management control system approach. In Wall, S., Zimmerman, C., Klingebiel, R., & Lange, D. (Eds.), Strategic Reconfigurations: Building Dynamic Capabilities in Rapid Innovation-based Industries (pp. 13-32). Edward Elgar Publishing (UK).

Related Teaching Material

Berthon, P., Pitt, L. F., Kietzmann, J. H., & McCarthy, I. P. (2015). CGIP: Managing consumer generated intellectual property. Case ID:HBS Case No. CMR600..

Chan, C., & Johnson, M. (2013). Business statistics (3rd revision). BCIT.