Imperial College London

Dr Mark Thomas Kennedy

Business School

Associate Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 2879mark.kennedy Website




295Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr. Kennedy studies how innovations become real. When people encounter the novel and unfamiliar, they first ask, "Is this anything?" When collective answers are more 'yes' than 'no', innovations gather momentum and either gain widespread legitimacy or, in rarer cases, incite backlash and social or legal sanctions. Both outcomes are facilitated by categorising innovations so they become proper elements of socially shared ontologies. Dr. Kennedy's research explores the dynamics of categories and social ontologies using quantitative methods for text and network analysis and qualitative and inductive methods. His publications have appeared in American Sociological ReviewAcademy of Management JournalOrganization Science, Journal of Management Studies, and Research in the Sociology of Organizations.

Current research projects include (1) the emergence and spread of AI and its impact on organisations and society, (2) understanding backlash to negative externalities associated with innovations in organising in both historical cases and current skirmishes over data science and AI, (3) methods of text analysis for identifying complementarities and observing meaning construction, and (4) understanding how individuals pick the people they rely on for friendship, help, and advice in work and life.  

At Imperial, Dr. Kennedy is Co-Director of the Data Science Institute and Director Imperial Business Analytics. He teaches courses in Organisation Behaviour and Organisation Theory.

Dr. Kennedy holds degrees from Northwestern University (Ph.D., MBA) and Stanford University (A.B., Philosophy). Before coming to Imperial, Dr. Kennedy was at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. Prior to becoming an academic, Dr. Kennedy was a software engineer and management consultant. 



Lo JY-C, Rhee E, Fiss P, et al., 2020, Category viability: balanced levels of coherence and distinctiveness, Academy of Management Review, Vol:45, ISSN:1930-3807, Pages:85-108

Molina-Solana M, Kennedy M, Amador Diaz Lopez J, 2018, foo.castr: visualising the future AI workforce, Big Data Analytics, Vol:3, ISSN:2058-6345

Glaser VL, Fiss PC, Kennedy MT, 2016, Making snowflakes like stocks: stretching, bending, and positioning to make financial market analogies work in online advertising., Organization Science, Vol:27, ISSN:1047-7039, Pages:1029-1048

Lo JY-C, Kennedy MT, 2015, Approval in nanotechnology patents: micro and macro factors that affect reactions to category blending, Organization Science, Vol:26, ISSN:1047-7039, Pages:119-139

Kennedy MT, Fiss PC, 2013, An Ontological Turn in Categories Research: From Standards of Legitimacy to Evidence of Actuality, Journal of Management Studies, ISSN:1467-6486, Pages:n/a-n/a

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