Faculty & Research

Sinéad O'Flanagan

  • Senior Lecturer, Leadership
  • E62-439
  • (617) 253-5703
  • (617) 258-7579

Sinead O'Flanagan is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

Her research and teaching interests include leadership development, systems thinking, and team dynamics using experience-based and action-learning teaching pedagogies. She studies how uncertainty and anxiety can influence a leader’s learning experiences and outcome. Using longitudinal datasets, O'Flanagan examines individual and collective responses to disruptive learning environments. Her focus is on developing a leader’s capacity for creative decision-making and for operating across traditional and non-traditional organizational boundaries, when uncertainty prevails.

O’Flanagan continues to design field projects for students, as part of MIT’s Leadership Laboratory (L-Lab), using a systems-thinking approach to explore the complex issues of leading global sustainable businesses. Her most recent collaboration in action learning course development is with the Asia School of Business in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Previously based in Silicon Valley CA., and London UK. O’Flanagan held executive management positions and worked as a consultant in guiding companies through major organizational change and restructuring initiatives.

O’Flanagan holds a BSc (hons.) in applied physics from the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and an MS in management of technology from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She received a PhD in strategy & management, in leadership studies from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). She was a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership where she conducted leadership research.