Teresa Nelson

Professor; Elizabeth J. McCandless Chair in Entrepreneurship; Faculty Affiliate, Center for Gender in Organizations

Phone: 617-521-3867
Fax: 617-521-3880
Office: M-433


Ph.D., Business Administration (Strategic Management/Global Business), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Strategic Management; Entrepreneurship; and Global Business, especially China and the European Union


Dr. Teresa Nelson holds the Elizabeth J. McCandless Professor of Entrepreneurship Chair. She is also the Director of the School of Management's Entrepreneurship Program. Her teaching, research, and consulting focus on issues of entrepreneurship and global business, most particularly around start-up and growth company governance and top management team dynamics. She has been engaged for more than a decade with global business issues, especially in China and the European Union.

In the classroom, Dr. Nelson engages executive and graduate students in rigorous conceptual and experiential learning, believing that adults will benefit from educational encounters that move them out into the world of practice taking into account their talents, goals and the emerging business world of today. Nelson has taught on five continents and travels extensively. She has led travel courses for executives and students to many parts of the world, including China, where she has experienced first-hand the emergence of the market economy over the last dozen years. At Simmons she teaches entrepreneurship and strategic management in the MBA program.

Nelson's primary research is related to the implications and outcomes of firms transitioning through growth stages up to and through initial public equity offering. She has studied product, process and performance changes as well as the implications of firm growth patterns on women as entrepreneurs of new ventures and within the corporation. Her experience in global business has translated into research on the markets of China and the strategic implications of the organization of global stock exchanges. As an affiliate of the Center for Gender in Organizations, Nelson is now engaged in multiple research projects to build knowledge around women and entrepreneurship, particularly high growth entrepreneurship.

Dr. Nelson had more than 10 years of experience in business consulting, government, and politics before returning to school for her MBA and Ph.D. She has founded two businesses and works as an affiliate consultant with two others. She is a frequent and noted speaker on issues such as "The Art of the Pitch", "China Today" and "Entrepreneurship and Women".

Current Appointments

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Women's International Center for Economic Development, Liverpool, UK, 2009-present
  • Consortium Member and Academic Working Group Head, the We Own It Summit, global consortium for women's high growth entrepreneurship, 2009-present
  • Member of the Scientific Committee, Women Equity for Growth, Paris, 2010-present
  • Director, Safe Water for 1 Billion People (H2O-1B), 2010-present
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management, 2008-present
  • Parliamentarian- Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management, 2008-present


Work in Progress

  • "Toward An Engagement Theory Of Governance: The Dynamics of Governance Structures and Practices in High Growth, High Potential Firms," (with Huseyin Leblebici).

Professional Memberships

Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society, United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Academy of International Business, Women in the Academy of International Business, Diana International, International Council for Small Business, European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Professional Services

  • Editorial Advisory Board Member- International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship and Family Business Review
  • Special Issue Editor (with Helene Ahl), Gender and Institutions, International Journal of  Gender and Entrepreneurship, 2010.