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Associate Professor Naomi Birdthistle

Deputy Chair, Department of Business Technology and Entrepreneurship
Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, University of Limerick, Ireland; PhD, University of Limerick, Ireland; Masters (by research), University of Limerick, Ireland; BA (Hons), Stirling University, United Kingdom


Naomi is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology. A graduate of Stirling University (B.BS 1995) and the University of Limerick, (MBS 1998, PhD 2004), she has authored and co-authored over 50 referred journal articles and book chapters and 10 commissioned reports. Her research has won numerous awards including the Family Firm Institute, Best Doctoral Dissertation award and EmeraldLiterati Network awards. Naomi holds a Visiting Professor appointment at Aalto University – Mikkeli campus and has delivered distinguished lectures and invited presentations at several leading universities and business schools in the United States, Ireland, Belgium, and Russia. Her research interests include entrepreneurship education, high growth firms and family business issues. Naomi has acted as an independent expert evaluator for FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects in association with the European Commission. Naomi has completed a summer school programme at Harvard University, where she studied Japanese business and Legal writing. She has also participated in two executive training programmes in the US, one programme called the Symposium for Entrepreneurship Education at Babson College and the Harvard Business School/European Entrepreneurship Colloquium at Harvard University. Naomi has supervised two PhD's to completion and is currently supervising three PhDs.

Research interests

Education; family business; high growth firms; entrepreneurship and innovation policy

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Coordinating Supervisor.

Fields of Research

  • Entrepreneurship - 150304
  • Small Business Management - 150314

Teaching areas

Entrepreneurship;venture creation


  • 2012, International, Winner of the Emerald Literati Outstanding Paper award , Emerald Literati
  • 2010, International, Winner of the Emerald Literati Outstanding Reviewer's award, Emerald Literati
  • 2009, International, Winner of the Regional Teaching Awards , Shannon Consortium, Ireland
  • 2007, National, Ireland's Network of Teachers and Researchers of Entrepreneurship (INTRE) Case Study Competition, INTRE
  • 2007, Other, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2007 - Editors Choice - best DVD Case, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur - Ireland
  • 2006, International, the Family Firm Institute (FFI) award for Best Doctoral Dissertation , Family Firm Institute
  • 2006, International, Highly Commended Award from Emerald Literati Network , Emerald Literati Network


Also published as: Birdthistle, Naomi; Birdthistle, N.
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Recent research grants awarded

  • 2016: Supporting Aboroginal Economic Growth and Development *; Marra Worra Worra

* Chief Investigator

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