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Associate Professor Naomi Birdthistle

Associate Professor of 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; 13 book chapters and 10 commissioned reports. Her research has won numerous awards including the Family Firm Institute, Best Doctoral Dissertation award, Best Paper Award in the Entrepreneurship in Minority Groups track at the 41st ISBE Conference and EmeraldLiterati Network awards. She recently received a ‘highly commended award’ for Research Excellence at the Swinburne University Vice Chancellor 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. Whilst an undergraduate student, Naomi 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 at Babson College called the Symposium for Entrepreneurship Education and the second programme at Harvard University called the Harvard Business School/European Entrepreneurship Colloquium. Naomi has supervised three PhD's to completion and is currently supervising seven 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 Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Developing an IT strategy within the family enterprise

Fields of Research

  • Entrepreneurship - 150304
  • Small Business Management - 150314

Teaching areas

Entrepreneurship;venture creation


  • 2018, International, Winner of the Best Paper award in the Entrepreneurship in Minority Groups track at the 41st ISBE conference, Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE)
  • 2018, Swinburne, Highly commended Research Excellence award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 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.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2018: Enterprising Rural Women - North West Tasmania *; Collier Charitable Trust
  • 2018: Psychology of Entrepreneurs *; Armas Investments Fund Scheme
  • 2017: ASEAN Enterprising Rural Women project *; Good Shepherd
  • 2016: Supporting Aboriginal Economic Growth and Development *; Marra Worra Worra

* Chief Investigator

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