Professor O’Connor specializes in organizational behavior. His work focuses on the social psychological processes that influence decision making in organizations and judgments of others. His recent work focuses on how people react to inconsistency in organizations: what makes some individuals and organizations seem more authentic than others—when they behave consistently with their own principles or conform to socially constructed categories—and how these judgments drive increases in different kinds of value. Conversely, he also explores why people and organizations are sometimes penalized as hypocrites and moral rebels for acting inconsistently with organizational norms, even when trying to do the right thing. His work has been published in Academy of Management Annals; Psychological Science; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes; Behavioral and Brain Sciences; Group Processes and Intergroup Relations; PLoS One; and Global Environmental Change, among others. His research has been featured in Harvard Business Review and The Economist.

Professor O’Connor teaches organizational behavior and managerial decision making in McIntire's Integrated Core Experience. He has also taught courses on behavioral decision making, negotiation, and conflict management in the B.S. and M.S. in Accounting Programs, as well as special topics in teamwork, group dynamics, and diversity in the M.S. in Commerce Program. He earned his Ph.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a former graduate fellow at the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation.