Doctoral Programs

The Organization Studies Concentration

Philosophy and Objectives

The Ph.D. program in Organization Studies (OS) prepares students primarily for researching and teaching about organizations and management, and secondarily for working with various organizational constituencies for the purposes of organizational change. Given the critical role organizations play nationally and internationally in economic, political, and cultural developments, the program emphasizes multidisciplinary knowledge for innovative thinking. The program fosters critical reflexivity as a practical aim, for improving both theory and practice.


Our Ph.D. program is not an extension or continuation of the MBA, nor is it intended as a preparation for careers in consulting and management.  It is designed for individuals who are committed to scholarly research and have the intellectual capacity to contribute to literature on theory and practice.  The primary goal of doctoral candidates in OS is to make scholarly contribution to the field through research.  Thus, we require full-time participation in the program.


Our program provides students with strong grounding in the historical development of organization and management studies, as well as in the current developments and controversies surrounding organizations and their management. Students are encouraged to work on issues of organizational and social significance that they care deeply about, to explore multiple research paradigms, and to gain skills in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

OS majors take seminars within the School of Management on organizational behavior and theory and on organizational research.  Additionally, students may choose courses in psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, education, labor studies, and other departments on campus to broaden their knowledge and interests. Students are required to select a minor field of study, which may be drawn from inside or outside the School of Management. Examples of minor fields selected by recent OS graduates are: cultural anthropology, human resource management, strategic management, labor relations, social psychology, postmodern culture, and research methods.


Our students have the opportunity to develop effective teaching skills.  All students are required to teach during their third and fourth years of study (one course per semester).  As well, required, non-credit teaching seminars are offered during the summer following the first and second year.

The relatively small size of the Ph.D. program in OS allows for considerable individual attention. We encourage students to get to know the faculty and one another. During the first two years of study, students are assigned to work with a member of the faculty.  We try to create a cooperative and stimulating intellectual climate, one that supports individual scholarly development and interest in examining critical organizational issues. In the past, faculty and students have collaborated in research and consulting activities and in presenting and publishing research findings. Our students are usually active participants at such professional meetings as the Academy of Management and the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society.  Students also receive annual feedback on their progress during the first two years of study.