Ph.D. in Strategic Management

 

Overview
The Ph.D. program in strategic management provides course work in the base theories in strategic management. The field of strategic management studies big picture issues facing managers of firms, such as deciding what markets and industries to enter, how to enter and exit various markets, how to position the firm in the market in order to gain competitive advantage, and the timing, sequencing, and orchestration of competitive initiatives. Topics in strategic management include: Competitive strategy, resource allocation and corporate strategy, strategic decision processes, international and emerging market strategies, knowledge and innovation management, strategic entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and environment and non-market strategies. The main goal of the strategic management doctoral program is to train students to do high-quality research in any of these areas and to prepare them for careers as main stream professors of strategic management at top academic research institutions. To achieve this goal, Ph.D. students are required to take courses in strategic management, research methods and statistics, as well as possible disciplinary elective courses in economics, psychology and political science, and to write research papers examining important and relevant issues in strategic management.

 

Requirements
In addition to the requirements described in Chapters 1 and 6 of this guide, doctoral students who have chosen strategic management as their area must satisfy the following requirements for a Ph.D. degree.
 
Course, Research Work and Dissertation Advisor
1. The student’s course work must be approved by the area faculty advisor.
2. During the student’s first two years, he or she must take a minimum of 12 hours of approved graduate level courses per semester.
3. Course work includes a combination of required and elective courses. The required courses are listed in the attached course sample sequence.
4. The student is expected to attend all research seminars organized in the strategic management area during the student’s tenure in the Ph.D. program. Moreover, during the second and third years, the student must formally register for the strategic management research seminars and attend presentations of SE faculty as well as those of faculty members from other business schools who visit the SE area to present their research.
5. Students are expected to be fully engaged in research during the Ph.D. program, especially during all the summers, including the summer after the first year of their residency in the Ph.D. program.
6. Students must have a Jones School SE faculty member who has agreed to serve as their dissertation advisor by the end of the spring semester of their third year in the program.
7. From the second year onwards, students are required to give at least one research presentation every year in front of faculty and other doctoral students. Such presentations should demonstrate that the student is making adequate progress in his/her research. The presentation requirement may be fulfilled in the fall of the second and third years by presenting the required papers. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule this yearly presentation, together with his/her advisor and/or the strategic management area advisor.
 
Exam Requirements
Students must successfully pass a comprehensive exam administered by the SE faculty at the end of the second year. The exam will be administered and graded by SE faculty, under the supervision of the strategic management area advisor or special committee set up for this purpose. The exam will include two parts. Part I is focused on the coursework taken in strategic management and also measures the student’s knowledge of the area as a whole. Part II will focus on research methods and design. A successful performance in the exam will demonstrate the student’s competency in strategic management and provide the foundation from which he or she begins the research that will form the basis of the dissertation.
 
First- and Second-Year Paper Requirements
Students are required to write one major paper in each of their first two years, either sole-authored or coauthored with a mentor or colleague. The first year paper is proposed in the spring semester of the first year and completed by the end of the fall semester of the second year. The second year paper is proposed in the spring semester of the second year and completed by the end of the fall semester of the third year. The bulk of the work on these papers in intended to be done in the summers. The papers are intended as (1) a developmental vehicle for the student (especially the first year paper) (2) that will result in publications in top quality journals (although credit is not dependent on publication). The student is expected to take the lead on the second year project (in the manner of a lead author) and should individually decide (perhaps in collaboration with an SE area faculty member) on what topic the student will work. Each paper must be approved by two tenure-track SE faculty members (one is typically the student’s adviser). The student is expected to present the papers in a faculty workshop by the end of the following fall semester. Failure to complete the First- and Second-Year Paper Requirements, as outlined above, will mean that the student is not making satisfactory academic progress in the Ph.D. Program. See Appendix B for research paper approval and evaluation forms.

 

Sample Course Sequence
The course curriculum is designed around a challenging course of study in both the theory of strategic management and in cutting edge empirical work. We provide three sample course sequences: Strategic Leadership, Competitive Strategy, and International Strategy. Each of the sample course sequences below is oriented to a particular discipline, but students might choose different courses across disciplines to structure a specific degree plan. Doctoral students may continue taking courses beyond their second year.
 

Sample Course Sequence in Strategic Leadership (Psychology Oriented)


Year 1 (Fall)
BUSI 541 Strategic Management Theory I
PSYC 502 Advanced Psychological    Statistics I
PSYC 550 Foundations of Social    Psychology
PSYC 507 Research Methods

Year 1 (Spring)
BUSI 542 Strategic Management Theory II PSYC 503 Advanced Psychological    Statistics II
PSYC 636 Organizational Psychology
Elective

     

Year 2 (Fall)
BUSI 545 Research Methods in Strategic Management
PSYC 601 Multivariate Statistics
Elective
Elective

 

Year 2 (Spring)
BUSI 547 Advanced Topics in Strategic  Management (1.5 hours)
BUSI 547 Advanced Topics in Strategic   Management (1.5 hours)
Elective
Elective
Elective

Sample Course Sequence in Competitive Strategy (Economics oriented)
 
It is recommended that students pursuing this concentration take “Quantitative Methods Review” before the beginning of the first semester (a non-credit course taught on campus).


Year 1 (Fall)
BUSI 541 Strategic Management Theory I ECON 501 Microeconomic Theory I ECON 504 Advanced Economic Statistics
ECON 507 Mathematical Economics I

Year 1 (Spring)
BUSI 542 Strategic Management Theory II ECON 440 Advanced Game Theory (or equivalent)
ECON 510 Econometrics I (or equivalent)
Elective

     

Year 2 (Fall)

BUSI 545 Research Methods in Strategic Management
ECON 511 Econometrics II (or equivalent)
ECON 514 Industrial Organization and Control
Elective
 

Year 2 (Spring)

BUSI 547 Advanced Topics in Strategic   Management (1.5 hours)
BUSI 547 Advanced Topics in Strategic   Management (1.5 hours)
Elective
Elective
Elective
Sample Course Sequence in International Strategy (Political Science Oriented)

 
Year 1 (Fall)
BUSI 541 Strategic Management Theory I POLI 503 Topics in Methods and Data    Analysis
POLI 527 Institutional Analysis and Design
PSYC 507 Research Methods

Year 1 (Spring)
BUSI 542 Strategic Management Theory II POLI 504 Advanced Topics in   Methodology and Data Analysis
PSYC 503 Advanced Psychological     Statistics II
POLI 564 Political Economy of   Development

     

Year 2 (Fall)

BUSI 545 Research Methods in Strategic  Management
POLI 505 Political Methodology
(Panel   Data or Time Series)
PSYC 601 Multivariate Statistics
Elective
 

Year 2 (Spring)

BUSI 547 Advanced Topics in Strategic   Management (1.5 hours)
BUSI 547 Advanced Topics in Strategic  Management (1.5 hours)
POLI 575 Game Theory
Elective

Examples of elective courses are:

BUSI 503 Econometric Models in Marketing
BUSI 504 Game Theory Models in Marketing
PSYC 502 Advanced Psychological Statistics I
PSYC 503 Advanced Psychological Statistics II
PSYC 507 Research Methods
PSYC 601 Multivariate Statistics
PSYC 637 Meta-Analysis in Psychological Research
ECON 514 Industrial Organization and Control
ECON 523 Dynamic Optimization
STAT 522 Advanced Bayesian Statistics
STAT 541 Multivariate Analysis
STAT 606 SAS Statistical Programming
STAT 621 Time Series Analysis
STAT 622 Bayesian Data Analysis
PSYC 550 Foundations of Social Psychology
PSYC 636 Organizational Psychology
PSYC 639 Groups and Teams: Advanced Topics in I/O
POLI 503 Topics in Methods and Data Analysis
POLI 504 Advanced Topics in Methodology and Data Analysis
POLI 505 Political Methodology (Panel Data or Time Series)
POLI 511 Measurement and Research Design
POLI 527 Institutional Analysis and Design
POLI 576 International Political Economy
POLI 575 Game Theory
 

Course Descriptions

BUSI 541: Strategic Management Theory I
This seminar covers foundational as well as contemporary theories in strategic management. The course draws upon foundational theoretical perspectives from economics, sociology and organization theory to supplement more traditional strategy approaches towards understanding firm performance and related issues. Potential topics on contemporary theories may include transaction cost economics, agency theory, behavioral agency theory, structural contingency theory, theories of cooperative strategy, organizational networks, the resource-based view of the firm and upper echelon theories or theories regarding top management teams, theories of opportunity recognition and new venture creation, resource dependence theory, and theories of organizational evolution.
 

BUSI 542: Strategy Management Theory II
This seminar examines the effectiveness of corporate and competitive strategy in creating and maintaining competitive advantage. Topics may include firm resources and sustained competitive advantage, dynamic capabilities and knowledge-based theories of competence, strategy as real options, and cooperative strategy including strategic alliances and joint ventures. Topics may also include corporate diversification strategy, international diversification and entry into emerging markets, corporate governance, management of diversified business groups, strategic entrepreneurship, and management of innovation.
 

BUSI 545: Research Methods in Strategic Management
The focus of this course is on skills needed to perform exemplary research in Strategic Management. Topics include: Issues in philosophy of science, causation, relationship of theory and research, problem selection and definition, research design, hypothesis formulation and testing, sampling, alternative measurement techniques (e.g., survey, interview, and archival), collection and analysis of data. Emphasis on applied quantitative research methods – cross- sectional and longitudinal. Design and implementation of a course-based research project including proposal, data collection, analysis, and presentation of results.
 

BUSI 547: Advanced Topics in Strategy (1.5 credit course modules)
These modules might include topics such as:
 
  • Organization Theory
  • Organization learning and management of technology
  • Entrepreneurship and new venture management
  • Alliance and network strategies
  • International and emerging market strategy
  • Corporate strategy
  • Strategic leadership and governance
  • Business and government
  • Ethics and strategy
 

 

Candidacy

Certification of Candidacy indicates that a student has reached the advanced stage of the Ph.D. Program, permitting him/her to devote full time to writing a dissertation. At least eight months must elapse between admission to candidacy and conferral of the degree. The requirements for candidacy are:
 
(1) Successful completion of the course work requirements
 
(2) Successful completion of first- and second-year paper requirements

 

(3) Successful completion of the examination requirements.