PhD

PhD in Strategic Management & Organization

Specialization Course Requirements

Research Methods Courses

Cognate Discipline

Strategic Management and Organization is a multi-disciplinary program that provides students with the opportunity to examine a wide range of topics, foundational as well as domain-specific. Our areas cover the following topics.

Entrepreneurship and innovation aims to explore the dynamic socio-economic systems that encourage and support the creation of new businesses, social enterprises and entire industries as well as innovation and strategic renewal within existing organizations. Attention is also paid to the enterprising individuals heading such entrepreneurial initiatives.

Family business strives to understand the significance, diversity and complexity of family firms; the unique and fascinating challenges facing both family businesses and business families; and, the governance practices that can help improve the effectiveness and longevity of these intertwined social structures.

Human resources management is focused on the employment relationship and exposes students to a variety of theory, research, and management strategies. A number of substantive literatures are covered (e.g., recruitment and selection, socialization, training and employee development, performance management, employee relations, compensation and rewards).

Industrial relations exposes students to classical IR theories and themes such as industrial relations systems theory, historical development and theories of the labour movement, strategic choice approach, and the roles of the main industrial relations actors (unions, management, and government). 

Organizational behaviour examines the theories and research pertaining to individual and team behaviour in a variety of organizational contexts, as well as the management implications of this research. Typical topics covered include work attitudes, motivation, leadership and culture. Focal behavioural outcomes typically include performance, citizenship, absenteeism and turnover.

Organizational theory examines the design and structure of organizations; the complementary processes of differentiation (the division of labour and the grouping of functions) and integration (the distribution of authority); the relationship between organizations and their social, political, institutional, and economic environments; and the nature and role of politics, power, and conflict that may result from inherent tensions in coordinating a range of disparate functions and interests.

Strategic management has as its focus an analysis of the organization in its environment, examining the processes by which organizations position themselves and seek to marshal resources and capabilities to support and implement strategies. It is concerned with how organizations match, or fail to match, organizational capabilities and strengths with external opportunities and constraints.

The faculty for this specialization are members of the Department of Strategic Management and Organization; click here to learn about them and their research. A representative from the department coordinates the program internally and sits on the Business PhD Policy Committee. Most administrative matters are handled by the PhD Office of the Business School.

Specialization in Strategic Management & Organization Course Requirements

Each doctoral student in Strategic Management and Organization must complete SMO 705 and any three of the following seminars.

SMO 701. Seminar in Organization Theory 
This course introduces students to the major schools of thought in organization and management theory. It considers the development of the field, major and foundational works in these schools of thought, and provides a cognitive map with which to evaluate contemporary research and debates. At the end of the course the student will have an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each major perspective.  Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

SMO 702. Seminar in Human Behavior in Organization
This seminar examines theory and original research within the field of organizational behaviour. The course covers a range of topics, including job performance, work attitudes (e.g., organizational commitment, job satisfaction), motivation, trust, justice, individual differences (e.g., personality), team structure and processes, power, leadership, and organizational culture. The primary emphasis is on the field’s classic, ground-breaking and/or provocative articles. Overall, the course exposes students to current research thinking and strategies within the field.  Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program at the University of Alberta or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

SMO 703. Seminar in Strategic Management 
This course examines the current state of knowledge in strategic management. Topics may include the sources of competitive advantage, the role of industry evolution and technology, the organization of top management, and managerial decision-making and cognition. The course introduces students to alternative theoretical perspectives and available empirical evidence related to these topics.  Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

SMO 704. Individual Research

SMO 705. Seminar in Contemporary Issues  
This course is designed to provide a holistic viewpoint on the life and work of a management professor. As students move through their doctoral program and into their first academic jobs, there are several skills and understandings that will be important for them to develop, with the ultimate goal of making their careers ones that are fulfilling. This course helps ground the students in a broad range of the basic skills they will build on over their careers. To that end, this course focuses on professional development, including research, teaching, presenting, and being a positive contributing member of the academe. Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

SMO 707. Seminar in Special Organizational Topics
This course examines special domain-related topics currently popular within organizational research. Topics will vary from one seminar to the next depending on instructor expertise, student interest and advances within the field. Illustrative topics include (but are not limited to) entrepreneurship, family enterprise and technology commercialization.  Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

SMO 708. Seminar in Industrial Relations Foundations
Readings topics will include industrial relations systems theory, historical development and theories of the labour movement, comparative industrial relations systems, and collective bargaining theory.  Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

SMO 709. Seminar in Human Resource Management (HRM) 
This seminar examines theory and research relevant to the employment relationship, including attracting, selecting and retaining people, socializing them about cultural values, designing jobs, and setting up reward and feedback structures, all of which affect the employees' ability and motivation to contribute to the organization. HRM spans micro, meso, and macro levels of analysis and thus occupies an important point of intersection with other fields in management, the linkages of which are a focal point of study in this course. Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students. Not to be taken by students with credit in HRM 703.

SMO 710. Seminar in Family Business

Through this seminar students will develop an enhanced understanding of the evolution, current state, and envisioned future directions of family business research. A distinctive feature of the course is its emphasis upon recently-published review articles as the primary source of readings. As such, students will also leave the seminar with a stronger sense, in general, of what makes this type of article publishable and particularly compelling. Prerequisite: Registration in business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

SMO 711. Seminar in Entrepreneurship
This seminar introduces students to the major phenomenological topics and theoretical perspectives within the domain of entrepreneurship research. Illustrative phenomenological topics include opportunity recognition/construction, new venture creation, and resource acquisition. Illustrative theoretical perspectives include cognitive, affective and cultural approaches. The course enhances understanding of mid-range theory building and testing more broadly. Prerequisite: Registration in business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

Research Methods Courses

A minimum of four courses, including one qualitative and one quantitative. Courses in the School of Business include:

BUS 701

Qualitative Methodology for Business Research

BUS 715

Experimental Methods for Behavioural Science

MGTSC 705

Multivariate Data Analysis I

MGTSC 707

Applied Business Analytics of Time Series and Panel Data

SMO 706

Seminar in Quantitative Research Method

Other appropriate research methods courses may be substituted with approval.

Cognate Discipline

A minimum of any four elective courses in related disciplines.  Elective courses for the Cognate Discipline must be approved by the supervisor.

 

updated November 19, 2018