Strategy & Management
The objective of this concentration is to provide Ph.D. students with relevant knowledge so that they can make a valuable, novel contribution to the field of strategy and management.
According to the Academy of Management (the association of Management scholars), Management is defined broadly to encompass all processes, structures, and behaviours that are related to the work of organisations, as well as the dynamics of industries, economies, cultures, and other environmental forces that affect organizations and their employees.
Explore linkages among constructs
Management research seeks to understand such phenomena. It has created an impressive list of theories and methods that enable researchers to explore the often messy and complex linkages among relevant constructs. Available theoretical perspectives range from agency theory, transaction costs, industrial economics, game theory, resource-based, capability-based and knowledge-based views to contingency theory, network theory, organisational ecology, institutional theory, resource dependence and social psychology - just to mention some crucial ones.
Different research topics
Each one of these perspectives contains a unique terminology with specific concepts and constructs. They are applied to research topics on the functional, business, corporate and network levels, such as management processes, corporate governance, entrepreneurial, competitive, corporate, cooperative and international strategies as well as the behaviour of individuals, teams and organizations.
A young but growing field of research
Strategic Management, as a major field of management research, is relatively young. Over the last 50 years, it has grown from non-existence to one of the major building blocks of business administration, as evidenced by the large amount of scholars and students it attracts, its strong position in the curriculum of most business schools, and the blossoming diversity and quality of its research outlets. Although the field has been and remains heavily influenced by other disciplines such as economics, psychology or sociology, it has been able to develop its own unique theories and research methods.
Quest for an explanation
At first sight, strategic management seems to be a field that is easy to comprehend, easy to conduct and easy to research. It focuses on the explanation of performance heterogeneity among firms. This phenomenon (as well as other performance-related topics) can be considered the “holy grail” of the field. Academics, managers and consultants try to explain its sources, disentangle its causal linkages, or just bring it into being. A second look at the field, however, reveals a different picture. The quest for an explanation of above or below average performance of corporations is arduous, filled with numerous constructs, divergent language games, theoretical and methodological challenges.
It is the objective of this area of concentration to provide Ph.D. students with relevant knowledge in order to make a valuable, novel contribution to the field of strategy and management. Research is about entering “uncharted waters”. It requires the dual skill of “disciplined imagination”. As a consequence, you will be exposed to existing theories of management research, main research streams of the discipline as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods to enable you to make this journey.
The Strategy and Management concentration offers both a standard track and an academic track. It is taught in English.