PhD in strategic management and leadership

Last Updated on December 15, 2022


This group comprises seven academics including experts in Quality Management, Business Performance, Project Management, Strategic Management, Management, Management and Business History, and International Management. Collectively, they are some of the most highly cited global leaders in their fields. The group represents a diverse range of research interests that include Policy and strategy development and organizational change with a particular interest in what people do in the development of strategy:

  • Measuring and managing business performance with a view to understanding what makes high performing organisations different and how organisational controls could be optimised to underpin sustainable long term business performance
  • Business process management and the use of Lean Six Sigma, quality management and wider business improvement approaches in a wide range of sectors and industries
  • Management of strategic projects and strategic management and organisational controls in temporary organisations  
  • The international political economy of infrastructure systems
  • Internet portals, website quality, social networks and the market reach of rural small firms
  • Strategic and performance management of SMEs
  • Origins, history and cultural practices of hospitality; and philosophical, ethical and cultural underpinnings of contemporary management practices.

Research of the group is informed by significant industry engagement across public and private sector organisations. The Strategy, Operation and Leadership group includes the following academics:


Strategy, Operations and Leadership Group research project 1

There is a distinct relationship between how managers conceptualise their organisations and how they manage performance. The purpose of this line of research would be to investigate: How to capture the managers’ mental models? How to compare these conceptualisations? How differences in mental models management reflect organisational performance?

Strategy, Operations and Leadership Group research project 2

Collaboration between organisations through joint-venture projects (eg. multi-organisation product development or social case-teams) is increasing. Person-centred leadership is effective in professional and projects contexts, but it is unclear how this works in multi-agency project contexts.  The research would explore this, and include investigation of related factors such as accountability.

Potential supervisors:

Strategic management is a business sub-discipline concerned with the coordinating of material and human resources within an organisation, in order to achieve long-term business goals. Strategic managers hold front roles in the process of decision-making and deal with specialised operations such as setting company objectives, evaluating the means of attaining them, formulating and implementing plans or anticipating outcomes.

A strategic manager often utilises knowledge from other related fields including business administration, finance and marketing, risk management, negotiation, statistics and human resource.

Business schools and economic colleges often offer studies in strategic management as specialisation or concentration track for a business management degree. Masters in Strategic Management focus on gaining entrepreneurship acumen and a broad understanding of modern business environments. Other strategic management topics include competitive strategies theories and models, corporate responsibility and ethics, marketing management, and risk management.

Career prospects for graduates in strategy management include administrator, organisational manager, marketing manager, business consultant, planning specialist, brand manager, corporate service manager, development manager, or executive assistant.

PhD in Strategic Management & Organization

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 Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management. 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 Course Requirements

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

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

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