PhD | IE Business School

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A full time program designed to educate outstanding individuals to become international scholars with a multicultural view of management.

  • 48 months
  •  | 
  • Doctorals
  •  | 
  • Professional
  •  | 
  • In English
  •  | 
  • Full-time

Ph.D. Program in Management

Program Structure

The main goal of the PhD Program is to educate outstanding individuals to become international scholars in the general field of management. We expect our graduates to undertake careers in academia as world-class researchers and professors, as well as becoming high-profile leaders in industry and the public sector. The PhD program takes four years and is divided in two modules. First and second year are devoted to courses to acquire the basic disciplines of Management Research, while the third and the fourth year will cover the research period where you will develop your PhD Thesis. The enrollment in the PhD Program gives you the possibility of getting a University Research Methodology in Management Science Official Degree, worth 60 ECTS, adapted to the Higher Education Area in accordance with the Bologna Process.

Below the PhD Academic Director, Julio de Castro and the PhD staff; Laura Maguire, PhD Executive Director and Kathleen Mathison, PhD Program Assistant.

PhD Academic Director Program Focus
1st Period
Structured coursework

Coursework Period. This period includes the study of fundamental disciplines from which Management research draws to provide students with a variety of theoretical backgrounds and help them crystallize their research interests. During this period students will also take a minimum of six methodological courses to develop their quantitative and analytical skills, including a full range of methodologies: field research, surveys, case studies, simulations and experimental research

Intake 1:

During this period students will also take a minimum of six methodological courses to develop their quantitative and analytical skills, including a full range of methodologies: field research, surveys, case studies, simulations and experimental research.

The academic year begins in early October and it is divided into three terms of thirteen weeks each, fall, winter and spring terms. The summer will be dedicated to research. Throughout the first two years students will complete 60 credits per year by means of courses. At the successful completion of this period students will undergo a comprehensive exam that will qualify them to start their dissertation preparation.

Research Methods Courses
  • Quantitative Methods I Descriptive statistics. Probability and basic mathematical statistics. Confidence intervals, hypothesis testing. ANOVA. Regression analysis. Logistic Regression. Categorical data analysis. Non-parametric statistics.
  • Research Methods Discussion of key issues in conducting theoretically relevant empirical research. Development and construction of theories, tools and techniques associated with survey-based empirical Si and experimental research.
  • Economic Principles Basic theoretical tools of microeconomics for studying firms. Monopoly power, pricing, growth and differentiation, competitive dynamics and the structure of incentives. Labour economics and contract theories.
  • Quantitative Methods II Matrix algebra. Principal components analysis. Correspondence analysis. Multivariate regression. MANOVA. Discriminant analysis. Cluster analysis. Systems of equations. Factor analysis. Structural equation models.
  • Qualitative Research Methods In depth exploration of qualitative research approaches such as Grounded theory, case-based research, action research and the use of software N-Vivo.
  • Principles of Organizational Behaviour Psychological theories of individual and group behaviour in organizations. Theoretical and empirical perspectives on motivation and leadership, cognition, decision making, social dynamics of organizational life.
  • Principles of Strategy Foundations of strategy. Economic and social models for strategic management. Resource management and strategic choices. Profit theories. Decision making and strategic dilemmas. Alliances and competitive positioning.
  • Principles of Operations Operations strategy models in manufacturing & service, planning with uncertainty in manufacturing and services, demand, network formation, inventory and capacity models, network design, demand planning models.
  • Principles of Accounting Conceptual and empirical principles in accounting research. Main streams of research, theories and analytical frameworks. Empirical challenges and exploration areas for aspiring researchers.
  • Principles of Marketing This course is designed to provide the students with the necessary conceptual tools to understand and conduct their own original research in marketing (with a special focus on empirical research).
  • Seminar in Strategy In this seminar we will discuss the main topics in strategic management research The course does not cover the theoretical basis of the strategy field, but it applies them to the analysis of specific topics.
  • Seminar in Organizational Behaviour The seminar concerns the study of individual level variables, such as emotions, cognition and leadership. It also includes the study of group and organizational level variables, such as diversity, culture and change.
  • Seminar in Operations The aim is to improve the students’ understanding of Supply Chain Management, its research methods and trends. Topics include collaboration, governance, strategic use of inventory and information, network design.
  • Seminar in Accounting, Control and Organizational Change The seminar offers an ample and detailed overview of critical theory approaches that examine accounting and management practices in organizations.
  • Seminar in Marketing The goal of this course is to introduce students to cutting-edge research in Consumer Behavior and develop their theoretical and methodological skills for conducting it.
  • Ethics and humanities The course provides a student with an understanding of the fundamentals of research on business ethics, of the theory behind research on business ethics, its evolution over time and the current research on CSR.
  • Paper Crafting The purpose is to expose students to the process involved in conducting research from the conceptual to the operational level of analysis, with a focus on crafting papers to be published in top journals of the field.
  • Organizational Theory Sociological foundations in the studies of modern bureaucracies. They encompass rich theoretical insights on organizations that vary from functionalism and structuralism to institutional theory and sensemaking.
  • Experimental Design In order to deepen the knowledge in methodology, a specialized course in experimental design is offered to improve the skills needed to accomplish quality research.
  • Electives To ensure the development of relevant theoretical expertise and research excellence in their respective fields, students will be required to take elective courses in the major and minor areas of the concentration.
  • Research project To obtain the official master in research students are required to develop a research project. It shall follow the standards for a peer review publication; literature review, hypotheses, methods and discussion
Defense of Master Thesis
Comprehensive Examination
2nd Period
Dissertation Period

During their third and fourth year, students are required to work full time on a supervised research projects with a faculty member, and to defend their dissertation proposal orally to a committee comprising five faculty members. Students who, successfully, defend their dissertation proposal are expected to complete their dissertation in the fourth and final year of the program.

Once the Dissertation is defended and based on the recommendation of the PhD Committee, the PhD degree is awarded by the Direction of the Program, with the endorsement of the Dean on behalf of the faculty. The degree is given by IE Business School under its own name and responsibility.

Proposal Defense
Dissertation Defense

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