The Doctoral Program in Operations Management (OP) at the Ivey Business School is designed to prepare students for an engaging and enriching career in conducting meaningful scholarly-based research and teaching in leading schools of business administration.
OP deals with the planning, control and improvement/innovation of the operational system that transforms inputs into outputs and enables value realization for and from customers. As such, students will be exposed to, and critically examine, both foundational and recent scholarly developments spanning a wide array of tactical and strategic issues underlying how work gets done in the firm in order to develop their own theoretical and practical insights on relevant OP topics.
These OP topics include the management of throughput, productivity, and processing quality; capacity and supply management; systematic operational improvement and innovation approaches; managing production and service systems and technologies; operations strategy; service design and delivery; and sustainability. While improved decision making and action based upon rigorous empirical science is the primary focus and interest of the OP discipline group's faculty, students will also be introduced to relevant analytical/axiomatic modeling approaches and interdisciplinary theorization that may be informative to the scrutiny of the OP topics mentioned earlier.
The curriculum is delivered to instil understanding and stimulate advancement of current OP theory, paradigms, principles and practice that have ramifications for the efficient and effective general management of the firm's operational resources and capabilities. Students take the full spectrum of Doctoral Program and OP special field offerings; on occasion, students may be encouraged to register and complete courses offered by other Ivey discipline groups and UWO faculties that may be salient to their specific program of study and individual scholarly development. Other aspects of the program are tailored to fit the student’s own research, teaching and professional interests and requirements.
The doctoral program in Operations Management is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers in operations management at top business schools. Typical courses in the first two years are listed below.
Students have program requirements, put into place by the PhD office, and discipline requirements, which are governed by the student’s respective area group. On a case by case basis, some students may be able to waive out of particular required courses or substitute others. Such a course of action must be approved by the PhD director
All PhD students must complete the following requirements.
- Attend “stats boot camp” (end of August at start of Year 1).
- Pass 9702 Multivariate Analysis in Year 1.
- Pass 9712 Special Topics in Statistics before end of Year 2.
*The content of this course varies by year. Students are encouraged to take the course twice.
- Pass 9704 Research Methods in Year 1.
- Earn 80% or more on 9723 Summer Research Paper before start of Year 2 - Direct Entry Admissions only (i.e. admitted with only an undergraduate degree)
- Pass at least two PhD-level courses outside of Ivey before the end of Year 2 or before taking comprehensive exams, whichever is first. It is strongly recommended that at least one of these courses is an econometrics course.
- Shadow an Ivey professor for an entire undergraduate or MBA course. The associated professor must agree to make this a learning experience for the student (e.g. have conversations about pedagogy, be available for questions about curriculum etc.) and to provide written confirmation to the PhD office of attendance; OR
- Complete at least 20 hours of courses, workshops etc. at Western’s Teaching Centre.
*In consultation with the student, the respective PhD coordinator shall determine which option better suits the student's needs.
All to be completed before the comprehensive exam:
- Bus 9805 Operations I
- Bus 9815 Operations II
*If further development is identified in any area, students may be required to take additional courses as requested by the student’s supervisor or the PhD coordinator. PhD students do not formally name their supervisor until they have passed their comprehensive exams. A doctoral student becomes a doctoral candidate only upon passing comps.
This exam will be completed within 22 months of entering the program (normally written between June 1 and July 15 of Year 2). If the student fails this exam, he or she has up to one year to retake the exam. A second failure will result in being withdrawn from the program.
A student will chose a supervisor within one month of passing the comprehensive exam and will communicate the choice in writing to both the PhD coordinator and the PhD office, copying the supervisor.
Between passing comps and sitting the “Thesis Proposal Exam” (below), the student must form a Thesis Supervisory Committee (commonly referred to as the Proposal Committee). This committee consists of a supervisor and at least one (but usually two or three) additional faculty member. Each must be a member of SGPS and a majority of this committee must be composed of faculty who have doctoral-level membership with SGPS. At least one member of this committee must be confirmed by Dec. 31 of Year 3. The names of this committee are to be forwarded to the PhD office. This committee “assists in the development of the candidate's research plan and thesis proposal, provides advice and criticism on the planning and writing of the thesis…” (more)
This exam is sometimes referred to as the proposal defence. Students must pass this exam within 12 months of passing the comprehensive exam. There may be no less than three months between passing the Thesis Proposal Exam and sitting for the Thesis Exam (below).
This is effectively the last hurdle for PhD students that is commonly referred to as the thesis defence. Students have six years to finish their degree.
Each area group has a coordinator who has multiple roles: provide mentorship and guidance to students, liaise with PhD office, carry out students’ annual review, administer comprehensive exams, and to provide other assistance the student might require (e.g. CV-polishing, recommending coursework, mock interviews etc.).