Overview

The doctoral program in Organizational Behaviour is designed to train students for an academic career with an emphasis on research. The field of OB focuses on understanding the behaviour of individuals, groups and organizations. This field uses theory and methods from a wide variety of disciplines including psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, statistics and economics.

The research of our faculty and doctoral students reflects a wide range of interests, including: leadership, personnel selection, gender and diversity in the workplace, discrimination and prejudice, expatriate management, goal-setting, group learning and team processes, errors, high performance work systems, and organizational mindfulness.

Doctoral students take the full spectrum of PhD Foundation courses and Organizational Behaviour Special Field offerings. Courses offered by other non-business programs such as economics, psychology, statistics and sociology may be taken to augment the student’s knowledge of both methods and substantive areas. Other aspects of the program are tailored to fit the student’s own research, teaching and professional interests.

Areas of Research Focus

  • Leadership
  • Personnel selection
  • Gender and diversity in the workplace
  • Discrimination and prejudice
  • Expatriate management
  • Goal-setting
  • Group learning and team processes
  • Errors
  • High performance work systems
  • Organizational mindfulness

Post-graduate Opportunities

The doctoral program in Organizational Behaviour is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers in organizational behavior at top business schools. Typical courses in the first two years are listed below.

Program Requirements

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.

Discipline Requirements

All to be completed before the comprehensive exam:

  • Bus 9806 Individual & the Organization
  • Bus 9816 Group Behaviour & Cross-Level Research
  • Bus 9826 Organizational Theory

*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.

Milestones

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.

Discipline Coordinator

Ann Peng

Ann Peng joined the faculty of Ivey Business School as an Assistant Professor in July 2013. She received her Ph.D. in Management at Michigan State University and a master degree from Lingnan University of Hong Kong. She has been involved in research programs in a range of OB topical areas, including leadership, job stress, emotions, justice, ethics, negotiation, and intercultural interactions. Her primary research program focuses on leadership. For example, her dissertation examines how direct and vicarious experiences of abusive supervision jointly influence followers' perceptions associated with distinct justice motives. In another project that is in progress, she and her colleagues examine how unit peers can effectively take on a leadership role in promoting service quality behaviour. Besides work, she spends most of her spare time playing badminton, watching YouTube, and travelling.

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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.).

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