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Strategy is about creating and defending a competitive advantage in changing environments. To be successful, organizations must leverage and renew their resources, competencies and leadership skills, sometimes in multiples industries at the same time. Strategic organizations are able to survive longer, perform better, and elicit favorable evaluations from their stakeholders, thereby shaping how industries change over time.

The Strategy group at Ivey consists of Mary Crossan, Cara Maurer, Michael RouseGlenn Rowe, Mark Zbaracki, Lee Watkiss and Jean-Philippe Vergne. Their research examines competitive advantage at the business and corporate levels, learning and capabilities, organizational design and strategy implementation, innovation and leadership, institutions and industry evolution. Ongoing research projects look into a wide range of settings, such as price adjustment practices, National Hockey League, North European ferries, aerospace & defense, fintech including cryptocurrency, manufacturing and service industries, finance, and the public sector.

*Please note that Strategy is a stream under General Management

Areas of Research Focus

  • Competitive advantage at the business and corporate levels
  • Learning and capabilities
  • Organizational design and strategy implementation
  • Innovation and leadership
  • Institutions and industry evolution

Our award-winning strategy faculty regularly publish in the field’s top journals, such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of International Business Studies, or Strategic Management Journal.

Post-graduate Opportunities

Strategy is one of five possible specializations within Ivey’s General Management PhD program. The Strategy specialization is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers at top business schools in Strategy, Management, or Organization departments.

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.

Discipline Requirements

To be completed before the comprehensive exam unless otherwise noted.


These milestones are designed to ensure students make forward progress. A student who does not achieve these milestones within the required timeline may have their funding partially or fully cut or be withdrawn from the program.

Discipline Coordinator

Lee Watkiss

Lee Watkiss draws on organizational theory and cultural analysis to explore how firms can influence the creation and alteration of the product and market categories they inhabit as well as how these categories provide stability for firms as they navigate turbulent environments.

Lee holds a Ph.D. from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Earlier in his career, he worked in diverse fields including engineering, professional services, and executive education in both multinational (e.g., Arthur Andersen and Deloitte & Touche) and small start-up ventures in the United Kingdom and the United States. In these roles, Lee advised and consulted for organizations across the technology, finance, energy, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, media, real estate, retail, telecommunications, and transportation industries, including many of Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.”

Lee currently teaches Strategic Analysis and Action and Cross-Enterprise Leadership in the HBA program, and Ivey Essentials - Strategy in the MSc program. He also teaches in the Ivey Frontline Leadership Program. While at Boston College, he received both the Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award and the Carroll School of Management All Star Teacher Award for his teaching in the undergraduate program.

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