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The faculty members comprising this group include Tima Bansal, Oana Branzei and Caroline Flammer. They have published in the top journals in the management discipline, including the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, and Management Science. Their PhD students have also received several awards including the Governor General's Gold Medal (Natalie Slawinski) and conference best paper prizes (e.g. Michael Wood). Sustainability doctoral students will also be able to access funding through the Centre for Building Sustainable Value for attending conferences and submitting articles to top journals.

Even though the number of sustainability faculty within General Management is relatively small, Ivey's sustainability community is very large and active. Approximately 1/3 of faculty members across Ivey engage in sustainability research, reflecting its true cross-disciplinary nature (e.g. Rob Klassen, Alison Konrad, and Brandon Schaufele). As well, Ivey has attracted a large number of high quality doctoral students and post-doctoral students. The sustainability community at Ivey is vibrant, active, and supportive.

Students in the sustainability subgroup engage in issues that are relevant to both public and private interests. A core assumption of researchers in this group is that the broader social and environmental contexts matter to business. As a result, researchers in this group are interested in research that simultaneously creates positive organizational outcomes and broader societal outcomes.

Our subgroup looks to push the boundaries of organizational and strategy theories. We are excited by new ideas and new approaches, as current theories have not adequately addressed some of the significant macro challenges confronting communities of practice. We are also excited by research that has practical implications.

Ivey has gained an international reputation for its sustainability activities. We host the Sustainability PhD Academy that brings together 15 students and 5 faculty from around the world annually in this highly competitive program. In addition, the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) was founded at Ivey. NBS aims to bridge research and practice in order to advance business sustainability. With over 5000 individual members, 60 corporate partners and two international affiliates, NBS is actively shaping business practice and academic research.

*Please note that Sustainability is a stream under General Management

Areas of Research Focus

  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Large corporations
  • Developing and developed world
  • For-profits and non-profits
  • Cross-discipline analysis


Post-graduate Opportunities

The doctoral program in Sustainability is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers in sustainability 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.

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

Oana Branzei

Oana Branzei is Donald F. Hunter Professor of International Business and Associate Professor of Strategy at the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. She is also the Director of the Sustainability Certificate program and the founder, convener and host faculty of the Ivey/ARCS PhD Sustainability Academy, an annual event of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability. Oana held a 2012/2014 visiting appointment with the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Oana’s research interests, at the intersection of strategy and sustainability, include the pro-social foundations, forms, and functions of business as agents of positive social change and the relational micro-processes of value creation, capture and distribution. She leads major research initiatives on positive social change, social enterprise, sustainable communities, and cross-sector partnerships. At Ivey, Oana has taught in the HBA, MBA, MSc, EMBA and PhD programs. Oana is a field editor for the Journal of Business Venturing and serves on the Editorial Review Boards of the Journal of Management and Academy of Management Learning and Education.

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