DeGroote School of Business

Strategic Management

The DeGroote Ph.D. specialization in Strategic Management is a rigorous and research-focused program designed to prepare doctoral candidates for scholarly careers in academia or research in the field of business strategy. The program is interdisciplinary, drawing upon a variety of fields including general strategy, business policy, economics, psychology, sociology, knowledge management, governance, international business, innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and organizational behaviour among others. The main learning objective of this specialization is to provide Ph.D. students with a well-rounded understanding of the complex dynamics of strategic decision-making. The tenured faculty of the Area (Nick Bontis, Hongjin Zhu, Brent McKnight, Goran Calic and Francois Neville) engage in wide-ranging phenomena in their research and have published in top academic journals.

The academic program is structured to provide students with a strong foundation in the theoretical and empirical principles of strategic management, as well as advanced research skills to conduct independent research in the field. Students undertake two years of coursework, followed by a set of comprehensive exams. Then they work with a faculty supervisor to develop a research topic and complete a doctoral dissertation.  Coursework in the program covers topics such as advanced strategy theory, organizational theory, case teaching, case writing, research methods, and statistics, among others. Students will specialize in a specific area of strategic management in alignment with faculty expertise.

In addition to coursework, students in this specialization are expected to engage in independent research under the guidance of faculty mentors. This research may involve the development of new theoretical frameworks, empirical studies using primary or secondary data sources, or case studies of firms or industries. All doctoral candidates are expected to present their research at academic conferences and submit their manuscripts for publication in academic journals in the field.

Overall, the Ph.D. specialization in Strategic Management is designed for highly motivated and intellectually curious individuals who are interested in advancing knowledge in the field of business strategy.  Successful completion of the program requires a combination of rigorous coursework, excellent oral and written communications skills, independent research, and strong analytical and critical thinking skills.  Students must be committed to excellence in research, teaching and practice and will be expected to show significant contributions in each.  Graduates of the program are well-prepared for careers in academia, research, or management consulting, where they can make significant contributions to our understanding of the strategic management process and its impact on organizations and society as a whole.

Required Courses

  • B790 – Seminar on Management Theory
  • B793 – Applied Multivariate Statistics
  • B794 – Research Methods and Design
  • P797 – Independent Research Study I
  • P798 – Independent Research Study II
  • P799 – Strategy Foundations

Choose 2 from below, or equivalent, or 2 alternative 700-level courses if PhD candidate received MBA from McMaster, or 2 PhD courses from other PhD Areas or Programs as approved by Supervisor:

  • P700 – Business, Government and the Global Environment
  • P715 – Entrepreneurship
  • P720 – Strategic Management

Optional but Recommended Courses

  • P795 – Case Writing (Offered at Ivey)
  • P796 – Case Teaching (Offered at Ivey)

Other Areas of Study

Helpful Resources