The emphasis of the PhD Program in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR) is on developing research-oriented academics who study problems related to organizations, including the effects of management practices on people, between people within organizational settings, and between organizations themselves. The Program is not intended for the development of consultants or managers.
Students are admitted into the Program with Master's degrees (or sometimes with undergraduate honour's degrees). Typical academic backgrounds of incoming students include business administration, social sciences and the humanities. Recent graduates of the Program have been placed in research-oriented Canadian and international universities such as the University of Victoria, University of Manitoba, York University, Western University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Washington State University, Singapore Management University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
OBHR Division professors are internationally recognized scholars who represent an array of academic disciplines, including sociology, psychology, industrial relations, organizational behaviour and human resource management. Examples of their research interests include entrepreneurship, organizational knowledge and learning, social networks, family business, territoriality, trust, customer sabotage, power and status, gender and diversity, harassment, and ostracism.
As such, you can participate in a broad interdisciplinary, research-oriented program focused on understanding organizations, behaviour in organizations, and human resources. The division is also home to the Business Families Centre, which is devoted to researching and helping family businesses thrive.
OBHR faculty members have won numerous awards for research and for innovations in teaching and pedagogy, traditionally maintaining among the highest teaching ratings in the Sauder School of Business. The norms and culture of the OBHR Division are characterized by highly collaborative and collegial relationships.
For further information
Professor Jennifer Berdahl
PhD Advisor, OBHR Group
Students in the Program are typically required to take a series of courses and advanced seminars for 18 to 24 months in research methodology and statistics, organization theory, organizational behaviour and human resource management. Many students also take supplementary courses in social and behavioural science disciplines such as sociology and psychology.
You are expected to engage actively in research with one or more faculty members from the outset of the Program and to present some of that research in the OBHR Speaker Series sometime during the second year of study. In addition, you are required to take a course on teaching methods and to teach one or more sections of a suitable undergraduate course, usually during the third or fourth year of your Program.
Following the completion of course work, comprehensive examinations assure that you have a broad base of knowledge in the organizational sciences. The final stage of the Program is the successful completion of independent study in the form of a dissertation. The Program is designed to be completed within four years, although more time is required in some cases.
Sample program sequence
A typical schedule for a PhD student in OBHR may look as follows:
- Year - 1 (Fall) COMM 525 Research Methods, COMM 625 Advanced Topics in Organizational Behaviour, PSYC 546A Statistics, COMM 693 Research Methods
- Year - 1 (Spring) COMM 621 Doctoral Seminar in Human Resource Management , COMM 626 Organizational Theory, PSYC 546B Statistics
- Year - 1 (Summer) Research Paper
- Year - 2 (Fall) COMM 623 Qualitative Research Methods in Organizational Behaviour, PSYC 546C Multivariate Statistics, COMM 622 Seminar in Classics and Theory Construction in Organizational Behaviour
- Year - 2 (Spring) COMM 627 Advanced Behavioral Research Methods Psychology, EPSE 606 Teaching Seminar, Elective
- Year - 2 (Summer) Comprehensive Examination
- Year - 3 Preparation and Presentation of Dissertation Proposal
- Year - 4 Preparation and Defense of Dissertation