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General Information

The doctoral program in Management offers students an opportunity to pursue advanced study with a diverse group of world-renowned management faculty. Management is an interdisciplinary area, combining the study of organizations with areas such as sociology, economics, and psychology. The study of management involves examination of macro- and micro-level factors that affect organization effectiveness and efficiency.

Read what recent PhD graduates from the Management specialization say about the program.

The management Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students to conduct and publish research in top-tier journals and to take academic positions at leading research-based universities in the United States and abroad. The Ph.D. curriculum in management consists of two major tracks: 1) Strategic Management, and 2) Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management (OB/HRM). A minor is also available for PhD students working in other specialization areas.

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Strategic Management Track

Strategic Management deals with the competitive dynamics of firms and industries. Topics of study include sources of competitive advantage, patterns of industry evolution, technological change, firm boundaries, and interfirm collaboration. Students are expected to develop expertise in a foundational discipline, such as economics or sociology, to inform their study of strategy phenomena. Students are also expected to develop mastery in a core set of corresponding research methods, including but not limited to quantitative archival methods.

Warren Boeker, Professor of Management, discusses the strategic management track within the PhD program at the UW Foster School of Business.

Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management track

This track is concerned with explaining individual behavior, team processes and outcomes, and how employees and organizations interact. Some of the central topics of study include leadership, motivation, decision-making, team performance, behavioral ethics, justice, turnover, and employee well-being. The core body of knowledge of this content draws heavily from the domain of psychology, as well as seminal and contemporary research in OB/HRM. This program also includes a strong research methods foundation, which includes the tools of laboratory experiments and survey-based field research, and a variety of analytic approaches. This track may also include qualitative research as well.

Michael Johnson, Associate Professor of Management, discusses the organizational behavior track within the PhD program at the UW Foster School of Business.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited university. An admission committee of faculty members reviews all completed applications. While the committee considers all relevant factors in its recommendations, important factors include past academic performance, GMAT scores, and essays. The GRE exam can be substituted for the GMAT but the GMAT is strongly preferred. In some cases we may request a personal interview.

Recommended Preparation Prior to Entry

Students entering the PhD Program as Management majors should be comfortable with the basic concepts of calculus and statistics before they arrive on campus. It is strongly recommended that all new Management majors carefully review this material during the summer before entering the program.

Management Area Faculty Coordinator

Prof. Michael Johnson, Management Area Faculty Coordinator, would be glad to answer your questions. Contact him by phone (206-616-2756) or by email (

Until students establish a Supervisory Committee by the end of Spring Quarter of their first year the Management Doctoral Area Coordinator advises students. The Supervisory Committee assists the student in choosing appropriate courses, approves the course of studies, and monitors the student’s progress.

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