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Department of Management and Organization

As a world-class team of researchers and teachers, the Department of Management and Organization works to advance the Foster School’s three key pillars of strength: leadership, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurship. We passionately emphasize these and other important content areas in our research and integrate these concepts in our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses.

The research we undertake and the courses we offer encompass the following key areas:

We examine leadership in formal and informal roles at individual, group, and organizational levels. We emphasize how strategic thinking informs leadership behavior and its impact on performance outcomes.
We study why some firms succeed while others fail. We examine issues faced by senior executives, including strategy formulation and implementation, competitive dynamics between rival firms, effective merger and acquisition initiatives, globalization, and the critical role of boards of directors and top management teams.
We focus on skills and processes related to identifying new business opportunities and capturing such opportunities, whether in nascent ventures or corporations.
We explore the “psychology of work,” examining how people’s attitudes and actions impact the functioning of groups and organizations.
We focus on generating and disseminating theories and tools for analyzing and addressing ethical problems in organizations, creating ethical organizational cultures, and conducting business in a socially responsible manner.
We examine individual and organization-level processes related to the creation, protection, financing, and production of innovative technologies and products.

Drawing from multiple disciplines, we rigorously examine organizations from diverse perspectives to produce impactful research that enhances scholarship and practice. The following guiding principles drive our activities: collaboration, intellectual curiosity, diversity (intellectual diversity, demographic diversity); community (collegiality, mutual respect); and ethical behavior (fairness, transparency, honesty).

Our administrative staff play a critical role in advancing our mission. If you have any questions about our department or the courses we offer, please contact Jennifer Payne, our department administrator, at 206-543-4340.

Department quick stats

31tenure-track and full-time faculty members
40%of the courses taught in Foster’s graduate and undergraduate programs
#2ranking in research productivity of management departments in North America
14faculty have won Outstanding Teaching Awards
11faculty currently serve on editorial boards of prestigious management journals
5faculty have held leadership positions in various divisions of the Academy of Management


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PhD program

We offer three doctoral programs concentrating on the following areas: organizational behavior and leadership, strategic management, and technology entrepreneurship. Learn more about the students in the PhD program.

Strategic management

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

Organizational behavior

Michael Johnson, professor of management, discusses the organizational behavior track within the PhD program at the UW Foster School of Business.

Technology entrepreneurship

Emily Cox Pahnke, associate professor of management, on the technology entrepreneurship track within the PhD Program at the UW Foster School of Business.

Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program

The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship provides the knowledge, mentoring, experience, and connections to help students navigate key entrepreneurial challenges and build a high-impact venture. We designed the entrepreneurship curriculum to follow the startup experience—ideate, test, refine, and prepare to scale.

Associated centers

Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship promotes entrepreneurship to students across the University of Washington campus and beyond. Our students become leaders who challenge the status quo and change the way business is done.

Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking focuses on integrating rigor and relevance in terms of how leadership and strategic thinking is developed. We aim to be a trusted partner to corporations and institutions seeking evidence-based leadership development interventions.

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