The Organisational Behaviour PhD pathway


Organisational Behaviour (OB) is an applied science aimed at understanding individuals and groups in organisations by drawing from various related disciplines such as social and organisational psychology, behavioural economics, and management. OB researchers adopt a micro-perspective, looking into individual psychology and behaviour as well as group processes and emergent states, to understand how they contribute to organisational success and survival.

The Organisational Behaviour faculty at Cambridge Judge comprise some of the leading OB scholars in the world. Their research encompasses a range of topics, including creativity, innovation, psychometrics, big data, the future of work, human-artificial intelligence (AI) collaboration, personality, diversity, decision-making, social networking, culture, helping behaviours, and voice behaviour.

Professor Andreas Richter talks about the Organisational Behaviour pathway.

Hi. My name is Andreas. And I’m a faculty member in Organisational Behaviour, or OB. I’m here to tell you a few things you need to know if you wish to pursue a PhD in OB.

What is OB all about? OB is about how individuals act within society and in organisations, and how their actions in both environments affect each other. Understanding these social processes from a micro perspective is essential for improving how leaders, managers, and individual employees contribute to the effectiveness of an organisational.

Organisational Behaviour at Cambridge Judge Business School is an applied science built on contributions from the behavioural sciences, including social and organisational psychology, decision-making and judgments, behavioural economics and management. And Organisational Behaviour focuses mainly on the effects that individuals and group dynamics such as personality and teamwork have on human Behaviour. It is concerned with how people’s feelings, motivations, and cognitions influence their Behaviour in the organisation and group settings.

At CJBS, OB is an interdisciplinary pathway where faculty from various subject groups are involved. These faculty members studied the areas of leadership, emotions, teams, personality, and other characteristics of executives, big data, and consumers’ self-conceptions in the area of marketing. OB researchers apply a large variety of methods, such as experimental and survey research, archival data analysis, and qualitative methods.

So with these words, I’d like to encourage you to contact us if you are interested in pursing a PhD in OB. And we will be looking forward to talking to you and to hearing from you.

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The pathway

To start on the Organisational Behaviour pathway you must take one of the following 9-month masters programmes:

MPhil in Strategy, Marketing and Operations

Master of Research (MRes)

Essential reading

Download detailed information about the 9-month + 4-year programme structure and content.

The OB PhD pathway

Research areas

Organisational Behaviours researchers at Cambridge Judge Business School are leading scholars who make significant theoretical and practical contributions to the literature as well as real-world organisations. Their research topics include:

  • creativity and innovation
  • diversity
  • future of work
  • human-artificial intelligence (AI) collaborations
  • culture
  • social network
  • decision-making
  • big data
  • personality
  • psychometrics

What we expect from you

Our expectations of prospective candidates are high. You will need to have a first class bachelors degree or equivalent. In some cases you will need to have a masters degree from a highly regarded university and to have performed within the top 5% of your class.

You should have a strong motivation to pursue an academic career in a business school and a genuine interest in collaborating with external organisations. Ideal candidates would have a background in psychology, behavioural economics, the social and natural sciences, or other quantitatively oriented subjects, as we seek individuals who are keen to conduct quantitative research. To be considered, it is essential to demonstrate exceptional writing skills and to provide strong evidence of your quantitative abilities. This can be showcased through successful performance in statistics and calculus courses at the university level, or by submitting GRE scores (although GRE scores are not mandatory for your application). While practical management experience is beneficial, it is not a mandatory requirement for application.

For more details, please see the academic requirements for the:

MPhil in Strategy, Marketing and Operations

Master of Research (MRes)

What you can expect from us

Upon joining us, you can expect an exhilarating journey into the realm of Organisational Behaviour research. Collaborating with world-leading scholars, you will have the opportunity to publish journal articles that significantly expand the current literature, leaving a tangible impact on real-world outcomes. We are committed to providing you with the support and resources necessary to thrive in your research and make a meaningful difference in our field.

  • Become part of our team from the outset, you will be treated as a junior colleague rather than a student. Experience a true apprenticeship in the best sense of that word. 
  • Work with and be trained by the Organisational Behaviour Group to become an independent researcher. 
  • Experience an exciting research programme and produce a portfolio of academic papers that will help you succeed in the job market and gain a junior faculty position following your PhD. 
  • Work with faculty on joint research projects for publication in leading academic journals. 
  • Take a series of courses focused on research methodology and the foundations of the discipline as well as more advanced research seminars. 
  • Learn to critique recent publications and current working papers, enabling you to shape and position your own work as a significant contribution to the academic literature in Organisational Behaviour.  
  • Engage in practical research training, where you will develop and execute research projects jointly with faculty members. 
  • Develop a coherent and innovative research programme with expert guidance that will form the basis for an interesting and influential academic career.  
  • Your research programme may comprise laboratory research, organisational field research and secondary data analysis. 

PhD supervisors

Your principal supervisor will be a senior academic from within the Organisational Behaviour pathway. You will benefit from their guidance and counsel throughout the programme, and beyond: in helping you to succeed in the job market and in gaining a faculty position at a leading business school. Your principal supervisor will take an active role in your research programme and will assemble a group of faculty (your advisory committee) who will co-author papers with you. 

Take a look at the faculty who may serve as your principal supervisor and view their research interests: 

Prithviraj Chattopadhyay

Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Research interests

Prithviraj Chattopadhyay’s research interests include relational demography and diversity, social identification, employment externalisation, managerial cognition and affect. He works on combining his various interests to develop a more comprehensive understanding of diverse teams.

Alberto Feduzi

Management Practice Professor

Research interests

Decisions often have to be made in situations of extreme uncertainty and in the face of what are sometimes called “unknown unknowns” and the possible “Black Swans” these may give rise to. Alberto Feduzi’s research is concerned with (a) characterising the different types of uncertainty that decision-makers might face in different situations, (b) understanding how decision-makers typically deal with these different types of uncertainty; and (c) developing heuristic approaches to decision-making that might help decision-makers improve the quality of their decisions in situations of uncertainty.

Elizabeth George

KPMG Professor of Management Studies

Research interests

Elizabeth George’s research interests include nonstandard work arrangements and how they affect individuals and organisations, and how dissimilarity in a team affects both the team and the organisation. More recently she’s been exploring the longer terms implications of both nonstandard work and dissimilarity for individual and organisational effectiveness.

Yeun Joon Kim

Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour

Research interests

Creativity and leadership are among the most important momentums for organisational effectiveness and performance. Yeun Joon Kim’s research addresses the questions of (1) how organisations can improve employee creativity, (2) how organisations recognise employees’ creativity given that employees do have many creative ideas, but these ideas die out due to the lack of recognition, and (3) what are the factors that drive specific leadership behaviours.

Andreas Richter

Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Research interests

Andreas Richter researches how a team’s context factors (e.g. diversity) and processes affect employee creativity and innovation in both experimental and field settings.

David Stillwell

Professor of Computational Social Science

Research interests

A large part of our lives is mediated through digital devices which collect big data about us. David Stillwell’s research asks how can we better understand customers, employees or managers from behavioural traces like their social media activity, emails, or purchase records?

PhD advisory team

Dr Jochen Menges and Dr Patrizia Vecchi supervise MPhil dissertations and can be a member of a PhD advisory team.

Organisational Behaviour faculty

Learn more about the faculty that teach on this pathway.

Learn more about the Organisational Behaviour subject group