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The Organisational Behaviour PhD pathway

Introduction to Organisational Behaviour

Researchers studying Organisational Behaviour investigate how individuals act within society and 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 organisation. 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 judgements, behavioural economics and management. 

Watch Professor Andreas Richter talk 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.

Essential reading

The Organisational Behaviour PhD pathway

Download detailed information about the nine-month + four-year programme structure & content.

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

What you can expect from the PhD pathway in Organisational Behaviour

You will be seen not as a PhD student but as a junior colleague – you will be an apprentice in the best sense of the word. The Organisational Behaviour Group will work with you and train you to become an independent researcher with an exciting research programme and portfolio of academic papers that will help you succeed in the job market and gain a junior faculty position following your PhD.

You will work with faculty on joint research projects for publication in leading academic journals and will take a series of courses focused on research methodology and the foundations of the discipline as well as more advanced research seminars, where you will learn to critique recent publications and current working papers. This will enable you to shape and position your own work as a significant contribution to the academic literature in Organisational Behaviour. This coursework component will be complemented with practical research training, where you will develop and execute research projects jointly with faculty members.

In particular, we will work with you to develop a coherent and innovative research programme that will form the basis for an interesting and influential academic career. This research programme may comprise laboratory research, organisational field research and secondary data analysis.

What we expect from our PhD students

We expect you to show a high level of commitment to an academic career in a business school as well as the desire to engage with external organisations.

You will need to have earned a bachelors degree (and in some cases a masters degree) from a highly regarded university and have performed within the top five per cent of your class. Please see the MPhil in Strategy, Marketing & Operations or Master of Research (MRes) academic requirements for more detail. We welcome applications from students who want to conduct quantitative research and who have a background in psychology, behavioural economics, the social and natural sciences or other quantitatively orientated subjects.

We will need to see evidence of excellent writing skills and strong evidence of your quantitative ability, either through results in statistics and calculus courses at university level or through GRE results. Practical management experience is welcome but not essential.

You will be allocated a principal supervisor within your pathway. A senior academic, often a Professor or Associate Professor, they will guide you through the programme, help you to succeed in the job market and assist you in gaining a faculty position at a leading business school. Your principal supervisor will take an active role in your research programme. During the PhD, they will assemble a group of faculty (your advisory committee), and members of this team will co-author papers with you.

For this pathway, view the research interests of these faculty that may serve as principal supervisor:

Alberto Feduzi.

Dr Alberto Feduzi

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.

Dr Yeun Joon Kim.

Dr Yeun Joon Kim

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 Andreas Richter

Not available to take incoming PhD students in October 2023.

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.

Dr David Stillwell

Professor David Stillwell

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?

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

Learn more about the faculty that teach on this pathway