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The Organisational Behaviour Specialisation

What is organisational behaviour?

Organisational Behaviour (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behaviour within organisations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organisation’s effectiveness. Understanding these social processes from a micro-perspective is essential to improve how leaders, managers and individual employees contribute to the effectiveness of the organisation. OB at Cambridge Judge Business School is an applied science built on the contributions from behavioural sciences including (social/organisational) psychology, decision-making and judgements, behavioural economics and management. It is concerned with how people’s feelings, motivation and cognitions influence human behaviour in organisational and group settings. 

The OB specialisation of the MPhil in Strategy, Marketing & Operations forms part of the Organisational Behaviour PhD pathway.

 

Learn more about our supervising faculty’s research interests

Joon Kim We are living in the rapidly evolving world where creativity and innovation are the main momentums of such changes. My research tackles the questions of how organisations can facilitate the process of innovation and innovation diffusion.
Jochen Menges How do leaders shape the emotions, motivations and cognitions of their followers and achieve high performance?
Andreas Richter How do team context factors (e.g. diversity) and team processes affect employee creativity and innovation in both experimental and field settings?
Sunita Sah Advisor-advisee relationships, trust, conflicts-of-interest, disclosure and compliance.
David Stillwell A large part of our lives is mediated through digital devices which collect big data about us. How can we better understand customers, employees or managers from behavioural traces like their social media activity, emails, or purchase records?
Patrizia Vecchi How can we build strong interpersonal relationships with our colleagues and successfully navigate workplace social networks?

The modules

The default core and optional modules of the Organisational Behaviour specialisation of the MPhil in Strategy, Marketing & Operations include:

Econometrics I

This is the first in the sequence of Econometrics modules designed for Research MPhil students who intend to use econometric methods in their PhD research at Cambridge Judge Business School. It is taught in Michaelmas Term.

This introductory module develops your capability in using linear regression and associated statistical techniques to examine causal relationships from primarily cross-sectional, observational data. By the end of the module you are to specify, estimate, test, interpret, and critically evaluate single equation regression models, with applications in subject areas of management, finance, and business economics.

The module is followed in Lent Term by Econometrics II, training you in methods and applications of Micro-econometrics. A further module on Time Series Econometrics is offered as an elective in Easter Term.

Econometrics II

To carry out empirical research that has the potential to make an original contribution to knowledge in management, finance, business economics and similar fields, it is necessary to exploit the richness and structure of longitudinal as well as cross-sectional, individual-level data on the behaviour of individuals or firms. It is necessary to become competent in an array of micro-econometric techniques that help researchers to build into the design of their studies, a variety of complexities (in decision-making, for example) and also compensate for partial observability that is inherent in research data.

This module introduces you to research-level micro-econometric methods. It provides the background required to confidently choose techniques and methods suited to different types of data-sources and models. The focus is on how techniques relate to theory, on the insights that can be drawn from their application, and critical interpretation and appraisal of results.

You must have taken the Econometrics I course to take this course. A further module on Time Series Econometrics is offered as an elective in Easter Term.

Organisational Research Methods I & II (biennial content)

This course helps you understand a variety of predominantly quantitative research methods, as well as their embeddedness within various research designs. The course is divided into two independent content blocks, parts I and II, and is designed in such a way that part II can be attended without having attended part I previously. Upon completion you’ll have a good understanding of various research methods commonly used in management research, and will have applied this knowledge to your own research project.

Specifically, the course covers the following content areas, among others:

Part I

  • Research design
  • Experimental & quasi-experimental design
  • Survey design & analysis
  • Mediation & moderation

Part II

  • Multilevel design & analysis
  • Social network design & analysis
  • Big data research design & analysis
  • Meta-analysis

The course increases your understanding of organisational research methods and your sensitivity to the practical problems in conducting organisational research, and enables you to apply organisational research methods to your own research projects and interests.

one of the following two courses, depending on year:

Organisational Behaviour (2021/22)

This research seminar helps you understand a variety of cutting-edge themes and topics in organisational behaviour (OB). The overarching question we address is how these aspects relate to individual, group and organisational effectiveness. Specifically, the course covers the following content areas:

  • Making a theoretical contribution to OB
  • Personality and values
  • Emotion and moods
  • Motivation
  • Work groups and teams
  • Leadership
  • Organisational culture and climate
  • Developing a research focus

The objectives of this course are to familiarise you with classic and current articles that have shaped the field of organisational behaviour, and to prepare you to develop and conduct organisational behaviour research yourself.

Seminar in Strategy Content (2022/23)

Qualitative Research Methods

This course focuses on three elements of qualitative research methodology:

  • Research philosophy, in which you are introduced to some basic philosophical concepts and tools – particularly in the area of epistemology
  • Qualitative research methods, where we look at the principal types of qualitative data used in management research and the practical and epistemological issues associated with their collection, analysis and use
  • Research design, in which you will come to understand the links between theory, methodology and choice of research techniques; the principles and practice of research design and data access and collection using experiment, observation, interviews, surveys and archival and database retrieval; and issues of research validity, reliability, bias and ethics

Organisation Theory

This course focuses on the foundational theories, central debates and key texts that help us conceptualise organisational dynamics. It provides you with advanced reading, writing and interpretation skills relating to, for example, organisational identity, organisational control and theories of entrepreneurship. It is based around intensive seminar-based sessions in which key articles are closely read and discussed. Having completed the course, you will be equipped to interpret and problematise scholarly material relating to the organisation of innovation in a creative and critical manner.

Marketing Strategy

This course is a survey of three distinct yet related areas: marketing, innovation and emerging economies. Marketing is the study of the interaction between organisations and markets. Innovation is the study of the commercial exploitation by organisations of new ideas. Emerging economies, such as India and China, are the big economic phenomenon of the contemporary global scene and the theatre in which new opportunities for marketing and innovation are unfolding in real time. This course takes a strategic perspective on these topics, viewing them all from the perspective of the firm and its performance.

Information Systems, Innovation & Organisational Change

This course focuses on some key theories and central debates that help us conceptualise the relationship between information systems, innovation, and strategic change. The main texts will draw from information systems, sociology, sociology of technology, and organisation theory. The course examines three key themes:

  • The role of new information technologies in processes of innovation and strategic change within and between industries
  • The role of information systems in enabling innovative work practices and the organisational issues involved in implementing and using technological innovations
  • The relationship between information technology and processes of globalisation

one of the following two courses, depending on year:

Consumer Behaviour (2021/22)

This seminar-based module is an overview of issues related to consumer behaviour research in marketing. The module includes readings on marketing research as well as cognate home disciplines such as psychology and behavioural economics. Two major areas are covered:

  • The information processing perspective
  • The behavioural decision perspective

In each session you’re required to read, analyse and comment on selected papers surrounding the key themes of that session. At least half of every session will be devoted to student presentations and group discussion. Having completed the module, you’ll possess some basic knowledge that will help you appreciate and conduct consumer behaviour research. You’ll also be able to leverage your learning experience to develop an in-depth understanding of relevant topics for a research career at a business school.

Quantitative Marketing Models (2022/23)

This seminar-based module is an overview of quantitative modelling approaches to research on marketing problems. Three major areas are covered:

  • Empirical modelling (econometrics)
  • Analytical modelling (game theory/industrial organisation)
  • Experimental economics/behavioural game theory

In each session you’re required to read, analyse and comment on selected papers surrounding the key themes of that session. At least half of every session will be devoted to student presentations and group discussion. Having completed the module, you’ll possess some basic knowledge of quantitative modelling in marketing. You’ll also be able to leverage your course experience to develop an in-depth understanding of relevant topics for a research career at a business school.

Students who do not write an MPhil dissertation may, after consultation with the programme director, replace one of these modules with an individual research project (see below) or by another module from the list of research courses specified in the MPhil handbook.

Individual Research Project

This module is designed for you to conduct individual research under the supervision of SMO faculty members. Research projects can consist of a thorough literature review related to a specific research question, an in-depth critique of published papers, or a specific application of a research methodology (such as a pilot study on the basis of limited data). Our goal is to familiarise you with the faculty members’ current research and bring you closer to the frontier of knowledge. The module can prepare you for the individual research that you will undertake in PhD studies, and can indeed become the starting point of future PhD research.

You are expected to determine your coursework plan at the start of the academic year, upon consultation with the programme director and the Organisational Behaviour specialisation faculty. In particular, your coursework modules can deviate from the above lists and can be selected from other research courses offered by CJBS or other University of Cambridge departments, upon approval by the programme director.

Apply now

Admisssion deadline: 14 Jun 2021
However we recommend you apply before December if you wish to be considered for funding.

Cambridge Trusts funding deadlines:

  • 14 Oct for Gates US applicants
  • 3 Dec for applicants from all other countries

Apply

Fees & scholarships

Programme cost: £13,002 (Home/EU status) or £31,734 (Overseas status)

Visit the Postgraduate Admissions website to learn about course costs, your fee status and more.

There are a range of scholarships available to MPhil students at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Visit the MPhil Scholarships webpage

Cambridge MPhil in Strategy, Marketing & Operations alumnus Charles Ebert explains what drew him to the programme.

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