Organizational Behavior

» Download program brochure (pdf)


Organizational behavior is the study of individuals and groups in organizations, as well as the study of organizations’ role in shaping economic and social life of societies. It encompasses topics such as leadership, teams, power and influence, negotiation, organizational identity, innovation, corporate governance, institutional change, and organizational design, among others. Organizational Behavior is an interdisciplinary topic area, drawing from a variety of academic disciplines. Indeed, the organizational behavior faculty often hold joint appointments and/or have affiliations with departments across campus, including Psychology, Sociology, and Labor and Employment Relations. Faculty members are committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service.

The wide-ranging interests of the faculty coupled with flexible core requirements, provide graduate students with a stimulating environment in which to grow and develop intellectually. We particularly emphasize close faculty-student interaction, and most of our graduates have gained valuable research experience through working and publishing with the faculty. Intellectual freedom and research excellence are hallmarks of the program.

Coursework and Research

The curriculum has been designed to provide students with enough flexibility to discover an intellectual niche while insuring that all students acquire:

  • general expertise in the history and current trends of organizational science including both micro (organizational behavior) (OB) and macro (organizational theory) (OT) research
  • in-depth expertise in a selected area of organizational research
  • a working knowledge of at least one related field of study
  • competence in quantitative and qualitative research methods

Three “core” seminars on micro- and macro-organizational studies and philosophy of science provide a foundation for research. Students can take advanced topic seminars and independent studies to focus on more specific topics. Students also take courses in a “minor” area. Typical minors of our students include anthropology, strategic management, industrial relations, philosophy of science, psychology, and sociology. Minors are selected with input from the student’s main advisor. Finally, students gain competence in research design and analysis through courses in statistics and research methodology.

Examples of recent dissertation topics include:

  • Banking on Meaningful Work: How Organizations and Recipients Shape the Meaning of Helping Others through Work
  • Global Securities Analysts’ Evaluations of Family Firms in Emerging Markets: The Sociological Perspective on the Operations of Financial Markets
  • The Influence of Competition and Business Strategy on Organizations’ Use of High-Performance Work Systems


For a complete list of OB & OT faculty members please visit our faculty directory.

Current Students

For a complete list of current students in OB & OT please visit our PhD student directory.