PhD Course Descriptions

MGMT900 - Economic Foundations of Management (Course Syllabus)

This course examines some of the central questions in management with economic approaches as a starting point, but with an eye to links to behavioral perspectives on these same questions. It is not a substitute for a traditional microeconomics course. Economics concerns itself with goal directed behavior of individuals interacting in a competitive context. We adopt that general orientation but recognize that goal directed action need not take the form of maximizing behavior and that competitive processes do not typically equilibrate instantaneously. The substantive focus is on the firm as a productive entity. Among the sorts of questions we explore are the following: What underlies a firms capabilities? How does individual knowledge aggregate to form collective capabilities? What do these perspectives on firms say about the scope of a firms activities, both horizontally (diversification) and vertically (buy-supply relationships)? We also explore what our understanding of firms says about market dynamics and industry evolution, particularly in the context of technological change. ,A central property of firms, as with any organization, is the interdependent nature of activity within them. Thus, understanding firms as "systems" is quite important Among the issues we explore in this regard are the following. Organizational "systems" have internal structure, in particular elements of hierarchy and modularity. Even putting aside the question of individual goals and objectives and how they may aggregate, the question of organizational goal is non-trivial. To say that a firms objective is to maximize profits is not terribly opera tional. How does such an overarching objective get decomposed to link to the actual operating activities of individual subunits, including individuals themselves. This issue of goals has links to some interesting recent work that links the valuation process of financial markets to firm behavior. Financial markets are not only a reflection of firm value, but may guide firms initiatives in systematic ways.

MGMT918 - Personnel Economics A (Course Syllabus)

This is a half-semester PhD course in the Management Department that is also open to any current PhD students at Wharton. The canonical model in economics views an agent as a fully rational, atomistic individual making optimal choices under scarcity. This approach has been very powerful theoretically and empirically to explain and to predict behavior in the workplace. This model has also been enriched to accommodate other phenomena arguably affecting behavior in the workplace like the social context (e.g. peer effects, altruism, or social comparison), non-standard time preferences, loss aversion, and cognitive costs. Incorporating these ideas into the standard model can be accomplished in various ways but the real stress test for these theories is whether they predict behavior more generally (i.e. we don't just use theory to explain one choice but choices more generally) and to generate empirical predictions that can be tested using experiments. In this mini-course we start-off with a tour de force of the fundamental principal-agent model and the various behavioral extensions. The core of the course is, however, not theoretical but a practical course on how to design field experiments to test these ideas.

MGMT919 - Personnel Economics B (Course Syllabus)

This is a half-semester PhD course in the Management Department that is also open to any current PhD students at Wharton. It is a continuation and builds on MGMT 918 - please see the course description for MGMT 918. As in MGMT 918 we expand on the canonical model in economics and introduce views from behavioral economics and introduce views from behavioral economics to derive novel theories with empirically testable implications on workplace behavior and individual performance in labor markets and health. In this mini-course the focus is on continuing our review of the literature but the primary aim is to work towards a project description and paper that can be developed into a PhD chapter or journal article.

MGMT920 - Seminar in Human Resources Research

This class is designed to give students an overview of the fundamental topics and arguments in the area of employment, how different social science paradigms consider employment topics, and some the new and emerging approaches to this topic.

MGMT925 - Seminar in Corporate Strategy (Course Syllabus)

This course explores current research on corporate strategy. Over the past two decades, research in the area of corporate strategy has evolved considerably. The fundamental focus of the field has been on sources of competitive advantage at the of the firm, and the process of building and maintaining competitive advantage. In this class, we explore current research articles that best represent the development of rent-generating resources at the level of the firm. Topics addressed include the concept of strategy, research on the evolution of firm capabilities, competitive interaction, top management teams and strategy formation, and changes in firm scope through acquisitions, divestitures and alliances.

MGMT926 - Corporate Transactions & Strategy

This course explores current research on firm boundaries and scope. Issues of firm boundaries and scope have received much attention in the strategic management field over the past twenty years. Theoretical frameworks explaining firm boundaries have been proposed, and empirical research on key success factors within particular boundary choices has flourished. Firm scope is one of the long-standing domains of research in strategic management that is still drawing substantial attention. While certain core perspectives have academic and empirical support, there is much debate and many new research questions to examine, particularly in a global context. In this class, we explore current research articles that best represent the research. Topics addressed include corporate diversification, choices between modes of market entry, key success factors in acquisitions and alliances, and impact of diversification on innovation.

MGMT932 - Proseminar in Management (Course Syllabus)

Innovation is currently a hot topic. The popular stereotype holds that firms that are not innovating, or that are not at least saying that they are innovating, are backward at best and at risk of extinction at worst. Behind the hype ismore than half a century of theory and research on organizational and managerial innovation, and the seminar will focus on this domain. A useful overview of the domain is available in Fariborz Damanpour "Organizational Innovation" in Oxford Rsearch Encyclopedia on Business and Management Oxford University Press 2018. ,We will examine a number of theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the phenomenon that have emerged during this period and identify key questions explored, principal contributions to the literature, and remaining questions and areas for future research. At the same time, we will embard on a journey in the sociology of knowledge, to encourange you to understand how the evolution of these approaches is linked to changes in the larger world. ,The seminar is also designed to allow you to pursue an angle on the subject matter that is of particular interest to you, and the deliverables are intended to allow you to investigate a topic that you wish to explore in some depth. Both will be discussed at the beginning of the course and will be fleshed out in subsequent discussions together.

Other Information: Topics for pro-seminars vary. Please contact the instructor as course content may vary.

MGMT933 - Psychological and Sociological Foundations of Research in Management (Course Syllabus)

This course, is required of all first-year doctoral students in Management and open to other Penn students with permission, provides an introduction to the psychological and sociological roots of management theory and research. The course is predicated on the belief that to be effective as a contemporary management scholar one needs a background in "the classics." Therefore, we will be reading classics from the fields of psychology and sociology in their original form during this semester.

MGMT935 - Network Theory and Applications

This course explores network models and their applications to organizational phenomena. By examining the structure of relations among actors, network approaches seek to explain variations in beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes. The beauty of network analysis is its underlying mathematical nature - network ideas and measures, in some cases, apply equally well at micro and macro levels of analysis. Therefore, we read and discuss articles both at the micro level (where the network actors are individuals within organizations) and at the macro level (where the network actors are organizations within larger communities) that utilize antecedents or consequences of network constructs such as small worlds, cohesion, structural equivalence, centrality, and autonomy. We begin by examining the classic problem of contagion of information and behaviors across networks, and follow by considering the various underlying models of network structure that might underlie contagion and other processes The next two sessions address a variety of mechanisms by which an actor's position in a network affects its behavior or performance. Then, the following two sessions address antecedents of network ties via the topics of network evolution and network activation. We close with a "grab bag" session of articles chosen to match class interests.

MGMT937 - Entrepreneurship Research Seminar (Course Syllabus)

The seminar seeks to expose students to theoretical and empirical perspectives on entrepreneurship research. We will focus on the main questions that define the field and attempt to critically examine how, using a range of methodologies, researchers have approached these questions. As we review the literature, we will seek to identify promising research areas, which may be of interest to you in the context of your dissertation research. In addition to addressing the content of the received literature, we will examine the process of crafting research papers and getting them published in top tier journals. Towards that end we will characterize the key elements of high impact papers and review the development process of such studies. Students are expected to come fully prepared to discuss and critique the readings that are assigned to each class meeting (see details below). Each student will serve as the discussion leader for one or more of the class sessions. Discussion leaders are expected to critically review several articles, identify new insights in the research that is being reviewed and evaluate its contribution to the literature, position the articles within the literature on the subject matter, raise discussion question, and act as the discussion moderator for the class session. ,Each discussion leader is asked to prepare a one or two page summary of the assigned papers which includes a statement of the main research question(s), the methodology, data set if any, summary of findings, a commentary with your thoughts on the reading, and proposed discussion questions. Prior to each class, the discussion leader will meet the instructor to help plan the class meeting. Towards the end of each class meeting, each student will be asked to articulate a research question that emerged from the session and describe the research design used to investigate the issue.

MGMT938 - Family Business Research Seminar (Course Syllabus)

Family firms differ in a number of ways from non-family firms. These differences may result in differential behavior by and performance of family firms versus non-family firms. Although family-controlled firms make up the vast majority of businesses around the world, academic research in this space is sparse. This seminar seeks to expose students to theoretical and empirical perspectives on family businesses. Throughout the course, we will focus on the ownership, control, and management issues that set family firms apart. We will focus on the main issues faced by family firms, and attempt to critically examine how, using a range of methodologies, researchers have approached these issues. As we review the literature, we will seek to identify promising research areas, which may be of interest to you in the context of your dissertation research. In addition to addressing the content of the received literature, we will examine the process of crafting research papers and getting them published in top tier journals. Towards that end, we will characterize the key elements of high-impact papers and review the development process of such studies. ,Students are expected to come fully prepared to discuss and critique the readings that are assigned to each class (see details below). Each class will center on discussing in depth 4-5 papers from the reading list assigned to that class. Before each class, I will let you know which papers to prepare. Each student will serve as the discussion leader for one of more of the class sessions. Discussion leaders are expected to critically review several articles, identify new insights in the research that is being reviewed and evaluate its contribution to the literature, position the articles within the literature on the subject matter, raise discussion questions, and act as the discussion moderator for the class session. Each discussion leader is asked to prepare a one or two page summary of the assigned papers which includes a statement of the main research question(s), the methodology, data set if any, summary of findings, a commentary with your thoughts on the reading, and proposed discussion questions. Prior to each class, the discussion leader will meet the instructor to help plan the class meeting. Towards the end of each class, each student will be asked to articulate a research question that emerged from the session and describe the research design used to investigate the issue.

MGMT939 - Seminar in Entrepreneural Innovation (Course Syllabus)

This quarter-length class explores topics in entrepreneurial innovation. While innovation management from the perspective of the industry incumbent is a relatively more established literature, our collective knowledge of entrepreneurial innovation is still emerging. This Ph.D. class draws primarily on the smaller literature focused on entrepreneurial innovation while placing the discussion within the context of the larger literature on incumbent innovation management.

MGMT951 - Seminar in Micro-Organizational Behavior (Course Syllabus)

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand theory and empirical research in the field of micro-organizational behavior. We will study a blend of classic and contemporary literature and examine theoretical propositions of individual and group behavior in organizations as well as discussing and critically evaluating empirical studies based on these theories. Sample topics include the What is Micro-OB?, the person versus situation debate, motivation, job design, group dynamics, leadership and organizational culture and socialization. MGMT 951 is a companion class to MGMT 961, and you can take it in either order.

MGMT952 - Seminar in Macro-Organizational Behavior (Course Syllabus)

Organizations are ubiquitous, and so is organization. This half-semester course explores organization theory (OT) from the 1960s through the end of the 20th century. We will examine the proliferation of organizational theories during this time period (such as contingency theory, resource dependence theory, ecological theory, and institutional theory) and understand how each theory attempts to relate structure and action over varying levels of analysis. We will determine one or two additional schools to add once we discuss your exposure in other management classes to other potential topics such as behavioral decision theory, sense-making and cognition, organizational economics, corporate governance, social networks, and the like.

MGMT953 - Seminar on Research Methods (Course Syllabus)

This is an introductory doctoral seminar on research methods in management. We examine basic issues involved in conducting empirical research for publication in scholarly management journals. We start by discussing the framing of research questions, theory development, the initial choices involved in research design, and basic concerns in empirical testing. We then consider these issues in the context of different modes of empirical research (including experimental, survey, qualitative, archival, and simulation). We discuss readings that address the underlying fundamentals of these modes as well studies that illustrate how management scholars have used them in their work, separately and in combination.

MGMT955 - Seminar in International Management (Course Syllabus)

The goal of the course is to provide you with a foundation in some of the major research areas that underpin the study of Multinational Management. International Business (and the study of MNCs) is an interdisciplinary field. As such, our survey of the seminal articles in the field will span a number of different theoretical and empirical approaches (i.e., economic, managerial, organizational and institutional). Much of our seminar discussions will focus on identifying and developing interesting research questions raised by this interdisciplinary literature, which offers many opportunities for systematic empirical study.

MGMT957 - Emotions in Organizations (Course Syllabus)

This is a one quarter class where we examine and understand basics in emotions theory and its application in organizational behavior. To do so, we will cover a blend of basic psychological theories and organizational behavior literature so that we can appreciate the prevailing theories and findings in various areas of emotions and organizations, and gain a deep understanding of the psychological basis necessary to fully understand organizational behavior research. Specifically, we will examine how affect (consisting of emotions, moods, and affective traits) influences perceptions, cognitions and behavior within organizations. We will critically examine the existing knowledge of emotions in organizational life and identify possible future venues of research. We will begin by examining the nature of emotions in general and then focus on the organizational context, examining specific types of emotions and content areas that have been investigated within organizational behavior research.

MGMT960 - Institutions and Multinational Management

This course builds on the foundational material presented in MGMT 955 with a deeper focus on current research examining institutional influences on multinational management. These include regulative supports (e.g., laws, regulations, contracts and their enforcement through litigation, arbitration of incentive compatible self-regulation) but also normative (e.g., socially shared expectations of appropriate behavior, and social exchange processes) and cognitive (e.g., creating shared identity to bridge differences in values, beliefs and framing) elements of the institutional environment. We will examine not only strategic responses in the market environment but also influence strategies of multinational and domestic firms that seek to alter the institutional environment in which they operate. We will draw not only upon the international business literature but also related literatures including political economy, law, finance, communications, institutional theory, strategic corporate social responsibility, tourist management, construction management, management of extractive industries, negotiations, social movements and network theory (really!).

MGMT961 - Advanced Topics in Micro-organizational Behavior

The purpose of this quarter course is to continue to explore key concepts and research programs in the field of micro-organizational behavior that we began to study in MGMT 951. To do so, we will cover a blend of classic and contemporary literature so that we can appreciate the prevailing theories and findings in various areas of micro-organizational behavior. In addition, for each topic we will then try to go beyond the existing literature. We will work to increase our understanding by re-framing the research variables, altering the perspective, bringing in new theory, and comparing levels of analysis. Building on the topics we examined in MGMT 951, we will explore further organizational behavior topics including identity, fit, extra role behaviors, job design, creativity, status, power and influence.

MGMT962 - Multinational Firms Global Economy A (Course Syllabus)

This is a graduate course focusing on the empirical aspects of multinational firms and international trade. We will focus on a variety of issues that are related to the multinational firm, beginning with trends in multinational activity,then moving to both horizontal and vertical theories of the multinational firm. In the first half of the course (MGMT962) the topics will include patterns in the expansion of multinational firms, horizontal and vertical multinationals;the linkages between openness to trade and investment and growth; trade orientation and firm performance, and labor markets and multinational firms. We complete the first half of the course reviewing the evidence on offshoring and multinationals and the implications for the US labor market, as well as new evidence on corporate social responsibility and the multinational firm.

MGMT963 - Multinational Firms Global Economy B (Course Syllabus)

This is continuation of Multinational Firms in Global Economies (A). It is a graduate course focusing on the empirical aspects of multinational firms and international trade. We will focus on a variety of issues that are related to the multinational firm, beginning with trends in multinational activity then moving to both horizontal and vertical theories of the multinational firm. In the first half of the course (MGMT962) the topics will include patterns in the expansion of multinational firms, horizontal and vertical multinationals; the linkages between openness to trade and investment and growth; trade orientation and firm performance, and labor markets and multinational firms. We complete the first half of the course reviewing the evidence on offshoring and multinationals and the implications for the US labor market, as well as new evidence on corporate social responsibility and the multinational firm.

MGMT970 - Applied Methods for Management Research (Course Syllabus)

Students taking the course will be introduced to the seminal readings on a given method, have a hands-on discussion regarding their application often using a paper and dataset of the faculty member leading the discussion. The goal of the course is to make participants more informed users and reviewers of a wide variety of methodological approaches to Management research including Ordinary Least Squares, Discrete Choice, Count Models, Panel Data, Dealing with Endogeneity, Survival/failure/event history and event studies, experiments, factor analysis and structural equation modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, networks, comparative qualitative methods, coding of non-quantitative data, unstructured text and big data simulations.