PhD Course Descriptions

MGMT900 - SEM STRAT MGMT (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. 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, particularly for organizations comprised of individuals with possibly divergent interests and distinct sub-goals. Further, we treat competitive processes as playing out over meaningful periods of calendar time and, in general, not equilibrating instantaneously. 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, a perspective which has important implications for understanding processes of organizational adaptation. Among the sorts of questions we explore are the following: What underlies a firm's capabilities? How does individual knowledge aggregate to form collective capabilities? What do these perspectives on firms say about the scope of a firm's activities, both horizontally (diversification) and vertically (buy-supply relationships)? As a "foundations" course, readings will cover key conceptual foundations, but also provide an arc to current work --- an "arc" that will be developed more fully in our in-class discussions.

MGMT918 - PERSONNEL ECONOMICS A

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

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 - SEM IN HUM RES RESEARCH

The class is organized around understanding labor and work. For management students trained in social science disciplines, there is a considerable gap between what we can learn about the workplace from economics, which relies on markets and incentives for its explanations, and psychology, which relies on dispositional attributes and social interactions. Managing people is arguably the biggest topic in the social sciences each with its own subgroups: labor economists in economics, I/O and personnel psychologists in psychology and organizational behavior researches use the work place as their central research context, work and occupations and career students in sociology. For the most part, these fields talk past each other and are largely unaware of what the others are doing. We try to bridge that gap a bit in this class, although by no means do we attempt to span the range of topics represented across these quite different fields. In most contexts, the employer has considerable discretion as to the arrangements that are chosen for influencing the behavior of workers and, in turn, their outcomes and subsequent attitudes. The management practices they choose are our main focus. They drive many of the most important outcomes in society - who gets access to the most important and powerful jobs, how much income will people have and how it is distributed, whether and to what extent we have control over our lives at work, and so forth. Most of the attention still goes to employment, but it is not the only arrangement for doing work, though. We consider others, especially various forms of contracting and the gig work organized around electronic platforms. To the extent that there is a common conceptual orientation across the class, it is analysis at the organization-level, typically used for independent variables although often for outcomes and dependent variables as well, and power as a mechanism. Many of the most important and exciting topics in public discourse are in our focus, from remote work to gig work to the influence of artificial intelligence. The range of new issues to explore is enormous. A caveat: the phrase "human resources" is a contemporary business term that began as a description of the set of management practices coming out of the "great corporations" and the lifetime employment model for managing non-union employees. Many of these are within the domain of I/O and personnel psychology, such as employee selection tests, succession planning exercises, and so forth. The use of these practices has declined dramatically and are now only one approach to addressing the practical problems that lie behind them. We describe these systems, but the class is not about them. This is not a class that will teach you personnel practices.

MGMT925 - SEM CORP STRATEGY

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 - SEM STRAT & ORG DES

This half-semester course examines one of the foundational questions in strategy: the role of organizational structure in both supporting and shaping strategy. As Winston Churchill famously said: "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us." This course examines this proposition from two traditions, the "institutional economics" and "information processing" schools of organizational design. We will examine foundational works from both schools, such as Coase, Williamson, Simon, March, and others, and then proceed to recent work in the area. Some of the questions that we will explore in the class are: why do firms exist? What determines their boundaries? What determines formal and informal structures within firms? How does the strategic context shape the answers to these questions? How might the nature of the firm and its boundaries relate to innovation, human capital, and knowledge creation? The aim of this class is to provide students with a grounding in the fundamental questions and contributions in this area, and to spark ideas for research in their own graduate work.

MGMT927 - TECH & INNOV STRATEGY (Course Syllabus)

This quarter-length doctoral seminar deals with major streams of management research in technology strategy and innovation. We will focus on both classical topics such as incumbents' management of technological change and industry evolution, and new emergent topics such as ecosystems and platforms. The emphasis will be on understanding the link between technologies and firms in terms of both strategy choices and performance outcomes.

MGMT932 - PROSEM IN MGMT (Course Syllabus)

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the methodological approaches we commonly think of as qualitative, with special emphasis on ethnography, semi- structured interviews, case studies, content analysis, and mixed-methods research. The course will cover the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative (i.e. non-numerical) data. In the spring quarter, the course will operate on two interrelated dimensions, one focused on the theoretical approaches to various types of qualitative research, the other focused on the practical techniques of data collection, such as identifying key informants, selecting respondents, collecting field notes and conducting interviews. In the fall semester, the course will operate on two interrelated dimensions, one focused on the theoretical approaches on building arguments and theory from qualitative data, the other focused on the practical techniques of data collection, such as analyzing data, writing, and presenting findings. Note: This class is part of a two-part sequence which focuses on qualitative data collection and analysis. The first of this course, offered in the Spring, focuses on data collection and the second half of the course, offered the following Fall, will focus on qualitative data analysis. Each course is seven weeks long. Students may take either class independently or consecutively.

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

MGMT933 - PSYCH & SOC. FOUND (Course Syllabus)

This seminar-based course, with active discussion and analysis, is required of all first-year doctoral students in Management and open to other Penn students with instructor permission. The purpose of this course is to examine and understand basics in the theory and empirical research in the field of micro and macro organizational behavior and to build an understanding of people's behavior in organizations and across organizations. The course covers a blend of classic and contemporary literature so that we can appreciate the prevailing theories and findings in various areas of macro and micro-organizational behavior. Half the course covers micro-organizational behavior, focused on topics such as influence/status, virtual teams, job design, organizational culture and socialization, identity in organizations and overall look on where the field of micro-organizational behavior is going. Half the course covers macro-organizational behavior, covering the topics of organizational ecology, institutional theory, organizational status and reputation, impression management, social networks and social movements.

MGMT935 - NETWRK THEORY & APPLICAT

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 - ENTREP 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 - SEMINAR IN SOCIAL ENTREP (Course Syllabus)

This half-semester course examines how social enterprise organizations emerge, attract resources, and affect society. The course will bridge micro and macro theoretical perspectives to provide insight into the unique challenges faced by social enterprises, while also showing how the study of such organizations can help to advance mainstream entrepreneurship research. Individual sessions will focus on defining social entrepreneurship, the tensions and tradeoffs that emerge in organizations that pursue social and financial goals, impact investing and other sources of finance, and the role of incubators/accelerators in supporting the development of these organizations. This is a seminar-based course with active discussion and analysis.

MGMT939 - ENT INNOV RESEARCH (Course Syllabus)

This quarter-length course explores key topics at the intersection of entrepreneurship and innovation. While the course primarily draws from established theory and empirics from management and economics, it will also include discussions of emerging phenomena in this rapidly evolving field. We will begin by reviewing the basic properties of ideas that uniquely shape the sources and dynamics of entrepreneurship and innovation. Subsequently, we will explore innovation-related challenges and opportunities for startups. Special focus will be placed on research application in which students design and present their own research proposal broadly in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation. Students are highly encouraged to take this course in sequence with MGMT 937.

MGMT951 - OB: THEORIES AND METHODS

The purpose of this half-semester course is to examine and understand theory and empirical research in the field of micro-organizational behavior and to build an understanding of people's behavior in organizations. The course covers a blend of classic and contemporary literature to appreciate the prevailing theories and findings in various areas of micro-organizational behavior. We will cover topics such as identity, diversity/inclusion, work design/proactivity, extra-role behaviors, behavioral ethics/organizational justice, and an overall look at where the field of micro-organizational behavior is heading. This is a seminar-based course with active discussion and analysis.

MGMT952 - SEM MACRO ORG BEHAV

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 - SEM RESEARCH DESIGN (Course Syllabus)

This is an introductory doctoral seminar on research methods in management. The course is designed to help you define your research interests, to strengthen your grasp of research design choices and standards, and to move you further along on the path to becoming a skilled, accomplished, engaged, and independent research scholar. We will read about, discuss, and in some cases practice: framing of research questions, writing for publication, defining and meeting research standards, and conducting experimental, archival, survey-based, and qualitative research suitable for publication in top-tier management journals.

MGMT955 - FOUNDATIONS MULT MGMT. (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 ORGANIZ.

This is a half semester course 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 - NON-MARKET STRATEGY (Course Syllabus)

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, sociology, law, finance, communications, institutional theory, strategic corporate social responsibility, social movements, network theory and the management of extractive industries.

MGMT961 - SPECIAL TOPICS IN OB

This is a complement course to MGMT 951, and it has the same purpose to examineand understand basics in the theory and empirical research in the field of micro-organizational behavior and to increase our understanding of people's behavior in organizations. 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. The purpose of this course is not meant to be exhaustive, rather it covers approximately half of the organizational behavior literature. For a more complete understanding of the basics of organizational behavior it is mandatory for organizational behavior students to have taken MGMT 951 which covers the remaining topics in basic organizational behavior. However, it is not mandatory to have taken MGMT 951 before MGMT 961 as they cover different sets of topics.

MGMT962 - MULT FIRMS GLOB ECON (A) (Course Syllabus)

This is a graduate course focusing on the empirical aspects of multinational firms and international trade. The goal of the course is to familiarize graduate students with empirical work on multinational firms in the global economy, by reviewing the recent as well as older literature on this topic. Econometrics and statistical techniques for doing empirical work in international trade will also be discussed. 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. Topics over the course of the semester 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; technology transfer and spillovers; innovation and productivity; immigration; labor markets and multinational firms; and global value chains. This course has a mandatory attendance policy.

MGMT963 - MULT FIRMS GLOB ECON (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. The goal of the course is to familiarize graduate students with empirical work on multinational firms in the global economy, by reviewing the recent as well as older literature on this topic. Econometrics and statistical techniques for doing empirical work in international trade will also be discussed. 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. Topics over the course of the semester 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; technology transfer and spillovers; innovation and productivity; immigration; labor markets and multinational firms; and global value chains. This course has a mandatory attendance policy.

MGMT970 - RESEARCH METHODS IN MGMT

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.