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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. The acquisition of advanced knowledge in areas of specialization
  2. The development of advanced theoretical or practical research skills for the areas of specialization
  3. Explicit attention to the role of specialization areas in managerial and organizational contexts
  4. Preparation for teaching responsibilities in higher education
  5. Dissertation or equivalent demonstrating personal integration of, and original contribution to a field of knowledge

1. The acquisition of advanced knowledge in areas of specialization

Marketing


Students take yearly doctoral seminars on advanced topics in the field. We also have a workshop series where students and faculty present there work for discussion and outside speakers are brought in. Students also work very closely with faculty on their own research as well as on the research of faculty members as they serve as research assistants.

Students are also required to do a second year paper to prepare them with the skills necessary to complete their dissertations. These a committee is developed to supervise the students during this process and to evaluate the final product. After completing their coursework, students are tested for mastery of the material in a comprehensive exam.

Accounting


We achieve this goal through our doctoral seminar and our research workshop. We offer our doctoral seminar (3 credits) once a year. We rotate the seminar topics over a two-year window to expose all students to the research topics over their first two years in the program. We also require the students to attend a semi-monthly research workshop in which guest speakers present current research papers. At the end of their seminar series, we administer comprehensive exam that tests the major areas of accounting research.

Finance and Managerial Economics


The Finance doctoral students are required to take four core finance courses and four doctoral seminars in addition to six foundation courses offered by the Department of Economics. We typically offer one finance doctoral seminar per semester. All four doctoral seminars are taught by faculty members who have published extensively in top-tier journals.

The PhD Program in Managerial Economics is offered as a joint program of the Department of Finance and Managerial Economics and the Department of Economics. The students are required to take the eight common core courses offered by the Department of Economics. If the student chooses to follow the degree program in the School of Management, the student must take four advanced seminars in areas related to economic policy

Management Science and Systems


Our department has four areas of specialization:

  1. Management Science
  2. Supply Chains and Operations Management
  3. Management Information Systems
  4. Strategy

Our curriculum imparts state-of-the-art knowledge in all four areas. During the last two years, there have been major upgrades in two areas. The information systems curriculum has been upgraded to offer the latest concepts in e-business, web-based technologies, and e-commerce strategies. Likewise, the Manufacturing and Operations Management curriculum was upgraded to "Supply Chains and Operations Management" during the last year.

The department also offers seminar courses exclusively for PhD students to keep them abreast of emerging concepts in all four areas.

PhD students are also encouraged to read research journals regularly, and they are also tested on advanced knowledge acquired, in the 2nd year comprehensive examination.

Organization and Human Resources


This is goal is achieved through a 3-credit doctoral Proseminar (MGB702) offered once each year. The course is offered over a two-year cycle, so that over the course of two years (6 credits) the major research topics within the field of Organizational Behavior are covered. The course is team-taught by four OB research faculty members in the OHR department.

All students are required to pass a 48-hour comprehensive exam, typically offered at the end of their second year, to demonstrate knowledge of and competency with the Organizational Behavior literature. The exam covers not only the assigned readings from the Pro seminar, but also a large sample of recent articles in top-tier Organizational Behavior journals.

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2. The development of advanced theoretical or practical research skills for the areas of specialization

Marketing


Students take advanced courses in statistics, econometrics, and marketing research to develop technical skills.

Students take courses and work individually with faculty members to develop skills in substantive theoretical research issues in the field of Marketing.

Faculty have a close working relationship with a major retail grocery chain. We have developed a large database of loyalty card data. Students are trained by faculty on how to analyze this type of data to develop practical as well as theoretical research skills.

Accounting


We require each student to serve as a research assistant for one or more researching faculty. We gear these assignments toward collaborative research projects. Before we allow a student to sit for the comprehensive exam, we require the student to complete a research project, under the direction of a faculty member. We require the student to present the project in a research seminar. The project must then be approved before the student advances to comprehensive exams.

Finance and Managerial Economics


Students are required to take the following courses that help acquire up-to-date knowledge and develop research skills: MGF 742 Information and Capital Markets and MGF 743 Research Methodology

All students must begin a research paper no later than one year after entering the PhD Program. The paper is to be evaluated by a committee no later than two and one-half years after the student enters the PhD Program. The committee shall consist of two full-time faculty members selected by the student in consultation with the PhD advisor. At least one committee member must be a member of the graduate faculty. Failure to produce a satisfactory paper as determined by the committee will constitute unsatisfactory performance and will necessitate a review of the student by the PhD Program Committee. The student must produce a satisfactory paper before the major qualifying exam is taken. Students are also required to present this paper at a departmental seminar.

Students are encouraged to develop their knowledge in specialized topics through independent study and supervised research with the finance faculty. Such efforts may be undertaken with the objective of publishing a paper

Management Science and Systems


In addition to acquiring conceptual knowledge in their areas of specialization, our PhD students are also required to learn the latest research tools and techniques.

The PhD curriculum has a strong component of courses on research methods as part of required course work. Depending on their interests, students are guided to acquire a strong portfolio of research tools and techniques. They are also encouraged to undertake research courses offered by other departments such as social sciences and industrial engineering. These include, in particular, courses imparting advanced empirical research methods, case analysis, qualitative research methods, operations research techniques, etc.

Being a department with four different areas, our students end up being exposed to a diverse range of research tools and techniques, and research paradigms. We feel that this is a major strength of our PhD curriculum.

Our students leave the program with a significant number of publications. Having a close interaction with our faculty, they are also well exposed to the rigors of publishing in high-quality journals, and ability to navigate through the thickets of the review process of high-quality journals.

We also have a Wednesday noon seminar during which PhD students get to present research work done in collaboration with faculty members. This also includes presentations on new research methods and tools.

Outside experts are also invited periodically to expose them to the latest research tools and techniques (e.g., the visit of Dr. Chin last summer to offer a 2-day seminar on partial least squares (PLS) methodology).

Organization and Human Resources


This goal is achieved through several activities:

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3. Explicit attention to the role of specialization areas in managerial and organizational contexts

Marketing


Students are all required to take doctoral coursework in other functional areas besides their major in order to get exposure to the big picture.

Many students in the program come with an MBA degree and have already been exposed to a broad managerial education. The doctoral program allows them to specialize in one particular area while still exposing students to the other functional areas.

Accounting


The specialization areas in managerial and organizational context may be seen in the doctoral dissertation topics of our students. In a recently completed dissertation (2002), one dissertation investigates the ability of auditors to effectively and cost-efficiently search for fraud in their audit clients. Recent authoritative pronouncements have been issued directly on the issue that the dissertation addresses. As another example of specialization, the dissertation of a current student investigates whether analysts forecasts improve when strong corporate governance exists to oversee the financial reporting process. This issue is very topical, considering the lack of corporate oversight in organizations such as Enron and WorldCom. These two dissertations typify the type grounding in managerial and organizational contexts of our students.

Finance and Managerial Economics


Our PhD elective and required courses include the discussion of the role of finance specialization areas in managerial and organizational contexts. For instance, these courses (1) introduces the scope and objectives of corporate financial management along with the concept of the risk-return trade-off; (2) introduces the concept of the market for corporate control as a means of management discipline; (3) explores the use of financial information to evaluate and improve operations and financial planning given the corporation's strategy; (4) develops an understanding of how financial management decisions help create shareholder value; and (5) analyzes the basic management problems in the loan, investment, and deposit administration functions of financial institutions

Management Science and Systems


The importance of relevance, and being grounded in managerial and organizational contexts, are also stressed in the PhD curriculum.

This may be seen in the doctoral dissertation topics selected by our PhD students in recent years. Of the two most recent dissertations in the supply chain area, for instance, one thesis was devoted to an empirical investigation of strategic sourcing and e-procurement practices on supply chain performance. This thesis was sponsored by National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) in USA and a similar organization (NEVI) in the Netherlands. The other dissertation investigated the impact of information sharing methods on supply chain performance. Though more theoretical, predicated on a queuing theory-simulation approach, it was also driven by empirical findings in its problem formulation and experimental design.

Likewise, recent theses in the information systems area have addressed the issues of trust in the e-commerce era, user satisfaction in B2B market places, etc. and a review of these dissertations again will reveal a strong and relevant grounding in managerial contexts.

The institutions in which our PhD students were placed last year include SUNY, Binghamton, Michigan State University, University of Kansas, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and University of Rhode Island.

Organization and Human Resources


The importance of relevance, and being grounded in managerial and organizational contexts, are also stressed in the PhD curriculum.

This may be seen in the doctoral dissertation topics selected by our PhD students in recent years. Of the two most recent dissertations in the Organizational Behavior area, for instance, one thesis was devoted to understanding how company leaders communicate their vision to employees. The second thesis focused on effective and ineffective merger and acquisition strategies and tactics. A multi-state grocery chain and a large Health Maintenance Organization supported these theses by hosting company-wide surveys. In both cases, the companies supported the theses in large part because of their interest in improving their own leadership and merger and acquisition practices, and the doctoral students worked closely with management to provide information and insight about the issues. These PhD students were placed at Claremont Graduate University, and California State University at San Marcos.

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4. Preparation for teaching responsibilities in higher education

Marketing


Students all teach a minimum of one class. They all go though a mentoring program before teaching.

Accounting


In compliance with the School of Management policy, all PhD students teach at least one course independently before graduating. Students also serve as a teaching assistant under the guidance of a faculty member prior to their independent course.

Finance and Managerial Economics


We follow the procedures detailed in our PhD Handbook.

Management Science and Systems


There has been a renewed emphasis on nurturing teaching skills for PhD students.

We have introduced a mentorship system wherein PhD students are assigned to faculty members who are strong on the teaching dimension. We ensure that PhD students get ample opportunity to acquire and refine their pedagogical skills before they finish the program.

PhD student also are required to present their research work at the Wednesday noon seminar where constructive criticism of not only their research effort, but also their delivery style is offered. Students are also actively encouraged to attend professional conferences and present their work.

In the case of international PhD students, they are first required to complete the English SPEAK test requirements before being assigned to teach courses. Particular care is taken to ensure they become well familiar with the teaching practices of a North American universities.

Organization and Human Resources


In compliance with School of Management policy, all PhD students teach at least one course before graduating. In practice, our two most recent graduates and our current “post-comp” student have taught at least two undergraduate Organizational Behavior classes each.

The OHR department has fully adopted the School of Management’s teaching mentoring program.

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5. Dissertation or equivalent demonstrating personal integration of, and original contribution to a field of knowledge

Marketing


All students complete a dissertation under the direction of at least 3 Marketing faculty. Additionally an outside reader is required from another University to insure that the dissertation makes a significant contribution to the field.

Accounting


All students must complete a dissertation to meet the graduation requirements. At least two members of the Accounting faculty serve on the dissertation committee. As a verification of the contribution of the dissertation, we require an outside reader to approve the dissertation. Further, the dissertation must be orally defended.

Finance and Managerial Economics


We follow the procedures detailed in our PhD Handbook.

Management Science and Systems


Throughout the PhD program, gaining taxonomical understanding of related research problems in the area of specialization is emphasized, in addition to making original contributions to various bodies of knowledge.

We have a second-year paper requirement, which involves writing a research paper of publishable quality. This is a major hurdle to be crossed, along with the comprehensive examination. This trains the students to obtain a clear, classified understanding of the field, performing rigorous literature review, before making additional, sizable contribution to the body of knowledge.

Our PhD students publish actively in collaboration with our productive faculty members, and they imbibe the necessary skills relating to performing thorough literature review, developing good writing styles, avoiding duplication of past research work inadvertently, giving due credit to past contributions of other researchers, following ethical practices while collaborating with other researchers, in addition to performing creative, and innovative research.

Organization and Human Resources


All students write a second-year research paper. This allows them to apply their knowledge of OB content and research design, and demonstrate that they are capable of conducting publication-quality research.

All students are required to complete a dissertation prior to graduation. At least two members of the OHR faculty serve on the dissertation committee. As a verification of the contribution of the dissertation, we require an outside reader to approve the dissertation. The dissertation must also be orally defended.

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