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Programme Goals and Main Features


The Ph.D. in Business (Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources) aims to equip doctoral students with the knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct highly-rigorous research in OBHR. The programme is designed to prepare students for an academic career in OBHR in major research universities worldwide. We aim to provide students with the ability to publish in the top OBHR journals of our field such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, and Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, to successfully present their research findings at academic conferences worldwide, and to successfully teach university-level OBHR classes.

The programme includes:

  • Intellectually-stimulating curriculum emphasizing psychological foundations of organisational behaviour and human resources, statistics, and research methods
  • Training in research from the very beginning of the program, including research design, data collection, manuscript writing, and navigating the journal review process
  • Preparation for and experience in teaching OBHR at the university level

Our Ph.D. programme is intentionally small, with an average expected intake of about three to four students per year. This allows us to select very high-potential students, and enables each student to have very close working and mentoring relationships with OBHR faculty members.

Each student will be involved in multiple research projects with multiple faculty members beginning with the first term of study. Through these assignments, students will have ample opportunity to learn the craft of research through hands-on work (research design, data collection, data analysis, manuscript preparation, conference presentation, manuscript publication) in addition to the required Ph.D. coursework.

I can't think of a more satisfying aspect of my job than working with PhD students and seeing how they mature into top-notch researchers. Our PhD programme is designed to make this happen. By the time you graduate from this programme, you should be able to head your own research programs that you will work on in collaboration with other researchers around the world and the results of which you will publish in our field's top journals. This will make you a valuable colleague at any research university.

- Jochen Reb, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources


" I chose the SMU doctoral programme because of the overlap in my research interests with those of the faculty. I am happy and proud to say that it is by far the best career decision I have made. The faculty are world-class, very accessible, and willing to help. The training at SMU truly prepares a person to enter academia. The research culture in the department is strong. In addition to the rigorous training, they also do an excellent job of socialising us with scholars worldwide through visiting scholars programme and Lim Kim San Fellowship for PhD students programme. It's a great doctoral programme." 

- Serena LU Changhong, PhD in Business (OBHR) candidate, AY2012

" I am really happy to be in the SMU OBHR PhD programme. The faculty treats me like a family and is sincere in training me to be a great scholar. The attention the faculty give to its PhD students is unparalleled. For example, my adviser gives me many opportunities to work with him on projects, spends quality time mentoring and training me each week, and encourages me to come up with original research ideas. Having the opportunity to work on research right from the start of the programme has certainly made being in this programme an interesting and satisfying experience." 

- Yang Ting ANG, PhD in Business (OBHR) candidate, AY2012

Last updated on 18 Oct 2016 .