Ph.D. in Strategic Management

Program information

The doctoral program in strategic management prepares students for success in research universities as faculty members specializing in strategic management. Research in strategic management concerns how firms and organizations gain competitive advantage over rival firms or organizations. The field emphasizes a blend of knowledge about economics, sociology and psychology to understand firm strategy and strategic decision-making.

Important sub-fields within the discipline include research on developing firm resources, competitive interactions, relational governance, strategic decision-making, innovation, entrepreneurship and organizational learning. The field is increasingly focusing on research issues within the context of globalization and international business.  


Application deadlines

  • Priority: December 15, 2023

  • Final: January 10, 2024



  • Research

    Doctoral students work closely with faculty to gain research expertise in the various functions and activities carried out as part of SM with a focus on developing firm resources, competitive interactions, relational governance, strategic decision-making, innovation, entrepreneurship, and organizational learning.


  • Teaching

    Part of our mission is to develop effective teachers. To that end, all doctoral students are required to teach at least two sections as independent instructors. The school and university prepare and reward doctoral students for excellence in teaching through various programs and awards.

Program details

Strategic Management Core Courses

A graduate course in economics: BE 701: Business Economics OR BE 917: Advanced Managerial Economics OR ECON 700: Survey of Microeconomics

Note: BE 917: Business Economics, is preferred. Students coming into the program directly from an undergraduate degree may consider substituting BE 701: Business Economics, or ECON 700: Survey of Microeconomics. In the event a student has taken a graduate economics course prior to enrolling as a KU doctoral student, she/he may waive the requirement and substitute either an elective doctoral content course or a statistics/research methods course for this requirement.

MGMT 905: Management Research Methods

MGMT 916: Major Management Theories

MGMT 956: Seminar in Strategic Management I

MGMT 957: Seminar in Strategic Management II

MGMT 950: Seminar in Human Resource Management I OR

     MGMT 951: Seminar in Human Resource Management II

MGMT 953: Seminar in Organizational Behavior I OR

     MGMT 954: Seminar in Organizational Behavior II

MGMT 998: Independent Study

MGMT 958: Special Topics in Strategic Management (offered and required when there are 3 or more students in years 1 & 2 of the program)

Statistics/Research Methods Courses

At least four courses with advisor approval


At least two or more courses with advisor approval

More information:

View a detailed list of courses in the Academic Catalog.

Area of concentration

Most students typically will select the specific area to which they are admitted (strategic management) as their concentration. However, an aspirant, with the assistance of his or her faculty advisor and the area faculty, may propose an interdisciplinary area of concentration that is a combination of the traditional business disciplines.

An aspirant may also propose an interdisciplinary area of concentration that includes emphases such as international business, law and economics. 

Research methodology

For successful qualifier assessment, the student’s program of study should include adequate preparation in research methodology.

Year 1

  • Coursework
  • Research

Year 2

  • Coursework
  • Research

Year 3

  • Comprehensive exams

Year 4

  • Dissertation proposal

Year 5

  • Dissertation defense

Some students can complete the program in four years.

Program faculty

Strategic management doctoral students


Contact Charly Edmonds, doctoral program director.