Skip to main content

Management and Human Resources

About the Program

The Wisconsin PhD in management and human resources develops scholars in the domain of management.

The program prepares individuals for careers in research and teaching at leading research universities. Our students achieve placements as assistant professors at top research universities.

Core Areas of Research

Student research is supported by faculty in five core areas:

Organizational behavior

Human resources

Organization theory

Entrepreneurship

Strategy

Academic Requirements

The admissions process is highly competitive. All students must meet the general PhD requirements of both the UW–Madison Graduate School and the Wisconsin School of Business.

Ideal candidates for our program possess a strong academic background at the undergraduate or graduate level and come from a variety of educational backgrounds. A degree in business is not a prerequisite for doctoral-level study, although such a background may be helpful.

Program Coursework

New students in our PhD program start by taking two years of coursework (a course is typically three credits, and a total of thirty-two credits is required). Courses are selected in consultation with the PhD coordinator and your advisor.

A substantial share of coursework may be undertaken outside of the business school. Students take a diverse array of seminars in the economics, sociology, psychology, statistics, and computer science departments, depending on their specific research interests. These may be theory or methods courses. Required coursework in research methods and statistics includes a minimum of 18 credits.

During the period of coursework, students will work closely with faculty on research projects. These interactions often lead to research collaborations in which the student becomes a co-author on published research.

Seminars

The Management and Human Resources Department offers a slate of foundational PhD seminars across the group’s core areas of research: strategy, human resource management, organizational behavior, organization theory, and entrepreneurship. The department also offers two research methods seminars. These seminar offerings vary from year to year, although most are offered every second year.

Doctoral students are expected to take all PhD seminars offered by the department. From these courses you will declare primary and secondary concentrations (e.g., strategy is primary and human resources is secondary).

Preliminary exams

Preliminary exams are written at the end of the second year (usually in early summer). The exam takes place over two days and consists of four questions: two regarding your primary concentration, one on your secondary concentration, and one concerning research methods.

Upon passing the preliminary exam, students focus on their own research, developing and defending a dissertation. Throughout the PhD program, students participate as full and active members of our research community. The department runs vibrant internal and external speaker series, with both UW and visiting faculty presenting research. Our PhD students actively participate as speakers, presenting their ongoing research.

Faculty Research Interests

Ramon Aldag

Ramon Aldag

Research interests:

  • Leadership
  • Organizational culture
  • Group decision processes
  • Job design
  • Decision-making (including computer-aided decision making)
  • Stress and coping
  • Self-management
View full profile
Stav Atir

Stav Atir

  • Knowledge
  • Learning
  • Confidence
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Gender bias
View full profile
Russell Coff

Russell Coff

Research interests:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Human capital
  • Strategic management
  • Innovation and creativity
View full profile
Jonathan Eckhardt

Jonathan Eckhardt

Research interests:

  • Student entrepreneurship and technology transfer
  • Technology entrepreneurship
  • Venture finance
  • Entrepreneurship theory
View full profile
Martin Ganco

Martin Ganco

Research interests:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Employee mobility
  • Innovation and technology
  • Business strategy
  • Complexity theory
View full profile
Barry Gerhart

Barry Gerhart

Research interests:

  • Compensation
  • Human resource management
  • Incentives
  • Staffing
View full profile
Florence Honore

Florence Honoré

Research interests:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human capital
  • Employee mobility
  • Strategic alliances
  • Matching models
View full profile
Jirs Meuris

Jirs Meuris

Research interests:

  • Employee well-being and organizational performance
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Personal finances and financial decision-making
  • Applications of behavioral science to public policy
View full profile
Hart Posen

Hart Posen

Research interests:

  • Business strategy
  • Organizational learning
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Computational modeling
View full profile
Sarada

Sarada

Research interests:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Household finance
  • Economic development
  • Labor markets
View full profile
Alex Stajkovic

Alexander Stajkovic

Research interests:

Leadership and organizational behavior
Reinforcement theory
Social cognitive theory and self-efficacy
Interaction between primed subconscious goals and conscious goals
Core confidence

View full profile
Ann Terlaak

Ann Terlaak

Research interests:

  • Business sustainability
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Organizational learning
  • Behavioral theory of the firm
View full profile
Charles Trevor

Charlie Trevor

Research interests:

  • Compensation
  • Human resource management
  • Consequences of employee turnover
View full profile
Outline of person icon

Chia-Jung Tsay

  • Decision-making
  • Implicit biases
  • Performance
  • Expertise
  • Policy
View full profile
Victoria Zhang

Victoria Zhang

  • Social networks
  • Norm-violations
  • Behavioral change
  • Computational social science
View full profile
a line connecting two people

Connect With Current Students

We encourage you to contact our doctoral students in management and human resources to hear their perspectives on the Wisconsin PhD Program.

View current student profiles

three people

See Our Placement Results

Graduates of our PhD specialization in management and human resources have accepted tenure-track positions at top research universities.

View recent placements

Contact Us

Hart Posen

Hart E Posen

Professor
hposen@wisc.edu