Courses & Doctoral Dissertation

Required Courses

Quantitative Research Methods and Techniques in Social Science (5 ECTS)

This course is an overview of basic quantitative analysis in social science aiming to equip PhD students with skills to conduct statistical analysis. After completing the course, students are expected to learn the basic logic of statistical inference; have some hands-on experiences in data analysis, and moreover have the foundation to pursue more advanced statistical methods, either by taking courses or by learning on their own. Topics include data acquisition, classification, and summarization; basic probability; random variables and their distributions; confidence intervals and tests of hypotheses for means, variances, proportions from one or two populations, chi-square, and multiple regression. Students will also learn how to operate these methods by using SPSS or STATA computational software.


Qualitative Research Methods and Techniques in Social Science (5 ECTS)

The aim of this course is to familiarize PhD students with a set of methodological strategies and techniques that are generally defined as "qualitative" in contrast to "quantitative;" because they are employed for the purpose of generating and analyzing data that are not normally tapped by or amenable to survey research, demographic techniques, or experimental procedures. Such methods typically require that the researcher spend time "in the field," that is, in the real-life situations and settings constructed and maintained by those being studied. To broaden and sharpen students’ understanding of qualitative field work and analysis, the seminar will be organized in terms of three specific goals: (1) to provide a critical appreciation for the field work/ethnographic/qualitative tradition in the social sciences; (2) to acquaint students with qualitative, ethnographic methods and associated issues and debates; and (3) to instruct students how to conduct field research that is descriptively interesting, theoretically illuminating, and ultimately publishable.


Researching Leadership (5 ECTS)

The objectives of the course are twofold: to provide students with foundational knowledge of the leadership studies literature, and to alert students to the particular challenges of studying leadership and help them consider ways in which they will design studies which adequately address these challenges.


Strategic Management (5 ECTS)

The program has three major objectives: to expose students to the history of management thought and research in the discipline of strategic management, to discuss major theories of strategy and debate major research articles written within each theory, and to discuss possibilities to develop research program anchored in particular theory of strategy.

Elective Courses

In the second year students must complete two elective courses chosen from the following options:

Academic Writing (5 ECTS)

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with various publication outlets specializing in scholarly practitioner research and to instruct them in techniques for publishing in such outlets.  By the end of the course, students will have written a paper suitable for submission to a scholarly practitioner outlet.


Business in Society (5 ECTS)

This course provides an in-depth exploration of key questions concerning the relationship between businesses and the societies of which they are a part - including the challenges of climate change and the shift to a low-carbon economy. It will offer grounding in the theoretical discussions on appropriate business responses to these challenges and their possible connection to successful business operations and strategy, together with an opportunity to consider emerging practices of Corporate Responsibility. Participants will be expected to make connections between the ideas discussed and their own business environments.


Current Issues in Business and Management (5 ECTS)

The course addresses the role of research in the context of what is going on in the wider world; we do this by taking two distinct perspectives. From the ‘outside-in’ we consider the main challenges facing the world, their impact on business and management, and the demands for research. From the ‘inside-out’ we consider developments in theory and their possible implications on the practice of management and the conduct of businesses in the contemporary world.


Creating New Value (5 ECTS)

The objective of this course is to take what we know about the "art" and "science" of innovation and broaden it beyond merely technology, so that it speaks to the PhD researcher in a way that opens-up research on innovation possibilities, rather than on narrow or preclude topics. The course is a survey of innovation research, but one that employs several units of observation, including: the national economy; the firm or not-for-profit organization; the team; and the individual researcher.


Learning from Arts, Sciences and Philosophy (5 ECTS)

The course objective is to make the participants aware of the limitations of rational approaches in the areas of strategic management and leadership. This includes learning from metaphors, use of all the senses during analysis and decision making, opening the managers and leaders to wider thinking, making them better observers and listeners, helping them to increase their empathy and influence of the feelings, emotions and intuition, thus improving their creativity and flexibility, as well as the capability of recognizing the future challenges and needed changes.


Organizational counselling, coaching and mentoring (5 ECTS)

The objective of this course is to expose the participants to theory and practice of effective organizational interventions, leading to improvements in individual and organizational performance, as well as to achieving desired organizational change. As a result, the participants will understand ways in which knowledge is constructed in the social phenomenon of organizations and in the practice of consulting and personal development, as well as how such knowledge is used to influence learning. The course also allows the participants to appreciate the ethical aspects of influencing within the organization, taking into account individual, organizational and contextual perspectives.

Research and Dissertation

Doctoral Research Proposal (15 ECTS)

Every doctoral student must submit a brief proposal of the topic of his/her doctoral research as part of the study program application. The Postgraduate Study Committee assigns the mentor to the student based on this proposal. Along with IEDC  Faculty professors eligible for mentoring doctoral students, Faculty will engage also external mentors from partner institutions.

In the first year of the studies, students must under the guidance of the mentor, prepare and submit a formal doctoral research proposal. This document includes the definition of a narrower research area, set of research questions, basic literature overview, starting hypotheses, as well as the proposal of the research methodology and research design.

The doctoral student publicly presents the doctoral research proposal by the end of the first year of study.

After the presentation of the research proposal, the faculty members in attendance prepare a written report assessing the presentation of the  research proposal, with comments and suggestions for corrections, and submit it to the student and to the Committee for Postgraduate Studies.

The Committee for Postgraduate Studies will vote about the registration of the proposed topic. More than 50% of overall number of members must vote for the registration in order that it is accepted.


Doctoral Research (90 ECTS)

Doctoral students work on the dissertation preparation under the guidance of their mentor. In the first study year this work is primarily focused on literature review and preparation of the doctoral research proposal, in the second year it is focused on additional literature review, preparation of detailed research model, preparation of research protocol and on carrying out the research, while in the third and fourth study years it is focused on data analysis, preparation of conclusions, writing of the thesis and preparation of defense.

The mentor monitors the course of work on doctoral research based on the regular reports prepared by the student, based on personal communications and based on presentations in research seminars.


Academic Article Submission (15 ECTS)

In the second study year, every student must prepare a scholarly article, appropriate for publishing in an international journal for scholarly practitioners. The article is, in principle, prepared based on the doctoral research. Due to long publishing lead times, study requirements are fulfilled by the submission of the article and not by its actual publishing.


Research Seminars (20 ECTS)

Research seminars are organized in the first, second and third study years. A research seminar in any given semester is organized for students of all study years and is attended jointly by all enrolled students (e.g. students in the second and fourth semester and students in the third and fifth semester). This allows the students attending the first and the second study years to benefit from the insights into the research of their older colleagues. Mentors will where possible attend the research seminars. Research seminars are facilitated by professors who are members of the doctoral program faculty.

During the research seminar doctoral students present their research activities, key challenges and insights. Other participants and mentors challenge them, as well as give own ideas and proposals related to the presented work.


Doctoral Dissertation Defense (10 ECTS)

At the end of the study program the candidate must prepare the doctoral dissertation presentation and defence, in accordance with the Rules of doctoral study program adopted by the Committee for Postgraduate Studies.


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