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PhD Program

What is strategic management?

"Strategic management, often called "policy" or nowadays simply "strategy," is about the direction of organizations, and most often, business firms. It includes those subjects of primary concern to senior management, or to anyone seeking reasons for success and failure among organizations. Firms, if not all organizations, are in competition - competition for factor inputs, competition for customers, and ultimately, competition for revenues that cover the costs of their chosen manner for surviving. Because of competition, firms have choices to make if they are to survive. Those that are strategic include the selection of goals; the choice of products and services to offer; the design and configuration of policies determining how the firm positions itself to compete in product markets (e.g., competitive strategy); the choice of an appropriate level of scope and diversity; and the design of organization structure, administrative systems, and policies used to define and coordinate work. It is a basic proposition of the strategy field that these choices have critical influence on the success of failure of the enterprise, and that they must be integrated. It is the integration (or reinforcing pattern) among these choices that make the set a strategy" (from Rumelt, R.P.; Schendel, D.E.; and Teece, D.J. 1994. Fundamental Issues in Strategy. Harvard Business School Press: Boston.

Strategic Management Seminars

Students that choose our doctoral program have the benefit of two full years of intensive seminars, preparing them to be experts in our field. There is some flexibility in the seminar offerings:

Offered every two years:

  • Business and Competitive Strategy
  • Corporate Strategy and Diversification
  • International Strategy
  • Strategy Process & Implementation

Examples of other seminars offered at discretion of area:

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Sociological Perspectives on Strategy
  • Applied Research Methods

These seminars are complemented by curriculum in research methods and seminars related to the student's choice of a minor.

Strategic Management Workshop

We have an active workshop series that hosts top scholars from around the world and provides a means for students and faculty to share their research in a way to nurture the research and the researcher.

PhD Students as Research Assistants

Students are assigned to individual faculty as research assistants. Through this apprenticeship setting, they learn about the process of doing research and the tacit dimensions of being a scholar.

PhD Admissions


Dissertation Awards

PhD Placements

Doctoral students trained at Krannert have served on the faculties of many excellent universities throughout the world.

Student Views

"By far, two of the biggest strengths of the program are the strategy faculty and our Friday workshops. The Krannert strategy program is relatively unique in that it has a long and strong faculty group, all of whom are dedicated to strategy research. I think that the breadth and depth of their expertise gave me a great foundation on which to build my future research career. Also, our Friday workshops contributed immeasurably to my education here at Krannert. Each week we have presentations of papers by Krannert people or, equally important, by top scholars from great schools around North America. The discussions are always lively and have taught me a great deal about what it takes to develop, refine, and convincingly present my own work." (Derek Ruth)

"This is a challenging program. Fortunately, I have some great faculty members and peer students who are always ready to help you. " (Jason Wu)

"The program offers one the opportunity to work with some of the best researchers in the field who are equally willing to work with you and are interested in seeing you succeed! Also, the weekly workshop invites leading researchers from other top schools giving the students the opportunity to interact with them and stay tuned to the cutting edge research being done in the field. In short, an excellent program!" (Dinesh Venkiteshwaran)

"Thanks to the work of professors Arnold Cooper and Dan Schendel, strategic management, and to Krannert's role as home of the Strategic Management Society and the field's top academic publication - the Strategic Management Journal - the school is considered one of the birthplaces of the strategic management field. Krannert's strength in strategic management, puts Purdue on the cutting edge of strategy research" (Paul Drnevich)