The doctoral program in Organizational Behavior trains scholars who are able to draw on the concepts and methods of psychology and sociology in conducting research on behavior and management within complex organizations. Special attention is given to studies that bridge the gap between research and theory on one hand, and constructive organizational practice on the other.

The Organizational Behavior program is presented jointly by the faculty of Harvard Business School and the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The program combines training in the theory and methods of psychology and sociology, the study of business administration, and empirical research on organizational phenomena. Students have the choice of focusing their research at either the micro (i.e. psychological, interpersonal) or macro (i.e. sociological, organizational) level.

Organizational Behavior faculty members come from both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Harvard Business School. View a list of faculty who have worked with Organizational Behavior students recently.

Examples of recent and current doctoral thesis research include:

    • Cross-group relations, stress, and the subsequent effect on performance
    • Internal group dynamics of corporate boards of directors with a particular focus on the psychology of board membership, speaking up behavior, and board process in decision-making and conflict resolution
    • How organizations manage tensions that arise between social missions and financial objectives and on the conditions under which organizational mission diminishes versus enhances effort and commitment of members
    • Psychological tendencies and collaboration with dissimilar others
    • The program prepares students for careers as researchers and teachers. Program graduates will be comfortable working either in disciplinary departments or in professional schools—especially schools of management.