The doctoral program in Technology & Operations Management prepares students to conduct important research on a broad range of issues in operations and innovation. Faculty in the Technology & Operations Management Unit are trained in various disciplinary areas including operations research, operations management, economics, engineering, and organizational behavior. Faculty and doctoral students' research addresses managerially-relevant problems, integrating discipline-based theory with rigorous research methods.

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Curriculum & Coursework

Our programs are full-time degree programs which officially begin in September. Students are expected to complete their program in five years. Students typically spend their first two years on course work, at the end of which they take a field exam, and then another two years on dissertation research and writing.

The DBA program requires a minimum of 13 semester long doctoral courses. Students in the Technology & Operations Management program complete courses in the areas of business management theory, economic theory, quantitative research methods, academic field seminars, and the Business Education for Scholars in Teaching (BEST) Series. In addition to HBS courses, students may take courses at other Harvard Schools and MIT.


Students are required to complete a teaching assignment for one full academic term.

Field Exam

After their second year, students are required to pass this exam which encompasses the student’s primary field of study (Operations Management or Innovation Management) and more narrowly focused concentration area.

Research & Dissertation

Students in TOM often begin research in the summer preceding their first year by working with a TOM faculty member. During their third year, students begin working on their dissertation research, typically developing three publishable papers.

Examples of doctoral thesis topics include: Examining how employee non-compete agreements affect entrepreneurship and job mobility; Improving retailers' sales forecasting using cost-of-sales, inventory levels, and gross margins; How familiarity among team members fosters organizational capabilities among teams; The implications of operations management for investors; and How firms influence service quality, and how service quality affects performance.

See Program Requirements for detailed curriculum information.