Organizational Behavior, PhD

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Field of Study: Organizational Behavior


Program Overview

Weatherhead's PhD in organizational behavior was the first of its kind. Graduating our first PhD students in 1964, our department set the standard for universities worldwide. United by a passion for generating new knowledge of enduring consequence through scholarly research, inquiry and writing as well as deeply reflective practice, doctoral students study in a department consistently ranked among the best in the world.

Recipients of our PhD in organizational behavior have taken positions in leading universities and research institutions such as the London School of Business, Columbia University, Stanford University and the Naval Post-Graduate School.

Organizational behavior is a vital and growing field of knowledge that is concerned with human and developmental processes across levels of analysis from individuals and groups through organizations, inter-organizational systems and societies. The academic roots of the field span the disciplines of individual and social psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science and social philosophy. Organizational behavior situates the knowledge and tools of those disciplines in the context of the human dimensions of organizational life.

We approach the study of organizational behavior from the perspective of human possibility, with a special concern for the dynamics and processes of development and for creating new knowledge of individual, group and organizational processes of learning, development and transformation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students acquire the knowledge, skills and professional values needed to conduct the highest quality research in the fields and subfields of organizational behavior and management
  • Students are leading scholars in careers as educators at the top levels of their specialization and in high-impact areas of society

Goals of the Program

Our educational goals are to prepare PhD students to:

  • Obtain a doctoral-level foundation in academic areas pertinent to organizational behavior, from the micro to the macro. This interdisciplinary course of study covers key social science domains such as psychology, sociology, learning theory, organization theory, living systems theory, management science and the organizational dimensions of global sustainability and change.
  • Master and triangulate rigorous qualitative, quantitative and action-research methodologies in the quest for deep and comprehensive understanding.
  • Develop a high level of professional creativity and interpersonal competence, as well as a foundation of professional values and ethics enabling the pursuit of research and teaching in the field, including the facilitation and design of contexts for human development and self-reflective learning, organization development and larger-system transformative change.

Our mission is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and values needed to: conduct the highest quality research and teaching in the field and sub-fields of organizational behavior and become leading scholars in careers as researchers and educators at the top levels of their specializations and in high-impact areas of society.

Our vision is clear: to be a world-class center of doctoral education, known for our bold ideas, our powerful learning community and our commitment to value-driven knowledge for the betterment of organizations and the greater good. All of this is in clear and strong alignment with the aim of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University "to develop transformational ideas and outstanding leaders for the betterment of business and society," and through this environment to have a transformational impact on all who teach, learn, discover and work here, so they are prepared and engaged to advance knowledge and serve humanity.

The philosophy of the Organizational Behavior Department is rooted in human values. These values guide our behavior as we strive to enhance research, learning and academic excellence amidst the demands and complexities of everyday life. They also reflect the spirit of connectedness among us that gives life to the doctoral learning community as a whole. The following guiding ideas represent our aspirations and our community at our best:

  • Knowledge of consequence
  • Methodological rigor and variety
  • A community of inquiry
  • A deep value for diversity and inclusion
  • Whole person development
  • The life of the mind
  • Academic innovation and excellence

PhD Policies

For PhD policies and procedures, please review the School of Graduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.