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PhD in Management program

The PhD in Management program requires candidates to successfully complete nine one-term graduate courses, pass the candidacy examination and a proposal defense and complete a dissertation based on independent, original scholarship. Candidates can complete the program in four years full-time and six years part-time.

Students can focus their studies on any one of the following interdisciplinary specializations:

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The nine one-term courses consist of three core courses, three elective credits and three required research seminar courses.


Core courses

The three PhD level core courses include Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods and a Management and Organization Theory course.


Elective credits

Of the three elective credits, one must be taken at the PhD level in the student's proposed area of specialization and two elective credits may be taken from the available master’s level electives at the Ted Rogers School or from graduate level electives offered by other Toronto Metropolitan University departments.


Required research seminar courses

The research seminars provide an opportunity for faculty members and students to discuss theoretical and applied research within the area, explicitly focusing on the methodologies that are useful to conduct and disseminate research.

Candidacy exam

The candidacy exam includes two parts: a written exam and an oral exam. The written exam includes essay type questions that examine the candidate’s integrated knowledge learned through their coursework. The oral exam is held after the written and is meant to further evaluate the candidate’s ability to carry out their dissertation research in their chosen academic field of specialization. This typically takes place in years two and three for full-time students and years three and four for part-time students.

Proposal defense

The proposal defense is held after the candidacy exam. The objective of the defense is to ensure the candidate’s research plan for investigating a proposed research question is complete and academically sound. Students work closely with their supervisory committee in determining the composition of the dissertation proposal.


The dissertation portion of the program primarily consists of individual research, under the supervision of a qualified faculty member and committee who bring a broad range of expertise to the student’s research topic. Dissertations should exhibit substantial evidence of original scholarship. The dissertation may be in the format of a monograph or three publishable academic journal papers.

Candidates defend their dissertations to an examining committee as per Toronto Metropolitan University's guidelines for examination and assessment.

Specializations offered

This specialization will provide students with a deep understanding of the theories, practices, techniques, tools and issues surrounding such digital transformation of organizations into “digital enterprises” ready to operate in the “digital ecosystem”. Digital enterprises need members who are well versed in the functionality and integration of widely used technologies such as enterprise wide systems, database systems, local area networks, artificial intelligence, analytics, big data, cloud computing, social media and useful and usable user interfaces and experience.

As a natural extension, students will pursue discovery and knowledge in one of the most salient changes in the way digital enterprises operate, which can be broadly referred to as “Networked Workers”; a novel notion that recognizes networked workers and how they operate within multiple networks that are internal and external, formal and informal, online and offline while relying on social media and mobile technologies.

Additionally, students in the specialization will examine enterprise architecture, the analysis of the broad set of stakeholders, and management of their interactions with each other and with the digital technology underlying the whole enterprise.  Another important topic in the digital enterprise is the issue of information systems security and privacy management (ISSPM), which requires a broad set of subject matter expertise ranging from established domain of IT security management to emerging topics such as Big Data security, Internet of Things, and blockchain technology.

This specialization focuses on real estate management, finance and economics. The specialization will focus on all aspects of commercial and residential real estate assets and markets. The specialization will offer specialized coursework in real estate markets, sustainability, specialized topics in real estate and advanced financial econometrics.

Historically, residential real estate markets and assets have been the focus area of the graduate and undergraduate real estate programs all over the world. Asset valuation, marketing of property via the multiple listing services and the ensuing agency problems, and development/construction and property management have been the main topics under this domain. In addition, recent developments in option-theoretic analyses and technological advances, such as information technology and its impact on the availability of real estate information around the world, have become integral components of this domain.

Currently, academics have put far more emphasis on commercial real estate assets, both real and financial. Real Estate Investment Trusts have become a key industry in the USA and also begun to dominate a number of markets internationally. Pricing of mortgage-backed securities, which is very complex and mathematical, and development of the real estate price indexes have become cutting edge research topics and avenues for commercial interest and policymaking. Certainly, the key driver of the Global Financial Crisis has been the massive problems in the real estate sector. Both the academia and the industry are still researching the root causes of GFC problems as well as the prescriptions against such disasters in the future.

Given this background, the Real Estate Studies specialization will offer students a rich menu of diverse research topics, opportunities and collaborations. The Ted Rogers School of Management has a wealth of research competencies, accomplishments, aspirations and networking possibilities that will lead to unique and substantial research contributions in a Canadian and international context.

The specialization area of Retail and Consumer Services (RCS) intersects the dynamic interplay of retail operations and consumer behavior. In this focus area, the objective is to understand the dynamics in which retail services and operations influence consumer attitudes and behaviours, and how consumer psychology and preferences influence retail strategies and decisions.

In this specialization, core areas will include omni-channel operations, service quality and leadership, retail branding, technology development and utilization, human resource management, and firm infrastructure. As retailers fight for growth in the new world of physical, digital and mobile shopping, their ability to provide a consistent service level across all channels has become the essence of omni-channel retailing, a field that has not been thoroughly researched. Research on service leadership and human resource management will investigate relationships between profitability, customers and employees. As the Canadian retail sector facing intensified competitions, research into how to integrate product innovation, retail environment and service designs into competitive retail branding strategies will contribute to new knowledge discoveries and also provide practical implications. By seeking to understand the factors that influence the level of adoption and use of retail technologies (i.e., mobile wallet and wearable technologies), interventions can be designed to help users progress to a more advanced level of use, the financial community and retailers will be better informed with regards to the areas and needed of future investments. A critical element of firm infrastructure research is on innovation as a driver of performance in retailer-vendor strategic partnerships, which are a centre for value creation in the supply chain and result in profitability for partners and value for customers.

Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a fast growing and broad-reaching and multi-disciplinary academic area. The Academy of Management provides separate descriptions, which provide a good starting point to address the focus on combining disciplines.1 (external link, opens in new window) 

This specialization examines three domains that are highly interconnected:

  1. Strategy relates to the processes and mechanisms that influence/drive a firm’s success in comparison with others. Firms seek to gain sustainable competitive advantage and innovation is often a central driver. Innovation helps firms enter new markets and increase profit margins. Firms must not only be innovative but to have sustainable competitive advantage must do so better than their current competitors and create barriers to entry for potential new competitors in order to maintain a competitive advantage. The track will discuss technology strategy and firm performance (the ‘content’ of technology strategy), how technology strategies develop in firms (the ‘process’ of technology strategy), and how technology strategy is related to organizational and environmental factors (the ‘context’ of technology strategy).
  2. Innovation Management encourages interdisciplinary scholarship and dialogue on the management of innovation and technological change from a variety of perspectives, including strategic, managerial, behavioural, and operational issues. The problem domain includes the management of innovation processes, research and development, information technologies, e-commerce, and process technologies.
  3. Entrepreneurship is the actors, actions, resources, environmental influences and outcomes associated with the emergence of entrepreneurial opportunities and/or new economic activities in multiple organizational contexts. The focus is on the characteristics, actions, and challenges of owner-managers and their businesses.