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Areas of Specialization

Areas of Specialization

The ESADE PhD Programme prepares you for a career in research and teaching. Highly individualized, the doctoral programme allows students to pursue their own areas of interest. The programme is full time and emphasizes a strong foundation in both methodological and theoretical training. Candidates are expected to work closely with the ESADE faculty members.

Areas of specialization parallel the strengths of the ESADE faculty members. You will have an opportunity to do in depth study in the specialization that most interest you.

Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences area

Areas of study in Operations Innovation and Data Sciences include research in three sub-domains: First, the impact of technology on management and organizations, focusing on the digital transformation of organizations, collaborative systems and the development of tools and techniques to support decision-making. Second innovation in organizations, knowledge management and artificial intelligence, focusing on changing and adaptable environments, such as smart cities and communities. Third operations research investigates activities that transform input into value for the customer with a focus on supply chain management, service design and operations strategies, sustainable and global operations and intra- and inter-organizational innovation capabilities. Our faculty boasts a strong impact in these areas, publishing numerous articles in the top journals in each field and serving as editors and editorial board members of top journals.

Organizational Behavior

Organizational Behavior research draws on a broad range of social science disciplines, such as sociology, psychology and economics to explore the behavior of individuals, groups and organizations with the aim of advancing our understanding of business and society.

Organizational Behavior Research on a variety of topics that span the study of individuals, groups, organizations and markets. At the micro-level level organizational behavior research investigates leadership, group and team dynamics, identity, diversity, individual learning and individual networks. At the macro-level, research investigates organizational ecology, governance, organizational learning, networks, institutions and markets. These two sub-areas employ an array of different research methodologies that include experimental designs, clinical observation, qualitative interviews, surveys, econometrics and the analysis of large databases.


Marketing research inquiries into consumer behavior, stakeholder behavior, and firm behavior, and the development of methods for improving the allocation of marketing resources. The discipline covers the design and delivery of brands, products and services, pricing, distribution, and promotion. Marketing also investigates the resource allocation among product/market combinations. Marketing draws from a wide range of disciplines: psychology, anthropology, sociology and economics.

Associated Department: 
Marketing Management

Faculty Affiliated to Research Unit:  
Research Group on Brand Management

Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Strategy research investigates how companies and industries around develop and sustain competitive advantage in a globalized economy. One stream of research uses insights about firms and industries from economics as a basis for understanding business strategy. Another tradition in strategic management combines strategy and organizational theory and focuses on the study of strategy processes and outcomes.

Entrepreneurship research investigates the creation and growth of new organizations and markets, the creation of new businesses within existing firms, innovation, and family business in a globalized economy. Entrepreneurship draws from a broad range of social sciences such as economics, sociology and psychology.

Social Innovation

The faculty members of the Institute for Social Innovation train researchers who contribute to advance the understanding of the role, place and responsibility of business in society. The research projects pursued by its faculty members cover a diverse set of research domains that include, for example, Corporate Social Responsibility in the mining industry, leadership in nonprofit organizations, the dynamics of conflict and collaboration between business and NGOs, the impact of micro-credit, and the role of users in sustainability innovation.

Associated Research Departments: 
Social Sciences and Strategy and General Management

Faculty Affiliated to Research Unit:  
Institute for Social Innovation


Finance investigates the determinants of investment, portfolio, and financing choices of firms and individuals, and their mutual interactions. Finance research is both theoretical and empirical. It uses a variety of tools ranging from game theory to econometrics and statistics. Research in finance at ESADE includes market microstructure, corporate finance, and credit risks.

Accounting research investigates market and institutional forces that affect the production and use of information by organizations (individual, firms, non-profit, governments). Research in accounting at ESADE includes capital market research, management control systems and performance measurement systems.

Associated Department: 
Economics, Finance and Accounting

Faculty Affiliated to Research Units: 
Group for Research in Economics and Finance (GREF)