Said Business School Phd


DPhil in Management

​In-depth training in academic research skills to develop you as a productive scholar Apply now

Start date:

  • 3 October 2022


  • 4 years

Time commitment:

  • Full time


  • Oxford

About the programme

Our doctoral training will immerse you in all aspects of academic life.

You will be both a student and a junior research colleague. We provide courses in a wide variety of research methods and you will work closely with your supervisors to define your research question and develop your thesis. In addition, you will have opportunities to gain teaching and research assistant experience and become involved with the intellectual community within both Saïd Business School and the wider University. You will attend academic conferences, make presentations, organise lectures and seminars and contribute to management and academic decisions.

Both of our doctoral programmes run in parallel, with only differences in taught courses and preparation for writing in relevant journals to your subject of choice.

We have deliberately kept the programmes small which means that in the vast majority of cases, students are fully funded to allow them to devote their energies to research. The DPhil corresponds to a PhD degree offered at most other universities.



As a doctoral candidate you will be assigned two supervisors to act as your academic advisers and mentors.

You will work closely with them to define your research question and develop your thesis. It is an important relationship and also a very personal one: it is shaped by you, your supervisors and the ways you interact.

You will be allocated two supervisors in your specialist area of interest. It is important that you identify that there are faculty at the school who work in your area of interest that could be potential supervisors for your thesis. You can note within your application if you feel that you are interested in a particular research area and working with a specific faculty member. 

Potential supervisors

You do not need to contact any faculty in advance of making your application. Highlighted in the table are some specific projects supervisors are looking to take on doctoral students for the 2022-23 intake. 

These are not the only faculty available to supervise. Please view profiles of our faculty to investigate all areas of research interest in the school.

Area of Research interest

Supervisors in this area:

Financial and non-financial reporting

Amir Amel-Zadeh – Amir’s research generally examines the economic consequences of voluntary and mandatory financial and non-financial (ESG) reporting and the role of intermediaries such as equity research analysts. He is particularly interested in DPhil students who can work with him on applying natural language processing and machine learning techniques to examine the content and quality of information disclosures and their effects on capital markets.

His projects range from examining narrative disclosures in annual reports and other regulatory filings, to analysing earnings call transcripts, media coverage and other textual and financial information but he is open to other project suggestions in this field of research. In addition to the requisite knowledge in accounting and finance prospective DPhil students should have a good working knowledge of Python programming and basic knowledge of text analysis and/or machine learning algorithms.

Global strategy and comparative institutional analysis

Mari Sako – Mari’s main areas of expertise include global strategy, comparative institutional analysis, outsourcing and offshoring, professional services firms and professions, artificial intelligence (AI) and business models.

Her current research examines the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in legal services, conducted as part of a UKRI-funded programme. Doctoral applications are most welcome from students in social sciences, who can work with Mari on exploring the impact of AI on (a) business models, (b) future of work, and (c) technology startup ecosystems in professional services (such as law and accounting). She is open to doctoral research proposals in this and related fields of research.

International Business

Matthew Amengual – Matthew’s areas of expertise are in the political economy of development and global labour standards. 

Akshay Mangla – Akshay’s interests lie in questions of when, why and how states build institutional capacity to perform their core functions in developing countries. Within this broad agenda, his ongoing research investigates the causes and consequences of institutional reform initiatives within frontline agencies of the Indian state (eg primary education and the police). He is also examining how non-state actors, including private firms and civil society organisations, engage with the frontline state during policy implementation, thereby influencing bureaucratic effectiveness and the quality of public services. He is interested in advising DPhil students working on these and related topics in the political economy of development.

Leadership of major projects

Harvey Maylor – Harvey is open to a range of lenses being brought to bear on these areas of interest, though would prefer that the subject basis is Operations and Supply Chain Management which includes:

  1. Complexity response
  2. Systems design
  3. In Search of project pxcellence
  4. Design thinking and innovation

Organisational Studies

Michael Gill – Michael employs qualitative research methodologies and methods to examine people’s experiences of work. He is particularly interested in experiences of suffering in the workplace and the implications of suffering for workers’ behaviours, emotions, and identities.

Organisation Studies & Strategy

Eero Vaara – Eero’s research focuses on organisational and strategic change. His work deals with strategy process and practice research, studies of radical change such as mergers and acquisitions, work on institutional change and legitimation, and research on multinational corporations, nationalism and globalisation. He is a world leading expert especially in communicative and discursive perspectives. Eero combines practically relevant topics such as strategy work and management of postmerger integration with deep theoretical and methodological reflection on organisational and strategic processes and practices.

Scenario Planning

Rafael Ramirez – Rafael researches scenario planning and groundbreaking research on interactive value and networked strategy, which has led to widely cited papers in the Harvard Business Review, the Strategic Management Journal and to the development of the Oxford Networked Strategy Lab.



Review some current research taking place around the school as well as from some of our alumni

Review articles and podcasts written by our researchers at Oxford Answers.

Learn more about becoming a researcher from Andromachi Athanasopoulou, who graduated in 2007 and is now an Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour at Queen Mary University London and an Associate Fellow at Oxford Saïd.

Manuel Hepfer, recent graduate of the DPhil in Cybersecurity and Management Studies, has written an article on steps businesses can take to boost their resilience to cyberattack.

Ali Aslan Gümüsay, Michael Smets, and Tim Morris published an article on religious diversity at work in the Harvard Business Review. An excerpt of their article ‘”God at work”: engaging central and incompatible institutional logics through elastic hybridity’, published in the Academy of Management Journal.

Programme milestones

You are required to take three core courses in quantitative and qualitative research methodology during their first year.

  • Introduction to management research methods
  • Statistical research methods
  • Management and organisation theory

Elective courses

During second and third terms, you will undertake advanced research methods training and, in consultation with your supervisor, select specialist courses, available from a choice of topics relevant to area of interest.

Examples of specialist elective courses previously available:

  • Political economy
  • Organisational theory
  • Foundations of strategy
  • Social network analysis

Advanced methodology courses:

  • Advanced qualitative research methods
  • Advanced quantitative research methods

Following successful completion of all necessary courses, and by the end of the 4th term, you are expected to have successfully submitted and been assessed for your Transfer of Status. This is an opportunity to discuss your work with two independent members of staff under examination conditions and to receive feedback.

By the end of the 9th term you will be due to complete your Confirmation of Status. This process allows you to have a review of your work by two assessors, to give a clear indication of whether it would be reasonable to consider submission within the course of a further three terms, if work on the thesis continues to develop satisfactorily.

You will be expected to attend training, workshops and seminars on job applications, teaching, learning and assessing, interviewing and presentations skills. You’ll have the opportunity to improve your teaching and research skills by applying for remunerated positions as teaching and research assistants, within the school or at colleges.


The doctoral thesis should not exceed 100,000 words. It must be a significant and substantial contribution to the field of learning in management. It should be good enough to be published in book form or as a series of academic articles. You may even adopt a range of different methodologies and approaches. Your contribution can be in the field of theory, methodology or empirical results.

The faculty has made me feel like a junior colleague from the very start and they offer the chance to work together on their research projects.Magdalena Plesa 

 Current DPhil in Management student

Benefits and opportunities


  • Engage with internationally renowned faculty
  • Conference and research funding
  • Training in principal research methods at both at Saïd Business School and wider University


  • Paid teaching and research assistant opportunities
  • Contribute to management and academic programme decisions through student representation on committees
  • Postgraduate careers resources

Job market candidates and placements


Review our doctoral and post-doc candidates currently on the job market and institutions of successful placement.

Who can apply

Our candidates are passionately intellectual people who have a superlative academic record and are committed to a career in academia.

DPhil in Management

You will require:

  • a good undergraduate degree: 2.1 (GPA 3.5 or its equivalent)
  • GMAT or GRE test results
  • TOEFL or IELTS test results (If you are not from an English speaking majority country)
  • three pieces of written work, including a well-developed research proposal
  • three academic references

Successful applicants typically have a distinction in a Master’s level degree in addition to their undergraduate studies, but exceptional applicants from undergraduate programmes in relevant subjects will be considered.

Entry requirements

Dates and deadlines


The application portal is now open to candidates applying for entry in October 2022.

Applications must be submitted by 23:59 GMT on Monday 10 January 2022. 

Late and incomplete applications will not be considered under any circumstances.

Admissions process

Candidates who are shortlisted are normally interviewed as part of the admissions process three to four weeks after the application deadline.

Interviews are conducted by members of faculty and will take place in person in Oxford or via Zoom if you are unable to travel to the School.

Interviews can last up to 60 minutes and you will be asked questions about your background and aspirations. You should also expect to elaborate on your research proposal.

Final decision

The Admissions Committee will decide which candidates receive an offer to join the DPhil programme. Final decisions will be emailed to all candidates by Friday 11 March 2022.

There are three possible outcomes:

  1. You are made an offer to join the programme
  2. You are put on a waiting list
  3. You will be advised that you have not been successful this year

Details about any funding received through the School are included in the offer letter.

Having received an offer, a candidate’s application is forwarded to a college to be considered for membership. We will guide you through this process.

Graduate access programme: UNIQ+

Applications will open soon for the University’s 2022 graduate access programmes.

Our graduate access programmes are designed to encourage and support talented undergraduates who would find continuing into postgraduate study a challenge for reasons other than their academic ability.

UNIQ+ remote internships offer paid summer research experience over six weeks during the summer. Participants will work on research projects with regular support and supervision from Oxford students and staff, as well as training in key research skills.  

From July to October, UNIQ+ Digital will also offer students from under-represented groups a flexible, free and fully online programme of mentoring, events and digital content to support them all the way through from considering graduate study to submitting an application.