This program trains scholars who are able to draw on the concepts and methods of psychology and sociology in conducting research on behavior and management within complex organizations. You will choose between two tracks with research focused on either micro-organizational behavior, with a psychological approach to how interpersonal relationships within organizations and groups impact individuals, or on macro-organizational behavior that uses sociological methods to examine organizations, groups, and markets.
Examples of projects students have worked on include exploring issues related to diversity and inclusion in both professional and academic settings, researching the psychology of persuasion and political depolarization, and examining the ways in which workplace dynamics are shaped by gender and power.
Graduates have gone on to positions at such prestigious institutions as University of Southern California, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT. Others have gone on to careers in organizations such as the Federal Reserve Bank, National Committee for Quality Assurance, and The Bridgespan Group.
Students in organizational behavior are enrolled in and receive their degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and work with faculty from both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School (HBS). GSAS has offered PhD programs in collaboration with HBS since 1916. In addition to organizational behavior, GSAS and HBS collaborate on the programs in Business Economics, Business Administration, and Health Policy (Management Track).
Areas of Study
Students in organizational behavior specialize in micro-organizational behavior or sociology, receiving core disciplinary training in either psychology or sociology and gain knowledge of existing research and theory about organizations through advanced coursework in organizational behavior. The sociology track deals with the macro aspects of organizational behavior, focusing primarily on organizational processes and structures and on organizations in relation to their environments. Students also become familiar with some of the more micro issues emphasized within the micro-organizational behavior track, which is for students who wish to concentrate on the psychological aspects of organizational behavior. The primary focus is on the psychology of individuals as they engage in decision making, interpersonal relations, and small group activities. Students also become familiar with some of the more macro issues emphasized within the sociology track.
Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Organizational Behavior.
Applicants with bachelor’s degrees in the social sciences, engineering, sciences, as well as business are encouraged to apply.
Applicants are required to take the GRE or GMAT.