Fields of Study: Management & Organization
Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management (OB/HR)
The field of Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management (OB/HR) deals
with the behavior of individuals and groups within organizations, and investigates
the enhancement of the effectiveness of an organization’s human capital in order
to gain competitive advantage and achieve organizational goals. Example topics of
OB study include personality/dispositions, emotion and affect, motivation, social
concept and identity, decision making and cognition, justice and trust, organization
and work attachment, leadership, groups and teams, and organizational culture and
climate. Example topics in HR encompass job analysis, recruitment, selection, training
and development, performance appraisal, compensation, quality of work life, workforce
diversity, and strategic human resource management.
Major Specification (18 credits)
Students are required to take nine substantive seminars in various OB/HR content
areas, such as Motivation, Leadership, Teams, Decision Making, Training and Performance
Management, Strategic Human Resource Management, Emotions, Network, OB foundations,
or other topics offered based on faculty expertise.
Students are also required to attend and participate in the Students Presentations
Series (SPS) and Career and Professionalization Seminar Series (CAPSS) sessions
each semester during the program – as these sessions will focus on developing critical
research and career-related knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Minor Specification (12 credits)
Students may choose a set of courses for their minor that significantly enhances
their ability to make scientific contributions to their major field and that will
improve their placement prospects. These courses could be from within the M&O department,
other departments within Smith, or outside of Smith. This option can often encompass
a selection of courses both inside and outside the department. For example, many
students in OB/HR take one or more courses in the Psychology Department, but other
options, such as information technology, strategy, sociology, or economics are also
Research Methodology (Research Tools) Requirement (15 credits)
Students are required to take the following research methods courses:
Summary of OB/HR Curriculum
Requirements for advancement from “Ph.D. student” status (years 1-2) to “Ph.D.
candidate” status (years 3-5)
First Year Research Paper Requirement
The intent of the first year paper is to develop student skills in writing the
theoretical framework of a paper. The paper may be based on course research papers
or be based on a different original idea.
Students must pass a comprehensive examination at the end of their 2nd year to
proceed in the program. This exam will cover all core material covered during the
two first years.
Second Year Research Paper Requirement
Ideally, a second year research paper project will involve the student from the
inception of the project. This is because students are likely to learn the most
and have the best prospects for a publication in a top journal if they join a project
at its inception so that they can participate in all phases, including conceptualization,
design, data collection, analysis, and write-up. It may be best to think of the
project as similar to a master’s thesis in terms of the scope and quality of the