HRM & OB

The doctoral programme in HRM & OB at TSM aims at developing scholars in the areas of workplace relationships, motivation, leadership, and CSR. Our team covers a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches. 

3 reasons to apply:

Courses are taught only in English.​

Core courses

Learning and practice in research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The purpose of this course is to enhance and extend the research approaches of students and help them in the development of a research proposal. This course provides an understanding of the meaning of science research methods, an understanding of the assumptions underlying scientific research, and discusses replication and open science.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Question what is distinctive about “science”
2. Identify the different types of management research
3. Distinguish the different philosophical assumptions in management research
4. Discover the different steps of any research process
5. Clarify the sources of low replicability
6. Implement exact and conceptual replications
7. Implement reproducibility by adopting open science methods

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: research methods; critical thinking; problem solving; argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: integrity; perseverance; responsibility; reputation.
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics; research strategy.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication media; communication methods.

Management Science

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
A researcher needs to master the theoretic foundations of management science to develop her own research agenda. The purpose of this course is to discuss three basic theoretical models. The pedagogical approach will be based on active learning. Students will have to read specific articles or articles sections or book chapters before the courses. This material will then be discussed and analyzed collectively. The assessment also requires students to prepare the topics of the course in depth and to present their insights to the class.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Characterize the strength and limitations of different models
2. Describe some of the challenges of studying management theories
3. Distinguish the basics problems and issues at the center of organization theories
4. Identify the main results of agency theory and its applications to organizational design, governance and related issues
5. Survey the scope and stakes of behavioral psychology

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Subject knowledge; Academic literacy and management.
2. Personal effectiveness: Perseverance; Self-confidence; Time-management.
3. Research governance and organization: IPR and copyright; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Engaging with the scientific literature

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course aims at helping students to critically engage with the literature in the management sciences. We will discuss practical questions such as how best to get started with a literature review, how to read an article and which online tools to use. Students will be required to reflect on their own reading progress through a learning log and will also be asked to conduct a “practitioner translation” of a research paper, in order to encourage them to reflect on how to bridge the gap between the academic and the practitioner literature.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Review and synthetize fundamental themes in a field of research
2. Characterise what makes a good literature review
3. Describe and point out some of the problems with academic literature
4. Outline the contributions that different types of empirical research can (and cannot) make
5. Critisize your own approach to reading papers and to searching academic literatures
6. Summarise and synthetize a review of the literature
7. Specify how precisely academic literature can (and cannot) be applied
8. Translate academic insights into everyday language

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base; cognitive abilities.
2. Personal effectiveness: perseverance; self-reflection; integrity; time management.
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics; IPR and copyrights.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination.

Qualitative research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The aim of the course is to provide a general overview on qualitative research methods to students in all management disciplines. It discusses when a qualitative research approach is relevant and what type of research design and methods are suitable for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. In particular, the use and challenges of case studies approach are addressed. Students are introduced to main qualitative data collection (e.g. interviews, ethnography) and analysis techniques (e.g. coding, narrative and discourse analysis).


Through readings of articles or book chapters to prepare for each session, students will be made familiar with the most salient scholarly work structuring the field of qualitative research (see bibliography hereafter).


The objective is not to have students develop a strong competence or expertise on qualitative methods. The purpose is rather to develop awareness on the varieties of qualitative approaches as well as some basic knowledge on what kind of topics are relevant to be studied qualitatively, what main methodological challenges are faced as well as what type of conclusions can be drawn from qualitative research.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Recognize main qualitative methods and comprehend major challenges of data collection and analysis
2. Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative research
3. Review qualitative research papers
4. Explain what topics are pertinent to study with a qualitative research approach
5. Distinguish how to interpret findings from a qualitative research and how to assess their validity
6. Collect and use qualitative data for exploratory studies

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Language; Problem solving; Argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-reflection; Self-confidence; Time management; Integrity.
3. Research governance and organization: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Quantitative research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

This course provides students with some basics of quantitative research. Students are first introduced to the core notions of research reliability and validity, to the variety quantitative research designs and data and to the epistemological bases of quantitative research. The second part of the course is dedicated to the presentation of factor analysis and regression techniques, with a hands-on perspective.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Select the appropriate explanatory method in accordance with the research problem and the available data
2. Determine the quality of used multi-item measurement instruments in quantitative research
3. Test a multiple linear regression, to assess whether the results can be trusted, and to analyze them
4. Test a binary logistic regression and analyze the results
5. Develop a mediation and moderation analyses thanks to a regression approach
6. Implement the Johnson-Neyman technique and the floodlight analysis

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Perseverance; Responsibility; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organization: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Team working; Leadership; Communication methods; Communication media.

Experimental research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course offers an introduction to experimental methods used in management and business science. The objective is to have students work on an experimental analysis of a research question that they are interested in. This course is mainly based on the reverse pedagogy with a Do-It-Yourself spirit. After an initial discussion regarding the main principles of the experimental methodology, students are invited to produce an experimental research project, that is, to find a research idea, to design and run a pilot experiment, and to analyze and present their results.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Explain the interest of experimental methods for research in management and business
2. Survey experimental research papers
3. Design an experiment

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-conficence; Responsibility; Preparation and prioritisation.
3. Research governance and organization: Health; Ethics; Respect and confidentiality; Risk management.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Team working; Collaboration; Communication methods; Communication media.

Track specific courses

Problématique et design de recherche

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

L’objectif de cours est de former les étudiants à la définition d'une problématique de recherche en MRH/comportement organisationnel, et à la conception d'un design de recherche idoine. Chaque partie du cours traite d’un objectif défini ci-dessous.


B) Les objectifs du cours visent à :
1. Comprendre les principales étapes du processus de recherche
2. Choisir un sujet de recherche et définir une question de départ
3. Construire un État de l’art, une typologie et identifier la littérature adaptée au thème de recherche
4. Identifier les meilleures revues dans lesquelles les recherches les plus pertinentes sont publiées
5. Elaborer un modèle de recherche et des hypothèses de recherche
6. Choisir et élaborer un design de recherche en fonction de critères corrélationnels, quasi-expérimentaux, expérimentaux, longitudinaux

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: theoretical knowledge on research methods, synthesizing and critical thinking, intellectual insight
2. Personal effectiveness: perserverence, commitment to research
3. Research governance and organisation: appropriate practice, research strategy
4. Engagement, influence and impact: collegiality, collaboration and team working, communication methods

Méthodes quantitatives fondamentales

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description du cours / Course description:
L’objectif de cours est de former les étudiants aux techniques fondamentales d'analyses de données dans le cadre d’une recherche en MRH/comportement organisationnel. Il s’agit aussi de les sensibiliser aux limites et biais récurrents dans l’utilisation de ces techniques (ex. variance liée à une méthode commune, variables de contrôle, endogénéité) et à ses conséquences sur l’interprétation des résultats.


B) Les objectifs du cours visent à :
1. Comprendre les types de questions auxquelles la méthode statistique répond
2. Appliquer la méthode à d'autres exemples et situations
3. Mettre en oeuvre la méthode à l'aide d'un logiciel (p. ex., SPSS ou LISREL)
4. Interpréter les résultats d'une manière qui répond à la question posée
5. Communiquer les objectifs des analyses, les conclusions de l'analyse et les implications de ces résultats

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: research methods theoretical knowledge and practical application, analysing
2. Research governance and organisation: research strategy, project planning and delivery
3. Engagement, influence and impact: collegiality, communication methods

Qualitative and experimental methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

This course will familiarize research students with research in the fields of human resource management and organizational behavior that uses qualitative and experimental methods. The two central goals of the course are firstly to reflect on the underlying rationale, the opportunities and the challenges of different qualitative and experimental methods and secondly to facilitate in-depth content learning on some central research areas in these fields. Apart from drawing on a range of literature, specific research project examples will be used to illustrate the practical implementation (interview guides, vignette material etc) and use of some of these methods.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Recognize which research designs allow conclusions regarding causality, to which degree, and why – and apply this knowledge to your own research proposals
2. Describe and organize the most commonly used qualitative and experimental methods and design choices in the fields of human resource management and organizational behavior, with their strength and limitations
3. Explain and apply different criteria of research rigour that can be employed in qualitative versus experimental designs
4. Evaluate the promises and difficulties of combining different designs
5. Evaluate and critique the choice of qualitative or experimental research methods for a given research question
6. Develop a coherent outline of a qualitative or experimental design for a research question that interests you in the field of HRM / OB
7. Estimate and explain the potential use of these methods for your PhD

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: research methods: theoretical and practical
2. Research governance and organisation: research strategy, project planning
3. Engagement, influence and impact: collegiality, communication methods

Practitioner-oriented courses

Organizational behavior and leadership

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course Description
This course provides students with an overview of the key issues in Organizational Behavior, Intercultural Management and Leadership, in an international context. We will adopt the perspective of a general manager and focus primarily on managing the organization’s human assets in businesses. This course will highlight the fact that Organizational Behavior, Intercultural Management and Leadership are highly context-related. In this sense, the course will focus very much on case studies in different firms and countries. For additional input to the discussion in class, every student is expected to bring personal experiences and illustrations to the classroom. This course will also help students to use recent theories published by researchers in social sciences to feed their thinking about the management of people in organizations.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Develop the skills and tools enabling the application of Organizational Behaviour knowledge to real issues of concern to business and not-for-profit organizations
2. Choose and adopt the appropriate leadership styles depending on the context
3. Generate plans and concrete application for businesses wishing to integrate the United Nation´s sustainable development goals
4. Critically analyze, assess, and deal with the managerial and organizational implications of intercultural issues
5. Gain experience in communicating their analyses, conclusions and recommendations in a professional manner
6. Behave and communicate appropriately in cross-cultural business environments

Research skills

Organizational change and development

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course Description

Key issues in Organizational Change Management, Organizational Development, Group Dynamics and Corporate Communication are introduced to the students, with a focus on international contexts. This course aims at presenting concepts that enable students to understand how companies can become agile and lead successful transformations. The course will stress practical application of the concepts and tools revised through its reliance on the case study method, whereby cases in different industries and countries will be reviewed. We will also draw on the different personal experiences that class participants share.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Apply knowledge and tools from the change management literature to concrete business contexts
2. Develop and communicate change management recommendations in a professional manner
3. Choose appropriate approaches to Organizational Development, depending on context
4. Analyze and improve the health and efficiency of organizations
5. Diagnose behavioral patterns of intragroup and intergroup interactions in different organizational settings by applying relevant knowledge and experience
6. Manage difficult group situations with appropriate approaches to communicating key issues and corresponding recommendations based on critical analysis
7. Identify and assess challenges at stake related to a Communication strategy
8. Manage communication issues appropriately with Corporate Communication professionals in the organization
9. Propose their own a communication plan that supports an HR program

Research skills

Research training seminars

Research training seminars

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
These seminars are open to all students from TSM-DP 1st year. The purpose of this module is to provide students with a broadly based overview of current research skills to write your master thesis or your internship report.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify an original research question
- Criticize the previous literature
- Set up a research design
- Explain research limitations
- Manage a research presentation

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Knowledge base; Cognitive abilities; Creativity
2. Personal effectiveness: Perseverance; Self-confidence; Time-management; Career management; Professional development
3. Research governance and organisation: Professional conduct; Research management

Core courses

Advanced quantitative methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The course will cover empirical techniques that form the basis for quantitative research in management. The module is therefore design to introduce students to some of the core issues associated with empirical research through the review of some recent trends in research. The module will comprise a mixture of faculty-led lectures, interactive student-led presentations, and discussions.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify tools and resources: Data, statistical packages, tutorials and doctoral seminars, MOOC
2. Compare different quantitative research methods for designing a research project in business and management
3. Survey concrete scientific application of the quantitative method in a top-tier peer-reviewed journals
4. Point out possible challenges, in particular challenges for the validity, indentification, causality, diff-in-diff
5. Specify prerequisites, conditions, guidelines for implementation

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Perseverance; Responsibility; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Team working; Leadership; Communication methods; Communication media.

Advanced qualitative methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
A researcher needs to master the use of several methodologies in order to deeply understand studies in their field and to choose and to employ the most accurate method to answer their addressed research questions. The purpose of this course is to develop participants’ ability of reflective stance, supported by theory, and to be able to use qualitative research design and tools.

This course will cover four main topics: (1) Issues and challenges of qualitative inquiry in management research, (2) Core methods and practicalities of qualitative inquiry in management research, (3) Qualitative data analysis, (4) Ethical research practice. The pedagogical approach will be based on active learning. Students will have to read research articles before some of the classes. This material will then be discussed and analyzed collectively. Participation in the course is required and based on the quality and quantity of discussion contributions. The final assessment consists in a written final examination related to a previous exercise.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify and formulate appropriate qualitative research questions and interview questions
2. Analyze the main qualitative research methods
3. Assess different styles of presenting qualitative research findings
4. Develop an interpretive understanding of data collected
5. Collect and use qualitative data

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Language; Problem solving; Argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-reflection; Self-conficence; Time management; Integrity.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Intellectual property rights

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This session will introduce students to intellectual property rights and more especially to main principles of copyright and application to the thesis.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Survey the intellectual property law: Interests, justifications, composition
2. Analyze rights of the authors
3. Describe main principles of copyright and application to the PhD thesis

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Academic literacy; Intellectual insight.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Appropriate practice.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Global citizenship.

Track specific courses

Advanced methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
Building on the qualitative and quantitative methods courses in the MSc, this module aims at pushing students to use more sophisticated research designs for their projects. To this end, the course will highlight advanced diary and survey design issues, Structural equation modeling and different methods to analyze moderated mediation, advanced case studies methodology and longitudinal process approaches. Mixed methods approaches will also be discussed. All methods learning will be directly applied.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Critically reflect on and develop designs using longitudinal questionnaires and diaries
2. Differentiate and critique the different methods to analyze mediation, moderation, moderated mediation
3. Prepare SEM analyses in MPlus and critique the quality of the SEM
4. Develop process-oriented research design specific to your own project
5. Integrate advanced qualitative methods into your own projects
6. Appraise and propose mixed methods research designs

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: theoretical and practical research methods, analysing, critical thinking
2. Personnel effectiveness: integrity, commitment to research
3. Research governance and organization: research strategy, risk management, ethics
4. Engagement, influence, impact: collaboration (includes feedback giving to peers), communication methods

Hot topics in HR and OB

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
In order to contribute to the literature and to develop needed and relevant research or to address significant issues or gaps, researchers have to pay attention to the most recent theoretical and empirical evolutions in their field(s). In this vein, this course aims at studying research articles which offer novel, advanced or counterintuitive insights on important OB topics. This course deals with the following topics: unethical leadership, health, temporal issue in OB and recent development on work relationships. It relies on presentation of articles by students and reflects principles of flipped classroom insofar as these presentations will raise stimulating thinking and debate between students and the instructor. The presentation outlines are given in the classroom.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Describe and evaluate a research in terms of its originality and novelty in the OB field
2. Apply theoretical insights and empirical methods of the research to their own research topic
3. Develop a critical thinking and discuss a research paper in terms of novelty, originality and potential for research based on the theoretical and empirical contributions of the research
4. Trigger constructive debates with peers and researcher about key insights raised by the research

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: cognitive abilities (analyzing, synthesizing, critical thinking) and creativity (intellectual insights, innovation, intellectual risk) (RS1)
2. Personal effectiveness: personal qualities (RS2)
3. Engagement, influence and impact: working with others (RS4)

Writing, Reviewing and Publishing

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
Writing and publishing are at the core of what researchers do. This course introduces students to the practical aspects of the publication process and the role that this process may play in their academic careers. In the dedicated writing classes students will bring their own original project, have the opportunity to progress on this project and receive individualized feedback. The course also raises awareness of the systemic and ethical aspects of the publication and review system as we know it.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Examine and reflect on your own writing style, strengths and weaknesses in general but also in different types of written product
2. Develop writing skills through working on a specific paper
3. Discriminate between different writing strategies and judge when they may be useful for you
4. Recognize the process that research goes through before being published in peer reviewed journals
5. Practice the role as reviewer and reflect on how you yourself can contribute to the development of research as a reviewer
6. Formulate best practices in the review process and become aware of ethical pitfalls in the review process and how to avoid them
7. Critique the publication process as we currently know it. Reflect on how these issues may affect you personally and how you may contribute in your academic career to improving the publication process of the field of management

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: critical thinking, argument construction, intellectual risk
2. Personnel effectiveness: self-reflection, responsibility, commitment to research, career management
3. Research governance and organization: appropriate practice
4. Engagement, influence, impact: team working, communication methods, pubication, society

Research training seminars

Research training seminars

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
These seminars are open to all students from TSM-DP 2nd year. The purpose of this module is to provide students with a broadly based overview of current research skills to write your PhD dissertation.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify mobility grants
- Discover the international job market conference
- Compare academic posters and analyse poster sessions
- Design a poster and resources to help with poster design
- Improve networking skills

Research skills

- Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Inquiring mind; Argument construction
- Personal effectiveness: Networking; Career management; Responsiveness to opportunities
- Research governance and organisation: Funding; Research strategy; Appropriate practice
- Engagement, influence and impact: Communication methods; Communication media; Collegiality

Teachers' pedagogical practices

Teachers' pedagogical practices

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
It is a requirement of TSM that all PhD students who undertake any teaching duties should have attended the teachers' pedagogical practices which is designed for Postgraduate Teaching Assistants. The aim of this workshop is to address some of the basic skills and understanding teaching assistants will need for their work. It assumes that participants have little or no previous teaching experience.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Draw on an inventory of best experiences
- Review best practices with senior instructors
- Diagnose recurring pedagogical issues
- Role-play a 30-minute lecture

Research skills

- Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Argument construction; Innovation
- Personal effectiveness: Career management; Continuing professional development; Reputation; Integrity
- Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Appropriate practice
- Engagement, influence and impact: Teaching; People management; Mentoring; Influence and leadership; Communication methods