Doctoral Studentships in the Beedie School of Business

Applications are invited for funded doctoral studentships.

The Beedie School of Business will provide an annual funding package (a minimum of $28,000) including a doctoral studentship for the first four years.

Candidates must apply for admission to the doctoral program. For admission requirements please see http://beedie.sfu.ca/phd/apply/

For further information please contact Joanne Kim, PhD Program Administration (e-mail: phdbus@sfu.ca / tel: 778.782.6796).

Projects and Descriptions:


Global Entrepreneurship

Principal Investigator: Professor Pek-Hooi Soh

The proposed doctoral research is focused on global entrepreneurship. The student will conduct an extensive research into the competitive and cooperative dynamics of entrepreneurial firms in a global technology field. The objectives of the proposed research are: (1) identify the strategies of new technology investment, international collaboration, and new market entry for new ventures; (2) determine the dynamic capabilities of new ventures in making technological transitions. The foundations required for the doctoral research are strategic management, organization sociology, innovation and entrepreneurship. To be considered for this research opportunity, the student is to submit a short statement to indicate his/her interest and motivation and the relevance of prior research.


Global Investment Strategies

Principal Investigator: Professor Jing Li

Emerging market multinational corporations have increasingly invested in developed markets. Research has been limited in understanding post-entry operational and performance issues. We aim to study two specific issues.

First, multinational corporations from emerging markets such as China lack strong competitive advantages and aim to acquire technologies and brands by investing in developed markets. However, it remains unclear whether and how they are able to acquire such knowledge through their international investments. Second, firms from emerging markets also face legitimacy challenges in developed markets because of their weak competitive advantages and sometimes because of their connections with their home governments. Chinese firms, for example, are often partially or wholly owned by their government.

Research has been limited with regards to the mechanisms through which emerging market firms can improve their legitimacy among local stakeholders. We plan to conduct surveys among all Canadian subsidiaries of Chinese multinational corporations to investigate these two research topics.


Behavioral Contagion through Online Social Media

Principal Investigators: Professor Nilesh Saraf, Professor Srabana Dasgupta and Professor Dianne Cyr

This project investigates how specific behaviors of celebrities can propagate through a population. This can apply to celebrities championing health behaviors such as cancer treatments, or even celebrity suicides called copycat suicides. It aims to collect longitudinal data from online social media (e.g., Twitter) and augment it with data from other library databases. 


The research assistant must be capable of and highly interested in learning user-friendly (GUI) text mining tools that process online text data, reading and summarizing existing research on the topics and writing literature reviews of such papers. The RA may need to supervise a programmer who will help with manipulating the research data. The project is time sensitive and needs to be completed in 8 weeks. This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. 


Stigma Disclosure and De-stigmatization


Principal Investigator: Professor Brent Lyons

In organizational research and practice, top-down diversity interventions, such as policies or training initiatives, are the standard recommendation for addressing stigmatization in organizations. This perspective obscures the capacity of non-managerial employees with stigmatized identities to address stigmatization at the inter-personal level. To this end, the purpose of this proposed research is to identify how employees with stigmatized identities (in the context of the proposed study, gay/lesbian employees and individuals with disabilities) can contribute to the de-stigmatization of their identities.

We propose to investigate how heterosexual and able-bodied peers react to different disclosure strategies of their gay/lesbian and disabled co-workers. We will identify the psychological mechanisms that underlie these reactions in order. We plan to conduct surveys and field experiments.  This research is funded by SSHRC for 1 year.



Bad Apples, Bad Barrels and How They Interact: The Interaction of Individuals and Organizations in Wrongdoing

Principal Investigator: Professor Andrew von Nordenflycht

Research on ethical decision-making and on organizational misconduct has linked propensity for wrongdoing to both individual and organizational characteristics. However, because existing research tends to be conducted at either the individual or the organizational level, we know surprisingly little both about which level matters more—is it mostly bad apples  (rogue individuals) or mostly bad barrels (corrupt organizations for whom the individuals work) or equal parts both?—and about how individual and organizational factors interact to facilitate or hinder wrongdoing—e.g., does the status of an organization increase its effect on individual propensity for wrongdoing? And is that influence dampened by individuals’ tenure with organization?

In order to answer these questions, we need large sample data linking organizations, individuals, and wrongdoing. In this  project we have built such a database, gathering employment and wrongdoing records on more than 12,000 US stockbrokers over several decades. On-going work on the project will involve (1) statistically analyzing this unique database in a variety of ways to address multiple questions, (2) supplementing the database with additional information, (3) writing up and publishing the results of the analyses; and (4) communicating the results to industry participants.

We seek doctoral students to drive this research forward. Students should have interests in Organizational Behavior, Business Ethics, Ethical Decision Making, Behavioral Decision making, Corruption, and /or Corporate Governance as well as possess some foundational skills in Statistical Analysis.

This project is being funded by the Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada for four years.



Measuring Multiculturalism

Principal Investigators: Professor David C. Thomas and Professor Mila B Lazarova

Today, most societies are multicultural, with many different cultural groups living in daily contact. Multiculturalism is a defining feature of Canadian society enshrined in the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988. The promise of the act is that all citizens will participate fully and equitably in all aspects of Canadian society without regard to their origins. However, the existence of policies with regard to multiculturalism does not necessarily guarantee this participation.

This research is a three stage multi year research project that will result in two indexes of multiculturalism that capture the extent to which an experienced climate of multiculturalism exists at various levels of society. One of these indexes will reflect objective evidence of multiculturalism, and the other the lived experiences of multicultural individuals. These indexes can then be used to monitor the evolution of multiculturalism in a standard format that allows comparative research and contributes to our understanding of multiculturalism in Canada and around the world.

The PhD student will be full (junior) participant in the research project and will gain experience and advanced skills in all aspects of the research, including teamwork and knowledge mobilization. Position subject to funding.