PhD in Business Administration

Research Areas

Beedie PHD Program

SFU Beedie PhD students craft their own research discipline. These are the areas of research our current students focus on.

Select a Research Area to view


The PhD in Business Administration with a research focus in Accounting at SFU Beedie aims to attract people who will shape the next generation of thought leaders. Address accounting problems by applying the insights and tools gained from economics, finance, mathematics and statistics.

The program ensures that you are well trained in the underlying disciplines necessary to conduct research at the highest level. Rigorous coursework, combined with a collaborative research environment, will prepare you for empirical and theoretical research in accounting and give you the opportunity to positively impact current accounting, reporting and management practices.


  • Investor Protection
  • Market Behavior
  • Human Information Processing
  • Judgement And Decision Making In Accounting And Auditing
  • Information Economics
  • Internal Auditing
  • Audit Markets And Systems
  • Corporate Governance
  • Financial Reporting Quality
  • Accounting And Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Sustainability Reporting
  • Performance Measurement And Productivity
  • Foreign Markets, Disclosure And Regulation

For more information, visit the accounting page.


The PhD in Business Administration with a research focus in Finance at SFU Beedie aims to attract people who will shape the next generation of thought leaders. We offer a Finance PhD program customized to individual interests and abilities. You will collaboratively develop your own curriculum to meet the challenges and opportunities of business and finance theory and practice. Rigorous coursework and a collaborative research environment prepare you for empirical and theoretical research in finance and equip you to produce world-class research.


  • Empirical Finance
  • Corporate Finance
  • Risk Modelling
  • International Finance
  • Computational Finance
  • Financial Institutions
  • Banking
  • Mutual Funds
  • Hedge Funds
  • Pension Funds
  • Financial Regulation
  • Asset Pricing
  • Liquidity Risk
  • Limits to Arbitrage
  • Predictability of Stock Returns
For more information, visit the finance page.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E)

The PhD in Business Administration with a research focus in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SFU Beedie enables you to engage with evolving contexts of national and global importance. Faculty mentor students in applying innovation and entrepreneurship theory to challenges such as meeting climate emission goals, developing and adopting personalized medicine solutions, and creating and capturing value from university inventions.


  • Technology Strategy
  • Innovation Ecosystems
  • Healthcare Innovation
  • Cleantech Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Entrepreneurial Decision Making
  • Entrepreneurial Capabilities
  • Sustainability Strategy
  • Strategic Networks
  • Strategy in Emerging Markets
  • Science based business
  • Innovation Policy
For more information, visit the innovation & entrepreneurship page

International Business

The PhD in Business Administration with a research focus in International Business (IB) at SFU Beedie inspires students to explore a deeper understanding of the organizational relationships of the multinational enterprise (MNE) in the sociocultural, sociopolitical, institutional and economic contexts. Some background in psychology, business, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science, and experience with statistical methods and data analysis, provides optimal preparation for students pursuing the IB specialization.

You will engage with the IB faculty members early in the program, and the IB group regularly publishes in reputable journals, such as Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Management Journal, International Business Review, Cross Cultural and Strategic Management, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal and Journal of World Business.


  • Cross-border Activities (International Joint Venturing, Alliances, Licensing, Foreign Direct Investment, Trade, Off-shoring, and Knowledge Transfer)
  • Strategy, Structure, and Decision-Making Process of Multinational Enterprises
  • Cross-Cultural Management
  • International Human Resource Management
  • Foreign Market Entry and Location Choice
  • Business in Developing Countries
  • Cross-country Comparative Studies of Business
For more information, visit the international business page.


The PhD in Business Administration with a research focus in Marketing at SFU Beedie has three tracks:

Behavioural Marketing: The study of how individuals behave in consumer-relevant domains investigating consumer choices and purchase behaviour. This area of marketing draws from social psychology and behavioural decision theory and includes a wide variety of topics such as Decision Making, Attitudes and Persuasion, Social Influence, Motivation, Cognition, Culture, Nonconscious Influences, Consumer Neuroscience, and Emotions. Some background in psychology, business and experience with experimental methods and data analysis provides optimal preparation for students pursuing the behavioural track.

Quantitative Marketing: Examines product, pricing, advertising and promotion strategies of firms and analyzes competition in a wide range of domains. It emphasizes the empirical analysis of applied marketing problems; the use of rigorous quantitative methods to provide solutions to important, managerially relevant questions. It draws primarily on fundamentals in applied microeconomic theory, industrial organization and econometrics and statistics. A background in Economics, Statistics or other quantitatively oriented subjects provides optimal preparation for students pursuing the quantitative track.

Marketing Strategy: The study of how organizations build a focused strategy to shape the customer journey and the customer experience. It examines how organizations use different strategies to reach target audiences. Topics include how organizations use limited resources to attain objectives in uncertain environments; marketing communication and social media strategies; customer personas and journeys; consumer behavior changes resulting from advancement in communications technology; digital transformation and the impact on companies; and examining the fundamental qualities that great brands share. Some background in psychology, business and experience with statistical methods and data analysis provides optimal preparation for students pursuing the track.


  • Behavioral Marketing (Consumer Behavior, Emotions in advertising and consumption, Branding and Consumer Choice, Experienced-based decision making)
  • Quantitative Marketing (Service design and Management, Pricing, Retailing, Marketing-Finance interface)
  • Marketing Strategy (Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications Effectiveness, Word-of-mouth communications)
For more information, visit the marketing page.

Management Information Systems (MIS)

Information Systems are transforming business and society in a variety of ways. New information technologies offer the opportunities to reshape firms, industry sectors and society to benefit the society-at-large, but they also pose new threats. Researchers in the MIS discipline broadly study how to enable new models of organizing individuals, collectives, firms and economies using new information technologies.

This field of research is highly interdisciplinary. It draws from other basic disciplines such as economics, computer science, information science, statistics, psychology, sociology, linguistics, and complements most other business disciplines.


Technology Diffusion:

  • Enterprise IT adoption and implementation
  • User adoption and usage of IT
  • Health/Accounting Information Systems
  • Privacy and security

Digitalization Strategy:

  • Competition among IT sectors
  • Digital platform creation and adoption
  • Information technology standards
  • Business performance impacts of IT

Online Communities:

  • Growth of online communities
  • Information sharing
  • Online reviews and user behavior
  • Open source software
  • Dark side of IT
For more information, visit the MIS page

Organizational Behaviour (OB)

The PhD in Business Administration with a research focus in Organizational Behaviour (OB) at SFU Beedie trains students for an academic career as researchers and tenure-track professors. Examine the behaviour of individuals, groups and organizations, and study the theory and methods from a broad range of disciplines. The topics include leadership, personnel selection, high performance work systems, organizational mindfulness, group learning and team processes. A background in psychology, business, sociology, anthropology, economics and political science and experience with statistical methods and data analysis provides optimal preparation for students pursuing the OB specialization.


  • Personnel Selection
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Expatriate Management
  • Group Learning
  • High Performance Work Systems
  • Organizational Mindfulness
For more information, visit the management and organization studies page.


Strategy is a determinant of organizational success. Strategic organizations are able to perform better and survive longer—shaping how industries change over time. The field of Strategic Management is about understanding the sources of the organization’s success and failure in an effort to create and defend a competitive advantage in changing environments.

The field draws from multiple intellectual disciplines, such as economics, psychology and sociology and complements other business disciplines such as marketing, human resources, information technology and finance.



  • Institutions and Industry Evolution
  • Corporate Strategic Dynamics
  • Innovation and Leadership
  • Learning and capabilities
  • Organizational design and Strategy Implementation
  • Competitive advantage at the business and corporate levels
For more information, visit the strategy page.


The PhD in Business Administration with a research focus in Sustainability at SFU Beedie prepares students for careers both inside and outside academia. Engage in issues that are relevant to both public and private interests and gain the research skills required to create both positive organizational outcomes and broader social and environmental impact.


  • Environmental governance and public policy
  • Social Innovation (social capital; social entrepreneurship; innovation and development)
  • Sustainable businesses and organizations (corporate sustainability; strategy and alliances)
For more information, visit the sustainability and