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Thread: Where should I apply? interested in computational methods for negotiations & strategy

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    Lightbulb Where should I apply? interested in computational methods for negotiations & strategy

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    Hello! Hoping to get suggestions on what types of PhD programs in business to apply to given that...

    I'm interested in the following application areas: negotiations, M&A, corporate strategy
    However, I'm specifically interested in applying alternative/rigorous quantitative approaches to the areas, such as:
    • machine & deep learning
    • simulation
    • game theory & mechanism design
    • algorithm & complexity analysis


    With these interests, where should I apply? A business Econ PhD program, Operations, Management?

    On the one hand I'm afraid the focus in management will be too qualitative, and operations too abstract or specific to supply-chain type problems (also not confident I have the background for it), and also not sure if this falls under the scope of economics...

    If it helps, my background is in mathematical economics and I have industry experience in risk analytics & modeling.

    Please let me know what you think!

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    Re: Where should I apply? interested in computational methods for negotiations & stra

    My first thought is that your research interests would fit well in management. Qualitative research is still a minority among published studies (although their numbers are rising in some journals), but many strategy researchers also publish in economics journals using complex quantitative analyses. The level of qualitative emphasis in a program will depend on how many faculty members are doing qualitative work (for whom you may work as an RA); some departments might not have anyone who has extensive qualitative experience. You may or may not be required to take a qualitative methods course depending on the program.

    I don't know much about the specific approaches you're interested in, but I recommend you try to find some articles using these approaches in areas you find interesting in order to locate potential PIs. I would focus less on the specific field and more on specific researchers when choosing what programs to apply to. Keep in mind that faculty may change directions, so they may not be doing the same type of research that was published a few years ago. You should check their bios on the department website, look at their most recent work (which may technically be a few years old due to the publication process), and perhaps reach out to them directly to discuss their work. You may end up finding a good fit in a few of the fields you mentioned, perhaps applying to a few management, a few economics, and a few operations programs, provided they all have researchers doing work that is relevant to your interests.

    In short: It is the program you're applying to that matters, not the field per se. You want to find programs where the faculty are doing work you find interesting and would like to pursue. You may need to take some courses that don't seem relevant for you at the time, but what is important is that the stats and methods courses and the expertise of the advisors will provide you with a solid foundation and resources to pursue your research goals.

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    Re: Where should I apply? interested in computational methods for negotiations & stra

    Itís not my field at all, and I know little of it. But this sounds a bit like decision sciences? Having said that, strategy (macro management) can be as quantitative or qualitative as you make it.

    Edit: example of decision science: https://www.insead.edu/phd/academics/decision-sciences

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    Re: Where should I apply? interested in computational methods for negotiations & stra

    Pretty much anything business-related falls in the scope of economics. Besides that, I think Operations Research or Finance are what you're looking for. I don't think any of these programs are focused exactly what you want but you'd probably be able to pursue your interests. I also think management wouldn't be quantitative enough for you.

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    Re: Where should I apply? interested in computational methods for negotiations & stra

    Great, thank you both for responding!

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