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Thread: A Question about a particular business PhD area to apply to !!

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    A Question about a particular business PhD area to apply to !!

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    Hi guys,

    I need some advice from the board as I seem to be stuck on a particular issue. In my MS program, I am doing plenty of research with respect to human dynamics and online social networks in organizations. Moreover, I am also interested in this aspect with respect to collaboration, virtual teams and virtual organizational structures.

    I would like to extend this study in business settings and this has got me looking towards business PhD programs where such research is taking place.

    Does anybody know of particular schools or professors who seem to be doing such work? Moreover, what business area does this fall under: management, OB?

    Also, what kind of quantitative skills should be expected for competitive admissions to such areas. (I know nothing of this area. I used to be an information systems guy !!)
    Last edited by Ancalagon The Black; 03-13-2009 at 05:48 PM. Reason: Added some more information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon The Black View Post
    Hi guys,

    I need some advice from the board as I seem to be stuck on a particular issue. In my MS program, I am doing plenty of research with respect to human dynamics and online social networks in organizations. Moreover, I am also interested in this aspect with respect to collaboration, virtual teams and virtual organizational structures.

    I would like to extend this study in business settings and this has got me looking towards business PhD programs where such research is taking place.

    Does anybody know of particular schools or professors who seem to be doing such work? Moreover, what business area does this fall under: management, OB?

    Also, what kind of quantitative skills should be expected for competitive admissions to such areas. (I know nothing of this area. I used to be an information systems guy !!)
    I could see this kind of stuff being done by just about any B-school department, though Econ, OB, Strategy, Management and B-School MIS dpeartments would be more likely to have people doing this kind of stuff than other B-school departments (finance, stats, accounting). Aral in NYU Stern's IS department does some work in this field. I think both Bacarra and Lee in NYU Stern's econ department have done some related stuff, though not exactly what you describe. I also remembering seeing that a couple of people at Wharton and HBS were doing work in this field, though I don't remember who.

    Since you have a background in IS, take a look at B-School MIS departments for people doing this kind of stuff.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Thank you friend. I shall do that.

    Now suppose I did manage to find some really interesting field in say another branch than IS - say Management or OB. What kind of quantitative courses would i need to be a competitive applicant?

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    Multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and mathematical statistics seem to be the most typical requirements. The extra ambitious would add courses in real analysis, optimization, stochastic processes, and/or differential equations. But I'm not sure if those latter courses would have any effect on your admission chances given your stated interests.

    Basically, I see two main concerns driving quantitative skills in Business PhD admissions:
    • Being able to complete the Economics core
    • Being able to do sophisticated statistical modeling

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    Like oldprogrammer mentioned, multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and a math stats or an econometrics course are necessary to be competitive at top schools. A calculus based probability course would also be useful. Beyond that, more math is always more useful, though how much the extra math matters would depend on the school. Some OB, management and strategy programs take a more quantitative approach. For those schools linear programming/optimization, game theory, real analysis, differential equations and stochastics would all help a lot. Some programs are more behavioral/psychology oriented and the extra math will not help as much.

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    Beyond b-school, you may want to consider human-computer interaction (HCI) programs.
    another phd aspirant's blog... http://phdmilestone.blogspot.com/

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    I dont have real analysis or econometrics but I have all the other courses mentioned above and then some. Is that necessarily going to be a detriment?

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    tkkoh:

    Yes, thanks so much for the tip. Actually, I was thinking of applying to a judicious mix of b-schools and i-schools where this kind of research also takes place.

    Then there are some interdisciplinary programs like CMU's COS and NWU's TSB. HBS's STM also comes into mind but they take 1 student a year and so far all of them have been Princeton undergrads so no chance for people like me.

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    Emory has an exceptional department - I know of at least one professor and one PhD student who are doing research specifically on social networks.

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    Thing is, your interests are spread pretty wide, in terms of departments/schools ...
    is it the interaction dynamics that interest you - or the socio-economic implications ? (i.e. the mechanism or the impact?)

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