Master of Research in Management (MRM)


Your first step to becoming an IESE doctoral student is to complete the Master of Research in Management (MRM).

The MRM provides you with the foundations to become a thoroughly trained researcher. You’ll gain the quantitative and qualitative methodological skills needed for quality empirical and theoretic research for publication in mainstream business journals.

After finishing your coursework, you will take an examination in your area of specialization and submit an empirical research paper showing potential, both of which are needed to progress on to the IESE doctoral program.

You’ll have the chance to work as a research assistant for IESE faculty members throughout your MRM. Participating in key research projects provides you with valuable inspiration for your dissertation topic, in addition to being an unparalleled learning experience.

First Year - Pre-Term
  • Basic Mathematics (2 ECTS)
    The objective of this pre-course is to allow students to assess the level of knowledge and mathematical skills required in the courses of the MRM program. The main concepts reviewed in the basic mathematics pre-course are functions and limits, as well as the essentials of algebra, including diagonalization and classification of quadratic forms.
    Prof. Miguel Angel Canela
  • Quantitative Analysis for Decision Making (2 ECTS)
    This course provides an introduction to the basic notions in accounting from the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow to managerial accounting concepts such as variable and fixed costs and cost systems.
    Prof. Natàlia Cugueró (Université Toulouse 1 Capitole)
  • Foundations of Research (2 ECTS)
    “Foundations of Research” and “Research Design” are parts of this seminar. This course has two main goals:
    • The first is to provide students an overview of research design from different methodological perspectives.
    • The second is to offer them an early opportunity to think and write about a research question of their interest which may become their dissertation topic eventually.
    Prof. Africa Ariño
  • Introduction to Logic (3 ECTS)
    Introduction to logical reasoning: categorical statements, relations between categorical statements (independence, consistency, equivalence), arguments, syllogisms, propositional logic, truth tables, inference rules.
    Prof. Josep Maria Rosanas Martí

First Year - Term 1

  • Introduction to Decision Making (4 ECTS)
    This course develops the student’s ability to think about complex real-world business and management problems. At the same time, the course serves as an introduction to the use of the case method.
    An examination is made of the various stages involved in decision-making and implementation; defining the problem(s), establishing the criteria (both quantitative and qualitative), designing alternative solutions, and making a decision based on both objective and subjective criteria and the ease of successful implementation of the solution chosen.
    The course presents the criteria (economic, psycho-sociological and moral) which decision-makers should take into account.
    Prof. Joan Fontrodona Felip
  • Basic Statistics (5 ECTS)
    This course has two parts. The first one covers the basics of probability: probability calculus, univariate and multivariate distributions, expectation, independence and conditional distributions. The second part is a brief introduction to statistics, starting with an introduction to estimation and testing, following with the presentation of the classical tests for comparing means and variances and ending with simple linear regression. Stata is used for the data analysis in the examples and exercises.
    Prof. Miguel Angel Canela
  • Management Classics (9 ECTS)
    The objective of the seminar is to acquaint students with the theoretical developments that have taken place in conceptualizing organizations, organizational behavior and the managerial function from the beginning of the 20th century. The seminar consists of critical readings of classics on the subject (Taylor, Follet, Fayol, Mayo, Roethlisberger, Barnard, Drucker, Simon, March, Perrow, Selznick . . .), and attempts to integrate their contributions with a general anthropological view while at the same time emphasizing the conceptual achievements of each one.
    Prof. Josep Maria Rosanas
  • Mathematics (5 ECTS)
    The Mathematics PhD course spans 14 sessions and deals with the mathematical tools that IESE PhD students will have to use later on during their research, either directly or as part of methodologies, algorithms, or other PhD courses such as Statistics and Econometrics. In particular, it consists of two different blocks with an approximately equal number of sessions: matrix algebra and optimization.
    Prof. Miguel Ángel Canela
  • Economics I – Microeconomics (4 ECTS)
    The course provides students with the core tools of economic modeling that will allow them to analyze and think about the purchasing decision of a consumer as well as the economic environment in which the firm operates. Topics covered include consumer choice, choice in the presence of risk, demand theory, firm supply and pricing decisions, perfect markets and monopoly.
    Prof. José Azar
  • Sociology (1 ECTS)
    This course provides a foundation in the central ideas of social theory. This field is broad and one single course is not enough to cover all aspects and approaches. Instead, we will only focus on some of them. The course will focus on theory construction and evaluation. Theorist solutions to substantive questions imply specific assumptions on human actions and knowledge. Each of classical authors adopted a different perspective for theory development. We will study and compare those diverse ways of theorizing.
    Profs. Pablo García Ruiz and Carlos Rodríguez Lluesma

First Year - Term 2

  • Anthropology and Ethics (6 ECTS)
    This course develops an understanding of the complexity of the human world: how we know, decide, believe, feel, act and live. Consequently, the course seeks to analyze human action in-depth, studying how man knows and feels, and his relationship with his environment. The course also looks at the human being’s freedom and rationality as necessary components for responsible human action. Finally, no anthropological view would be complete without considering the meaning man gives to his life and the role played in it by other human beings.
    Prof. Domènec Melé
  • Econometrics I (5 ECTS)
    This course is data-oriented and covers the main topics related to the classical linear regression model: estimation and testing of regression coefficients, use of dummy variables, heteroskedasticity, serial correlation and panel data. Stata is used for the data analysis in the examples and exercises.
    Prof. Miguel Angel Canela
  • Industrial Organization (4 ECTS)
    Offers a survey of modern industrial economics and covers the theory of industrial organization with special emphasis on the contributions of game theory, as well as an analysis of the available empirical evidence. Moreover, the applications of industrial organization theory to the field of international economics are considered, and a study is carried out on the influence of theory upon the most relevant economic policies (competition policy, industrial policy and trade policy).
    Prof. Xavier Vives
  • Organizational Theory (3 ECTS)
    This seminar presents, discusses and evaluates contemporary developments in the field of organizational theory. Perspectives inherent in demography, environmentalism, networks, resource dependency and neo-institutional approaches are examined in detail. The conceptual challenges posed to existing theories by the emerging plurality of organizational forms is given special consideration. The seminar emphasizes non-economic approaches to organizational phenomena.
    Prof. Massimo Maoret
  • Research Methods – Social and Humanistic Sciences (4 ECTS)
    The objective of this course is to present you with an overview of themes and topics that fall under the general heading of “research methods”. In particular we will focus on tools and methodologies that are commonly used by researchers studying management and organizations.Management scholars must make many choices when pursuing a research project. This holds for problems encountered in applied settings, as well as for theory generated problems. In the course of this class we will identify some of those problems, and discuss the costs and benefits of the various options available to management researchers. Our focus will be one of methods and analytical approach to concrete issues. This is not a cookbook tools course, though tools will be discussed. This is not a statistics course, though statistical concepts, problems and analyses are frequently considered.
    Prof. Giovanni Valentini
  • Marketing Seminar (1 ECTS)
    This seminar aims to provide an introduction to research in marketing. The objective of the seminar is to familiarize students with different theoretical and methodological domains in marketing, based on articles that appeared in the top scientific journals in the field. Our sessions will also cover other topics, common across all business disciplines, like: How to get published and cited? How to build a research career? What makes research interesting? What are threats to reliability and validity? What are pros and cons of various research methodologies? Should research be generalizeable? How to write a scientific paper?
    Prof. Stefan Stremersch
  • Accounting Seminar (1 ECTS)
    This course intends to accomplish several objectives. From the theory perspective, we will work on different frameworks that have been proposed to analyze management control systems and frameworks where management control systems can be applied. The objective is to give you an overview of the current state of the field, how it interacts with other fields (management control systems intersect with strategy, organizational behavior, operations management, and finance), and what are questions open to further investigation. From a research design perspective, the various readings are intended to provide you an overview of different research designs that have been used and can be used in future research. Finally, we will also work with teaching cases to understand how the topics that we are reviewing affect real-world cases.
    Prof. Natàlia Cugueró (Université Toulouse 1 Capitole)

First Year - Term 3

  • Econometrics II (5 ECTS)
    This course is the continuation of the Econometrics I course, covering some advanced topics not include there: the logit and probit models, multinomial and ordinal regression, Poisson regression, truncated and censored regression, sample selection models, survival analysis and instrumental variables. Stata is used for the data analysis in the examples and exercises.
    Prof. Miguel Angel Canela
  • Strategic Management (5 ECTS)
    This seminar combines the basic concepts of strategy, their application to practical cases, and the scientific foundations which serve to support these concepts. For this reason, cases, landmark research and other materials in the field of strategy serve as the basis for class discussion.
    Prof. Govert Vroom
  • Organizational Behavior (4 ECTS)
    This doctoral seminar aims to provide an in-depth look at some of the major topics of interest in contemporary organizational behavior (OB), with a primary focus on individual and collective processes – such as the study of individuals and groups within an organizational context, and the study of internal processes and practices as they affect individuals and groups.This course offers an introduction to established and emerging themes, knowledge, theory and research in the field of organizational behavior. One particular feature of this seminar is its multicultural focus. As human values and behaviors are very often culture-bound, we will also investigate certain cultural variations so as to reflect on the universality/particularity of organizational behavior across different cultures.
    Profs. Yuan Liao
  • Research Methods – Management Sciences (4 ECTS)
    This course provides an introduction to quantitative methods for management research. It provides an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different data and modeling traditions. It also covers prime challenges in model specification such as heterogeneity, multicollinearity, heteroskedasticity, endogeneity and aggregation. In our discussions, we will also devote attention to how to design research for academic and practice impact and to philosophy of science in general.
    Prof. Stefan Stremersch
  • Finance Seminar (1 ECTS)
    The course is an introduction to a few selected topics of finance at a PhD level. The objective is to equip students with tools to understand and do research in finance while discussing current policy developments as a result of the financial crisis. We shall revisit some of the classical concepts of financial economics, such as moral hazard and asymmetric information and how they impact corporate governance; introduce the role of information in financial markets; and conclude with a debate on banking and the financial crises. To achieve these objectives, we shall read and present recent papers in the area of finance, which use the following methods: mathematical modeling, empirical data and policy oriented tools. There will be also an emphasis on how finance is related to other areas of management such as corporate governance, control, strategic management and economics.
    Prof. Xavier Vives 
  • Economic Sociology (4 ECTS)
    This seminar focuses on the contributions of the “New Economic Sociology”. The past two decades have witnessed an almost radical transformation in the field of sociology’s approach to the economy. Building on work by original authors in this area, the seminar deals sequentially with some of the most significant contributions to the “New Economic Sociology” field. It starts with basic concepts such as Institutions, networks, and organizations. The course, then, moves on to examine the key economic institutions: Markets, Firms and Business Groups. Finally, the third part emphasizes different aspects of state economies and economic transformations, as well as new themes emerging in the field from a sociological lens. The outcome of the seminar should be a short but innovative conceptual work closely based on the seminar’s concepts.
    Prof. Marta Elvira 
  • Economics of Organization (B) (5 ECTS)
    Organizational Economics (B) is a more advanced course that intends to go further that Organizational Economics (A) in two directions: degree of formalization (agency theory and extensions) and the possible modeling of qualitative phenomena, like trust, cooperation and learning.
    Profs. Rafael Andreu Civit, Joan Enric Ricart Costa and Josep Maria Rosanas Martí
  • Multivariate Analysis (5 ECTS)
    The Multivariate Analysis course is oriented to management science research. This course is mainly concerned with the analysis of multivariate data on individuals or firms. The objectives of the course are:
    (a) To provide the student with some useful tools for his/her future research.
    (b) To help the student to develop a way of thinking in quantitative terms.
    (c) To provide the student with the basic concepts of factor analysis and structural equation modelling.
    Prof. Miguel Angel Canela


Second Year - Term 1

    • Economics of Organization (A) (4 ECTS)
      Organizational Economics (A) is a non-technical introductory course to organizational economics. What a firm is, what characterizes a neoclassical firm in economics, what the new contributions of economics of organizations are with respect to the theory of the firm are the key questions developed in the course. The logic of markets, transaction cost economics, its effects on governance, bounded rationality, opportunism, incomplete contracts, vertical integration, rents and efficiency, property rights, employment and executive compensation, alternative approaches to decision making, are some of the topics discussed.
      Profs. Rafael Andreu Civit, Joan Enric Ricart and Josep Maria Rosanas


Second Year - Term 2

  • Business Ethics (8 ECTS)
    The purpose of this course is to study how to integrate ethics in business. The course includes conceptual bases in integrating ethics in business, ethics in decision-making and leadership, organizational ethics, ethics of the economic system, corporate social responsibility, and ethical issues in functional areas such as managing personnel, marketing, finances, operations and information technology.
    Prof. Domènec Melé 
  • Departmental Seminars I (6 ECTS)
    They are specific seminars on different academic areas, which can vary every academic year. For example Frontiers and Methods of Entrepreneurship Research, Qualitative Research Methods, Current Cultural Trends, Conceptual Issues in Research Methodology, Advanced Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources, Time Series Analysis, Advanced Strategy, Strategic CSR and Sustainability, … Outline
  • Departmental Seminars II (6 ECTS)
    They are specific seminars on different academic areas, which can vary every academic year. For example Frontiers and Methods of Entrepreneurship Research, Qualitative Research Methods, Current Cultural Trends, Conceptual Issues in Research Methodology, Advanced Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources, Time Series Analysis, Advanced Strategy, Strategic CSR and Sustainability, …

Second Year - Term 3

  • Final Exam (7 ECTS)
    The student must successfully pass all the courses before he/she can take the Major Field Exam. The exam´s content includes topics relevant to the student´s field. However, the exam may include research design questions or questions related to the disciplines underlying his/her field of interest. The background knowledge required to answer these questions will probably be related with the core courses. Questions might include general evaluations of the field as well as questions about specific aspects of a particular paper.
  • Submission of Empirical Research Paper (18 ECTS)
    The empirical paper will be developed during the second year, although it is advisable to start working on it from the end of the first year. The student will develop this paper under the guidance of a Faculty member by mutual agreement. The Faculty member’s name should be communicated to the Assistant Program Director by June. It will be assessed by the faculty member who has supervised the student’s work and the MRM liaison of the student’s area of specialization who will grade the paper. They may provide comments aimed at improving the paper, in which case a final version incorporating those comments should be submitted by September and the revisions should be approved by the involved faculty members no later than September 8th 2015. Failure to meet this requirement will preclude enrollment into the Ph.D. Program, if the student had been admitted to it.


You will have the opportunity to attend electives and seminars organized by our faculty members. Enrolling in electives specific to your research, plus those that are complementary, will help give your studies a holistic and well-rounded perspective.

The following electives are scheduled for the upcoming year:

Accounting and Control
Conceptual Issues in Research Methodology – Prof. Josep Rosanas

Frontiers of Entrepreneurship – Prof. Christoph Zott
Social Entrepreneurship – Prof. Antonino Vaccaro

Behavioral Microeconomics – Prof. Xavier Vives

Information Systems
Qualitative Research Methods II – Prof. Robert Gregory

Managing People in Organizations
Cross-Cultural Research – Prof. B. Sebastian Reiche
Advanced Organizational Behavior – Prof. Sebastien Brion

Managerial Decision Sciences
Time Series – Prof. Miguel Ángel Canela

Decision Making and Consumer Behavior – Prof. Elena Reutskaja & Prof. Íñigo Gallo

Strategic Management
Advanced Strategy – Prof. Pascual Berrone
Introduction to Computational Social Science – Prof. Massimo Maoret
Qualitative Research Methods I – Prof. África Ariño