Areas of Study

You focus on your own, specialized field of academic interest from the moment you set foot on campus.

Whatever your specialization, you will acquire solid empirical research skills through constant mentoring and deep interaction with faculty, and the chance to contribute to research projects led by IESE professors.

The areas of specialization offered by the IESE doctoral program are below.

Accounting and Control

You will acquire thorough knowledge of economic theory and econometrics. Working directly with faculty, you will analyse:

  • Financial reporting
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Corporate governance
  • Managerial accounting
  • Internal control systems
  • Accounting conservatism
  • Fair value
  • Accounting-based business analysis and valuation
  • Executive compensation
  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate disclosur
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Performance measurement
  • Management control systems

PhD students publish in leading mainstream journals such as:
The Accounting Review; Journal of Accounting and Economics; Journal of Accounting Research; Review of Accounting Studies; Contemporary Accounting Research; European Accounting Review; Finance and Accounting; Journal of Financial Economics; Journal of Finance; Review of Financial Studies.

Business Ethics

Our Business Ethics department researches across a very broad diversity of topic areas. Together with our professors you will explore areas such as:

  • Ethical Foundations of Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corporate Corruption
  • Fraud
  • Humanism in Economics and Business

Additionally you will encouraged to publish in the likes of The Journal of Business Ethics or Business and Society Review.


Entrepreneurship research is an in interdisciplinary field at IESE, drawing upon theories and insights economics, sociology, psychology and general management.
IESE faculty conduct research and pursue questions related to a variety of topics in the context of entrepreneurship and corporate across macro, meso and micro levels. You will explore a number of key issues:

  • How do entrepreneurs obtain resources for new ventures?
  • How does founding teams composition affect firm performance?
  • How do start-ups grow?
  • What is the role of opportunity identification, evaluation and exploitation within the entrepreneurial process?
  • How do entrepreneurs use business models as a tool to innovate and gain competitive advantages?
  • How do firms learn and innovate?

IESE entrepreneurship doctoral students publish in a number of mainstream journals, including The International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.

Financial Management

Research and teaching in Finance at IESE Business School is the responsibility of the Financial Management department. The department comprises 13 full-time professors who work closely together with the IESE doctoral students across a very broad range of topics, including, for example:

  • Real estate and corporate finance. Understanding how the world of real estate works, and how it affects financial decisions in a company.
  • Banking the structure of financial institutions, the access to finance, and how they implement coherent monetary policies.
  • Empirical finance, investments and institutional investors. How institutional investors shape stock prices in the financial markets.
  • Corporate governance and executive compensation. How shareholders control with their votes the executive compensation of managers and the governance decisions in the firm.
  • Mergers and acquisitions, on what triggers M&A deals and how to measure synergies and value added.

You will aim to publish your research in mainstream journals such as Journal of Finance; Journal of Financial Economics; Review of Financial Studies; Review of Finance; Journal of Applied Corporate Finance; Journal of Financial Stability; Management Science.

Information Systems

Digital technologies are creating enormous opportunities for organizations in all sectors of the economy, but at the same time they are opening many challenges for individuals, organizations, and society. The research conducted at IESE’s Information System (IS) Department aims to explore and understand the emerging and continually evolving impact of digital technologies on individuals, management practices, business models, industries, and society at large, using a variety of theoretical lenses and methodological approaches.

Our research active faculty is well known in the following areas:

  • Digital innovation & emerging technologies
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Crowdsourcing and coordination
  • Team collaboration
  • User behavior
  • Digital platforms
  • Digital ecosystems

You will be closely working with our faculty on research projects aimed at publication in the premier information systems journals such as Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Management Information Systems, European Journal of Information Systems and the Journal of the Association for Information Systems.

Managerial Decision Sciences

Research at the Managerial Decision Sciences department comprises both statistical decision theory and the study of decision making from a broader organizational perspective. Some current research topics of professors at this department include:

  • Value-based theory
  • Derivative pricing with stochastic volatility
  • Macroeconomic uncertainty
  • Models of time and uncertainty
  • Organizational decision making
  • Macroeconomic uncertainty
  • Business performance metrics

You will be encouraged to publish in mainstream journals such as Management Science; Strategic Management Journal; Managerial and Decision Economics; Theory and Decision; International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance.

Managing People in Organizations

Managing people forms an integral part of any organisational activity, and understanding what individual, interpersonal, and contextual factors influence how people behave and collaborate towards organisational objectives goes to the heart of management. To that end, the Managing People in Organisations Department, the largest department at IESE, takes a wide and interdisciplinary approach to studying people management issues, ranging from micro-organisational psychology to macro perspectives such as organisational theory, sociology and HR management.

The MPO department comprises 18 full time professors who work closely together with the IESE doctoral students on cutting-edge research related to specific areas such as:

  • Diversity and multicultural management
  • Leadership, teams, power
  • Global mobility and forms of global work
  • Strategic HRM and human capital development
  • Coaching
  • Organizational change
  • Work and family balance
  • Alliance and coalition formation
  • Knowledge transfer

You will be encouraged to publish in mainstream journals such as: Academy of Management Journal; Academy of Management Review; Journal of Applied Psychology; Journal of International Business Studies; Personnel Psychology; Journal of Management; Psychological Science; Journal of Organizational Behaviour.


The marketing department at IESE Business School is young, diverse, and growing. Our 12 full-time, research-active professors come from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds and pursue a broad spectrum of areas.

  • What is the value of a business customer base?
  • What strategies and actions can a firm pursue in order to increase it?
  • How do consumers process information in a variety of circumstances – such as information overload, experiential consumption, etc.?
  • What textual aspects of reviews determine how useful and influential the review is perceived?
  • What is the role of social media? Or neuro-marketing?

Additionally, given IESE’s long-standing tradition of closeness to business, our professors benefit from access to quantitative and qualitative data from numerous local and international firms.
You will be encouraged to publish the fruit of your research with professors in mainstream journals such as the International Journal of Research in Marketing and Marketing Science.

Production, Technology and Operations Management

The aim of operations management is to organize the delivery of products and services in the best possible way. Our discipline is typically concerned with quantitative decision problems, involving the allocation and control of limited resources. Such problems arise, for example, in the operations of industrial firms, financial institutions, health care organizations, transportation systems, energy resources, and government. To help manage operations, we use mathematical and statistical models, e.g., mathematical programming, optimization, probability theory, statistics or game theory. Our 10 full-time, research-driving professors explore a broad range of issues including:

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Retail
  • Procurement
  • Interface of Operations and Finance
  • Service operations
  • Healthcare operations
  • Production and Inventory Control
  • Innovation and Product Development

Our doctoral students publish in mainstream journals such as Management Science; Operations Research; Manufacturing and Services Operations Management; Production and Operations Management.

Strategic Management

The Strategic Management Department is made up of 16 full-time IESE professors whose research interests span a broad diversity of topics:

  • Sustainability
  • Innovation
  • International business
  • Family business
  • Strategic alliances
  • Competitive strategy
  • Globalization
  • Cooperative strategies
  • Responsible investing

You will work closely with faculty to pursue research projects for publication in mainstream journals such as Journal of Business Ethics; Strategic Management Journal; International Journal of Innovation Science.