Master of Research in Management (MRM)

Master of Research in Management (MRM) | IESE Business School

Your first step to becoming an IESE doctoral student is to complete a Master of Research in Management (MRM) or be in the possession of a postgraduate degree in research methodologies for business and management sciences.

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 – Term 1

Foundations of Research (2 ECTS)*

This Pre-course is designed to serve as an opener of what research is about. Its purpose is to help you not to lose track of what you’re here for: becoming an independent researcher.

Prof. Africa Ariño Martín


Statistics (8 ECTS)*

This course emphasize on practical data analysis. It differs from other introductory courses in that multiple regression is covered and analysis of variance is restricted to one-way ANOVA. The Statistics course includes descriptive statistics, probability basics, and estimation and testing, covering the classical tests on group differences and regression coefficients.

Prof. Miguel Angel Canela


Management Classics (6 ECTS)*

Seminar of discussion of the classical authors in management. It consists of 10 double-sessions of 1h. 15m. (or a total of 2h 1/2 each double session), one every week. The essential objective of the course is to see what the evolution of management thought has been until around 1970, how to relate an author with another and the underlying logic of all this process.

Prof. Josep Maria Rosanas


Introduction to Computational Sciences (9 ECTS)*

Economics I - Microeconomics (7 ECTS)*

The goal of this course is to develop your economic intuition and to aid you in analyzing managerial decisions from an economic point of view. The tools that you will learn in this course will be useful for courses in industrial organization, finance, marketing, accounting and strategy that you may take at later stages in your Ph.D.

Prof. José Azar


Sociology (4 ECTS)

This course seeks to explore, first, the relationship between the emergence of ‘modernity’ and the invention of ‘social science,’ paying attention especially to Weber, Marx and Durkheim. These thinkers created some of social sciences most memorable and influential narratives. We will, second, explore several 20th century traditions of sociological thought, both in Europe and in the United States, which have shaped how we see our world today.

Prof. Carlos Rodríguez Lluesma


First Year – Term 2

Anthropology and Ethics (7 ECTS)*

This is a propaedeutic course on the philosophical study of human nature and action, that complements other scientific approaches to management. At the heart of management ‐both as science and practice‐ lies the human person, that through his or her actions ‐ in cooperation with other people and using resources efficiently‐ tries to achieve some valuable aims. Empirical sciences might not be sufficient for a full understanding of this reality.

Prof. Joan Fontrodona


Econometrics I (5 ECTS)*

The goal of this course is to develop your knowledge of applied econometrics and to put this knowledge into practice through examples and replication work. The tools that you will learn in this course will be useful to prepare you for conducting independent research in management.

Prof. José Azar


Research Methods Social Behavioral Sciences (4 ECTS)*

Economics of Organizations A (7 ECTS)*

Industrial Organization (3 ECTS)

This course is an introduction to the field of industrial organization. Industrial organization deals with the structure and performance of (imperfectly competitive) markets and the interaction between different players intervening in these markets such as firms, consumers and regulators or competition policy authorities. Among the particular subjects we will study are the determinants of market structure, the pricing decisions of firms, the strategic interactions among firms, and the effects of structure and conduct on price and non-price dimensions of market performance.

Prof. Xavier Vives


Organizational Theory (4 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


Empirical Research in Finance and Accounting II (4 ECTS)

The approach will emphasize the theoretical foundations and econometric rigor of empirical work. The course series will cover the main research areas of empirical research in asset pricing, corporate finance, and financial reporting. This first part of the series will focus on corporate finance and banking.

Prof. Stefano Sacchetto


Marketing Seminar (4 ECTS)

First Year – Term 3

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 modeling.

Prof. Echo Yuan Liao


Strategic Management (7 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


Econometrics II (3 ECTS)

This is a hands on course intended to develop your knowledge of applied econometrics through the discussion of selected topics rela class in your own research.

Prof. Solon Moreira


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.

Prof. Sebastian Hafenbrädl


Research Methods - Management Sciences (3 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 (4 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


Qualitative Research Methods I (3 ECTS)

This course is intended for all doctoral students, regardless of substantive area or methodological orientation. The objective of the course is to develop your appreciation for qualitative research methods. The course takes a practical approach to this objective: the emphasis is on doing qualitative research — that is, reading it, evaluating it, learning the skills involved in conducting it, and applying these skills in the design, conduct, and write-up of a small-scale research study of your choice.

Prof. Africa Ariño


Experimental Research Methods (2 ECTS)

The overall aim of the class is to equip students with the knowledge and capacity to both conduct experimental research as well as interpret and critique others’ experimental research. To achieve this aim, this class is divided into two main phases. In the first phase, students are designing an experiment related to their own research. In the second phase, students can decide between: a) revise and improve their experimental design, b) conduct their proposed experiment and present their results, or c) critique and interpret experiments from their classmates and/or that are already published in top management journals.

Prof. Sebastian Hafenbrädl


Second Year – Term 1

Business Ethics (7 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


Economic Sociology (3 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


Second Year – Term 2

Departmental Seminar IV: Empirical Research and Accounting II (4 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 II, Current Cultural Trends, Advanced Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources, Time Series Analysis, Advanced Strategy, Strategic CSR and Sustainability, etc.

Prof. Stefano Sacchetto


Second Year – Term 3

Special Field Readings (3 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. 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: