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IESE PhD in Management Specializations

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.

PhD in Management Specialization in Accounting and Control

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


Pietro Bonetti

His areas of interest are:

• Financial and Disclosure Regulation
• Disclosure
• Corporate Governance
• Debt Contracting

Igor Kadach

Igor’s research interests concentrate on voluntary disclosure, institutional ownership and the structure of executive compensation. In his dissertation, Igor studied the interplay of equity mispricing and managers? earnings forecast decisions.

In future research, he plans to study the effects of institutional ownership and executive compensation on managers’ disclosure decisions.

Areas of interest:

• Voluntary Disclosure
• Institutional Ownership
• Executive Compensation
• Equity Analysts

Gaizka Ormazabal

Professor Ormazabal’s research focuses on executive compensation and corporate governance. His work examines the choice and valuation implications of corporate governance mechanisms. His current research projects analyze recent trends in managerial compensation, corporate governance intermediaries, financial regulation, bank accounting, and the role of corporate governance in sustainable development.

Areas of interest:

• Executive compensation
• Corporate Governance
• Risk Management
• Financial regulation and enforcement
• Governance intermediaries
• Sustainable finance
• Banking

Fernando Peñalva

His research focuses on the impact of accounting conservatism, fair value, earnings management, corporate governance, corporate disclosure, and international accounting (IFRS and US GAAP).

Areas of interest:

• Accounting Attributes: Conservatism, Fair value, etc.
• Earnings management and accounting discretion
• Corporate Governance
• Corporate Disclosure
• International accounting (IFRS and US GAAP)

Robert Raney

Robert´s research focuses on settings with high uncertainty and information asymmetry. He has active projects related to the fair value of financial assets, intangible assets, and crypto assets. He explores complex and non-linear value implications of information and the disclosure choices of managers.  Robert enjoys helping students understand how to utilize technology and information to facilitate sound strategic decision making.

Areas of interest:

• Fair Value Accounting
• Intangible Assets
• Blockchain technology
• Corporate Governance

PhD in Management Specialization in Business Ethics

Business is not merely a realm for profit maximizing; it is also a human reality. As such, human excellence can manifest itself in the decisions and conduct of individuals and organizations.

Our Department of Business Ethics is committed to highlighting ethics as essential to and at the core of business activity and decision-making. The complexities of a global and dynamic business world, where non-economic and economic concerns coexist, give ethics a vital role in guiding human action, always with the potential for human excellence in mind.

Our Business Ethics department research is bringing the most recent and influential ideas in business ethics to the academic and business community, PhD students can do research 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
• Ethical foundations of management
• The role of business in society
• Corporate social responsibility
• Ethics and decision-making
• Humanism in organizational cultures
• Corporate corruption and fraud

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


Joan Fontrodona

Areas of interest:

• Corporate social responsibility
• Business ethics policies and practices
• Anthropological and ethical foundations for management
• Ethics in decision-making
• Business and society relations

Antonino Vaccaro

Areas of interest:

• Corporate Social Responsibility
• Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
• Compliance and security management

PhD in Management Specialization in Entrepreneurship

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.


Christoph Zott

His work centers on business model innovation, entrepreneurship in established firms, innovation strategy and new venture creation. He teaches, consults and conducts research on these topics.

Areas of interest:

• Business Model Innovation
• Entrepreneurship in Established Firms
• Entrepreneurial Leadership
• Innovation Strategy
• New Business Opportunities
• Social Entrepreneurship
• Venture Capital

Thomas Klueter

Prof. Klueter’s research interests lie at the intersection of strategic entrepreneurship and innovation. He focuses on how established and emerging firms manage technological change and the strategies firms pursue to develop and commercialize new technologies.

Areas of interest:

• Strategic Entrepreneurship
• Technology Innovation
• Inter-organizational partnerships

Jeroen Neckebrouck

His research focuses on the governance of privately held entrepreneurial firms, with a particular interest in family firms and private equity. His current research centers on how private equity minority investments can contribute to the performance of family firms, and on the relationship between private firm governance and the development of firm-specific human capital.

Areas of interest:

• Corporate governance
• Entrepreneurship
• Family firms
• Private equity

Desirée Pacheco

Prof. Pacheco’s research interests relate to the interface between institutions, entrepreneurship, and firm strategy.  She applies these areas of research to the study of sustainable business.  She is particularly interested in the strategies that entrepreneurs undertake to bring about institutional change, such as changes in policies, industry practices, and norms.  She also studies the effect of social movement activism on emerging industries and the new ventures that operate within them, and the ability of emerging industries to drive cultural shifts.

Areas of interest:

• Sustainable Entrepreneurship
• Institutional Change and Entrepreneurship
• Social Movements and Entrepreneurship

PhD in Management Specialization in 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 FinanceJournal of Financial EconomicsReview of Financial StudiesReview of FinanceJournal of Applied Corporate FinanceJournal of Financial StabilityManagement Science.


Mireia Giné

Prof. Giné is currently investigating how common ownership of institutional shareholders impacts the corporate decisions of companies in their portfolio

Areas of interest:

• Corporate governance, Shareholder Activism and M&A
• Executive compensation
• Empirical corporate finance
• Fintech

Miguel Antón

Prof. Antón’s principal areas of academic and research activity include empirical asset pricing, the impact of institutional trading in asset prices, mutual fund performance, contagion in credit markets, and determinants of systemic risk.

Areas of interest:

• Empirical Asset Pricing
• Behavioral Finance
• Mutual Funds
• Credit Markets
• Systemic Risk

Christian Eufinger

Prof. Eufinger’s research interests include the foundations of interbank markets, the interaction of banks’ capital structure and investment choices, the corporate governance of banks, banking regulation, and the channels through which banks exert an influence on the real economy.

Areas of interest:

• Banking
• Corporate Finance
• Private Equity
• Valuation

Valentina Raponi

Prof. Valentina Raponi’s current work include financial econometrics, asset pricing and portfolio choice, econometric theory and machine learning.

Areas of interest:

* Financial Econometrics
* Empirical asset pricing
* Asset pricing anomalies
* Portfolio Choice
* Econometric Theory
* Machine Learning

Stefano Sacchetto

Stefano’s main area of research is corporate finance, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, and firms’ investment and financing policies. In particular, Stefano is interested in the development and estimation of models that study these corporate decisions.

Areas of interest

• Corporate Finance
• Mergers and Acquisitions
• Corporate Restructuring
• Structural Estimation
• Industrial Organization

Xavier Vives

His fields of interest are industrial organization and regulation, the economics of information, and banking and financial economics.

* Dynamic games of complementarities
* Innovation and competition
* Banking crisis and regulation,
* Information and financial markets
* Competition policy
* The location of headquarters

Areas of interest:

• Dynamic games of complementarities
• Innovation and competition
• Banking crisis and regulation,
• Information and financial markets
• Competition policy
• The location of headquarters

PhD in Management Specialization in 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 ResearchMIS QuarterlyJournal of Management Information SystemsEuropean Journal of Information Systems and the Journal of the Association for Information Systems.


Christoph Schneider

His research interests include human-computer interaction, electronic commerce, and computer-mediated collaboration.

Areas of interest

• Human-computer interaction,
• Electronic commerce
• Computer-mediated collaboration

PhD in Management Specialization in 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 ScienceStrategic Management JournalManagerial and Decision EconomicsTheory and DecisionInternational Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance.


Johannes Müller-Trede

His work focuses on the performance, the psychology, and the rationality of people’s decision making. He has studied how people can learn from others about their own preferences, and how leveraging a variety of individual learning experiences can improve team decisions.

Other research interests

• Behavioral Economics
• Decision Theory
• Learning and Information Processing
• Prediction and Forecasting
• Risk and Uncertainty

PhD in Management Specialization in 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 JournalAcademy of Management ReviewJournal of Applied PsychologyJournal of International Business StudiesPersonnel PsychologyJournal of ManagementPsychological ScienceJournal of Organizational Behaviour.


Anneloes Raes

Prof. Raes’ research expertise includes the fields of top management teams, teamwork, self-management, and leadership.

Areas of interest:

• Top management teams
• Relationships between top and middle managers
• Teamwork
• Temporal dynamics of teamwork

Sebastian Hafenbrädl

His research on judgment and decision-making lies at the intersection of psychology and economics. In particular, he focuses on managerial contexts, ethics, and the role played by social and institutional forces.

Areas of interest:

• Judgment and Decision making
• Behavioral Economics
• Organizational Behavior
• Leadership
• Business Ethics
• Institutional Logics

Sebastian Reiche

Prof. Reiche’s research focuses on international assignments and forms of global work, knowledge transfer, talent retention, culture and language in global organizations, and global leadership.

Areas of interest:

• Global work and global mobility
• Talent Development and Retention
• Knowledge Transfer
• Global Leadership
• Cross-Cultural Management
• Trust and Social Capital

Carlos Rodríguez Lluesma

Areas of interest:

• Personal development
• Virtual teams
• Strategic people management
• Global leadership

Maya Rossignac-Milon

Her research examines the underpinnings and consequences of social connections in personal and professional life. What makes new acquaintances and employees click with each other? When and how do relationships with friends and colleagues deepen to such an extent that people feel they have “merged minds”? And how do these connections influence employees’ work meaningfulness and productivity?

In her work, Maya has introduced the novel construct of Generalized Shared Reality—the experience of sharing the same thoughts and feelings with an interaction partner about the world—as a critical catalyst for forging and deepening interpersonal connections. Her ongoing research examines the role of shared reality in improving important organizational outcomes, like work meaningfulness, job satisfaction, and performance. She uses a wide range of methodologies, such as controlled laboratory experiments, organizational field studies, natural language processing, and intensive longitudinal paradigms.

Areas of interest:

• Shared Reality
• Interpersonal Relationships
• Social Connection
• Conversational dynamics
• Work Meaning

PhD in Management Specialization in Marketing

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.


Diego Aparicio

Prof. Aparicio research includes optimal pricing and assortment decisions, online platforms, retailing, and applied topics in corporate finance.

Areas of interest:

• Pricing
• Economics of Digitization
• Artificial Intelligence
• Lab Experiments
• Industrial Organization


Iñigo Gallo

His research centers in the understanding of how experiential purchases are different from material purchases, and how these differences influence the way consumers evaluate and choose experiences, as opposed to products. Some of the questions Iñigo studies in his research are: how does price influence a decision on an experience differently from a decision on a product? What type of advertising works best for experiences compared to products? How do consumers deal with the uncertainty that is associated with the evaluation of an experiential purchase?

Areas of interest:

• Consumer Behavior
• Decision Making
• Word of Mouth
• Experiential Purchases
• Digital Marketing

Vardit Landsman

Her research studies the bridge between strategy, decision making, and empirical modeling.

Claire Linares

Her main focus of research is at the intersection of consumer psychology and face perception. She investigates the information that people can read in consumers’ faces and the facial stereotypes that they hold. More broadly, she is interested in how consumers navigate today’s changing world, for instance how they respond to technology or to distrust in institutions.

Elena Reutskaja

Prof. Reutskaja’s research lies at the intersection of behavioral insights, decision-making, marketing and economics, with special focus on choice overload, choice architecture, individual and group decision-making, ethical decision-making as well as neuro-marketing. Elena studies how people make decisions in their daily lives from simple choices like snacks to important managerial decisions, and explores the ways to improve those decision and choices using various choice architecture and debiasing tools.  Elena employs a variety of methods in her research with special focus on decision process-tracing methods, from mouse tracing and eye-tracking to emotion-recognition and brain-imaging.

Areas of interest:

• Behavioral Insights
• Choice Overload
• Choice architecture and nudges
• Neuromarketing
• Cross-cultural Differences
• Behavioral Ethics
• Dyadic Decisions
• Individual Differences

Albert Valentí

Prof. Valentí’s research interests include customer analytics, marketing resource allocation, digital marketing, omnichannel marketing, field experimentation.

Areas of interest:

• Marketing Analytics
• Multichannel Marketing
• Digital Marketing
• Marketing Resource Allocation

PhD in Management Specialization in Production, Technology and Operations

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 ScienceOperations ResearchManufacturing and Services Operations ManagementProduction and Operations Management.


Mihalis Markakis

Prof. Markakis’ research focuses on the mobility sector, as well as on inventory and supply chain management.

Areas of interest:

• Pricing and Revenue Management
• Transportation Economics
• Inventory and Supply Chain Management


Víctor Martínez de Albéniz

His research focusses on supply chain management, where procurement, production and distribution decisions can help companies compete more successfully in the global arena.

Areas of interest:

• Retail
• Supply chain management
• Procurement
• Innovation and product development

Anna Sáez de Tejada

Her research interests include social responsibility, sustainability, supply chain management, behavioral operations management, and empirical and experimental operations management. Recently she has been working on visibility and transparency in apparel supply chains, on behavioral biases of managers, on sustainable business models in fashion, on diffusion of diversity initiatives along supply chains, and on consumer attitudes and behavior with regards to environmental issues like recycling, renewable energies, or ecolabeled products.

Areas of interest:

• Social responsibility
• Sustainability
• Supply chain management
• Behavioral operations management
• Empirical and experimental operations management

PhD in Management Specialization in 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 EthicsStrategic Management JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Science.


Fabrizio Ferraro

His current research explores the emergence of responsible and impact investing in the financial sector.

Areas of interest:

• Strategy Execution
• Responsible Investing
• Fashion and Luxury Goods Industry

Africa Ariño

Her research interests include the governance and management of interorganizational relationships, with particular emphasis on strategic alliance design and dynamics.

Areas of interest:

• Cooperative strategies
• Strategic alliances

Romain Boulongne

His primary research focus is on how categorization processes shape social evaluation and performance of organizations in markets. Another aspect of Romain’s research draws on his broader interest in questions related to sustainability, using experimental methods and large-scale empirical approaches to explore topics such as the performance of alternative forms of organizing, impact investing and, more broadly, how organizations can integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their strategies.

Areas of interest:

• Cognitive and Normative Dimensions of Firm Performance
• Organization Theory
• Sustainability

Massimo Maoret

Massimo’s research focuses on how social networks impact performance, innovation, and societal culture. He is also specialized in the energy sector, with a focus on the green energy transition.

Areas of interest:

• Organization Theory
• Social Networks
• Strategic Management

Joan Enric Ricart

Areas of interest:

• Strategic management
• Organizational design
• Sustainable development
• Telecommunications
• Economics of organizations
• Corporate governance
• Business models
• Offshoring

David Wehrheim

His research uses large-scale empirical approaches to study innovation at the firm and individual level. In particular, his current interests include the design and management of technology-based strategic alliances, feedback effects from financial markets to corporate R&D decisions, as well as the role of patent rights for the mobility of knowledge workers and the creation of start-ups.

Areas of interest:

• Economics of Innovation
• Intellectual Property
• Technology Strategy
• Corporate Finance
• Feedback Effects from Financial Markets