PhD in Department of Strategy and Innovation

Copenhagen Business School
March 09, 2023
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Copenhagen Business School invites applications for a number of vacant PhD scholarships (3-5) at the Department of Strategy and Innovation. Expected starting date is 1 September 2023.

The Department of Strategy and Innovation's (SI) research is focused on strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship and international business. The department's ambition is to host an internationally leading environment for research and teaching within the broad area of strategy. The department's research is generally cross-disciplinary. Faculty members have backgrounds in management, economics, sociology and economic geography. The theoretical foundation for research in these areas is eclectic, combining strategy, innovation, and/or internationalization theory with insights from economics, sociology, psychology, and economic geography. The department has 55 faculty members (professors, associate professors, tenure track assistant professors), 7 administrative staff, and 30 members of staff who are hired on temporary contracts as research assistants, post docs or PhD students.

The department puts substantial emphasis on the solid application of scientific research method. The department has a pluralistic approach to research methods that includes, for example, formal theoretical models, quantitative empirical methods such as (lab and field) experiments, econometric applications to register data or survey data, as well as qualitative research methods. PhD project proposals should be based on coherent theoretical arguments and contain well-informed methodological considerations.

To find out more about the department please go to https:// www.

Project topics SI particularly invites PhD projects pertaining to the following broad topics, although applications addressing other topics within the research scope of the department might also be considered:

Phd topics 2023 (Please indicate clearly the number and title from the list below in your project proposal):

  • The role of innovation hubs for firm performance : In recent years, many firms have established “Innovation Hubs” – organizationally separate units that are supposed to engage in exploration, generate inputs for radical innovation, and strengthen the firm's innovation capacity. However, we know little about their effectiveness. This dissertation project aims at investigating the antecedents, boundary conditions and effects of Innovation Hubs, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative data analysis and experimental methods.
  • Artificial intelligence, digitalization, and the effect on human capital in firms : While artificial intelligence (AI) and digitalization promise to spur the growth of firms, there is widespread concern that they may also displace workers, alter industry trajectories, and reshape organizations in ways that are poorly understood. This project seeks to investigate the consequences of AI and digitalization on human capital in firms. When do they substitute or complement skilled labor in organizations? What are their effects on the value that human capital can create in firms and, consequently, on the value that individuals can capture through their wages? For this purpose, we will analyze large-scale data on individuals and firm behavior in Denmark.
  • Beyond quotas: Individual and organizational strategies for women's progress in management: There has been an increasing push for more women at the senior executive level. This trend calls for further investigation of the organizational and individual strategies that are most effective in increasing women's representation and the consequences of the increasing gender diversity in the upper layers of organizations. In this project, we aim to examine the firms' selection and promotion processes, identifying novel factors that shape women's promotion to senior executive positions, including boards. The project will rely, amongst others, on Statistics Denmark register data, and take a multimethod approach. The focus is on recruitment channels and the impact of firms' gender diversity targets on the various personnel outcomes, including any unintended effects on the behaviour of men candidates.
  • Firm formalization : Around the world and especially in areas of widespread poverty, firms operate in the informal economy. This project will explore the drivers and consequences of firm formalization. It will build on data from an ongoing field experiment in Uganda.
  • Political polarization and its effect on the strategic decision making of firms : Extreme parties have made gains in recent elections of many countries. They promise to constrain immigration, denounce foreign investment and offshoring, or raise doubts about new technologies such as vaccines or sustainable energy. This trend affects the growth strategies of firms because the political headwinds may make it hard to hire skilled experts from abroad, expand into foreign markets, or introduce innovative products. In this project, we want to understand which firms are particularly compliant or defiant in the face of political polarization and how they adjust their strategies. For this purpose, we will analyze large-scale data for election outcomes and firm behavior in Denmark.
  • The green transition of firms and employees : Climate change is pressuring governments, firms, and society at large to achieve new sustainability targets. How can we accelerate the green transition of firms? Which regulations are most effective and under which circumstances? What is the role of human capital in this green transformation? What are the returns – for individuals and firms – of investing in the development of “green human capital”? These and related questions can be studied with quantitative methods and Danish employer-employee linked data.
  • Resilience in global value chains : Very tight global value chains make companies vulnerable in case of disruptions. This project will search for new ways of making the global value chains of companies more resilient. The project will build on register data from Statistics Denmark as well as own surveys.
  • Women's careers in invention : Inventors are key drivers of innovation and technology, but women are still severely underrepresented in these activities. Much has been written about how women in STEM fields are treated by others. What we still know far too little about are the motivations and career decisions of women themselves (compared to men) and what influences them. Examples include deciding to pursue a particular education, starting a career as an inventor and focusing on a particular field, making career-related decisions such as changing employers, or even dropping out of inventive activity. The project could involve both qualitative and quantitative approaches, including the use of existing large-scale quantitative data on Danish and European inventors.
  • Project proposal connected to a research project led by Associate Professor Valentina Tartari and funded by the Danish Independent Research Council through a Sapere Aude Research Leader grant:

  • The effects of research funding on the rate and direction of science : The PhD student will join the project with a specific focus on analyzing the effect of funding rejections on researchers' career choices. The work will focus on life sciences disciplines, and it will be performed using mixed methods, including registry data matched with rich bibliometric information and funding data, plus surveys and interviews. The PhD student will work on the existing questions and will also have the opportunity to shape new projects.
  • Project proposals within the area of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship (www.

  • Immigrant entrepreneurship : While most migrants seek paid jobs in the countries they migrate to, a large proportion of immigrants start their own businesses. What leads them to create such businesses? One view is that migrants resort to entrepreneurship because they find it difficult to integrate in the host country labor market. Another view suggests that they may have special abilities to identify opportunities that locals are not able to spot or benefit from having networks in both the host and home country. This project will investigate the conditions under which one or the other views tend to prevail by using quantitative methods to analyze large-scale Danish micro-data.
  • Organizations supporting entrepreneurship : Several organizations attempt to help potential entrepreneurs to overcome the obstacles to business creation by contributing with advice and funding, among others. These organizations are promoted by governments, non-governmental organizations, and private companies and assume different forms to support external initiatives (incubators, accelerators, business angels, venture capitalists, etc.) but also to develop within-company initiatives. This project will study how these organizations select the ventures/entrepreneurs to be supported, the assistance they provide, and their success. The data for projects will vary depending on the specific line of research, but it is envisaged that the methodologies will be mostly quantitative.
  • How do entrepreneurs mobilize human capital resources for their ventures? Founders and startups get most of the attention in academic, public, and policy debates. However, for every founder, there are often several early employees taking nearly equal risks by joining an early-stage company. Mobilizing human resources to startups is nevertheless challenging. This project focuses on specific factors that may explain how entrepreneurs mobilize personnel for their ventures and the implications of hiring strategies for new venture performance. It will rely on quantitative methods using Danish register data.
  • How do entrepreneurial firms cope with unexpected shocks? We will investigate the resilience of entrepreneurial firms to major unexpected shocks. Especially dramatic events can deeply impact start-ups in the short- and long-run. In the short run, many firms may not survive the impact of such a profound shock. Those that do, may have different ways of adjusting their strategies. Do different types of founders lead to different types of adjustments? Do the effects change depending on the moment of the firm's life cycle in which death occurs? This project will investigate this issue using quantitative methods to analyze large-scale Danish micro-data.
  • About the PhD program The PhD student will be enrolled in the CBS PhD School. The selected candidates will participate in the SI PhD cohort, which is a formal research- training program. This includes a package of foundational courses within the main SI research areas and methods courses (econometrics, experiments and qualitative methods). The three-year PhD program at CBS allows you to conduct research under the supervision of CBS professors, supported by research training courses. The program is highly international, and you are expected to participate in international research conferences and to spend time abroad as a visiting PhD student.

    CBS PhD graduates are held in high esteem not only in academia and research institutions but also in government and business where their research qualifications are increasingly demanded. Recent SI PhD graduates have been successfully placed at institutions such as Pompeu Fabra, SKEMA Business School, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Leeds University Business School, the University of Utah, and NOVA University Lisbon.

    Qualifications The Department will give priority to applicants with the following qualifications: high grades from their universities, an educational background in the social sciences, and finally, the applicants must be fluent in English.

    To be considered for the 3 years program, the candidate should have a basic training at the Masters level (similar to the 3 + 2 Bologna process and a total of 180+120 ECTS). However, applicants who hold a one year Master's degree may also be considered for evaluation. PhD students who enter the PhD program with a one year Master's degree (60 ECTS) will be offered a 4 years program and will be considered a Master's student for the first 2 years of the program.

    General information The PhD scholarship includes teaching obligations.

    The 3 years scholarships are fully salaried positions, according to the national Danish collective agreement. The scholarship includes the tuition fees, office space, travel grants plus a salary, currently starting with per month app. DKK 28,000 (app. 3,700 euro) up to DKK 31,600 (app. 4,200 euro), depending on seniority, plus a pension contribution totaling 17.1% of the base salary.

    The salary level and appointment is determined by the Ministry of Finance's collective agreement with the Central Academic Organization.

    The application Copenhagen Business School must receive all application material, including all appendices by the application deadline. Application must be sent via the electronic recruitment system, using the link below.

    The application material must include:

  • Copy of diplomas and grade transcripts from Bachelor's and Master's level education
  • Curriculum vitae (CV),
  • If relevant, a list of papers and publications,
  • Sample of a written work (e.g. Master's thesis),
  • A 5-page PhD project description. This research proposal should contain a presentation of an original research question preferably pertaining to one of the projects listed above, a description of the initial theoretical framework and methodology, a presentation of the suggested empirical material as well as a work-plan.
  • Please find guidelines and further information on the website of the PhD School: https: // www.
  • Recruitment procedure The Recruitment Committee will shortlist a number of applicants to be assessed by the Assessment Committee. All applicants will be notified of their status in the recruitment process shortly after the application deadline.

    Applicants selected for assessment will be notified about the composition of the Assessment Committee and later in the process about the result of the assessment.

    Once the recruitment process is completed each applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application.

    To find out more about working and living in Denmark, please go to https:// www.

    Information meeting Should you have any further questions about the call and how it is to be a PhD student at SI, you are welcome to join our online information meeting regarding this call on February 23, 2023, from 15-17 (Copenhagen time). There will be a presentation of the SI Department and an opportunity to ask questions.

    In order to get a link for the meeting, please sign up at: https: //

    For further information please contact: PhD coordinator, Professor H.C. Kongsted, e-mail:

    Closing date: 9 March 2023.

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