Research course

People and organisation studies

Open University · The Open University Business School

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) plus 120 credits in research methods training or, ideally, a masters degree in Research Methods (MRes), which is the usual precursor to PhD studies.

Months of entry


Course content

Our research in this area covers many of the key issues in the broad area of people and organisation studies and human resource management. We are a diverse department with researchers working in a variety of areas including organisational culture and change, leadership, professional identity, surveillance and the impact of mobile technologies on work, operations management, cross-boundary modes of working, development and change strategies, practice-based learning, creativity and innovation, strategic and cross-national human resource management, and critical organisational theory.

Potential research projects

Internally funded full-time research studentships are advertised in January and may include the following. We also welcome part- and full-time self-funded applications in these areas:

  • Human resource management and development
  • Leadership development
  • Governance
  • Control and surveillance
  • Alternative perspectives on ways of organising
  • Organisational and individual identity
  • Emotional and cognitive factors in financial decision-making
  • Cross-cultural aspects of management
  • Organisation theory and critical management research
  • Operations management
  • The international transfer of management practices and concepts
  • Work and practice-based learning
  • Wellbeing at work
  • Change strategies
  • Digitalisation of learning and teaching.
Current/recent research projects
  • Judgement in day-to-day managing
  • Emotion and financial decision making
  • Withholding communication – a relational approach to silence in an interorganisational project group in the UK
  • From dataveillance to data economy: firm view on data protection
  • Exploring the ‘seduced’ surveilled subject and the possibilities of everyday resistance; the case of smart phones as means of facilitating ‘seductive’ surveillance
  • As yang as it gets: whistleblower as hero in contemporary society  
  • An investigation of women’s perspectives and experiences of disability
Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
full time
36 months
part time
72 months


part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Debby Hing
+44 (0)1908 655272