Research course


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

Research in strategic management aims to extend theory and to inform managerial practice through projects spanning: managing strategically across borders; strategic issues arising from globalisation; strategic management in practice; capability renewal and strategic turnaround; and the non-market (political and social) context of strategy. Research is particularly strong in the areas of international strategy, non-market strategy and strategy-as-practice.

Strategy research is broad, but includes key aspects of organisation theory such as strategic decision making, strategic change and implementation and the roles of complexity and politics in the strategy process. Focused strategy research can apply to specific topics such as mergers and acquisitions or to particular sectors of the economy such as air transport or non-profit organisations. Strategy research also extends to investigating the structures and processes of top teams and Boards of Directors.

Potential research projects

Internally funded full-time research studentships are advertised in January (closing date end of March) and may include the following. We also welcome part- and full-time self-funded applications in these areas:

  • Managing across borders: strategy process and practice in international firms
  • Strategy-as-practice
  • M&A strategy
  • Trade association strategy and influence
  • Political risk and international market entry strategy
  • Non-market strategy process and practice (including corporate political activity and corporate social responsibility)
  • Innovation interdependencies and capability development in manufacturing firms.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


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


full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Claire Wylde
+44 (0)1908 332311