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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Online Organizational and Management Degree

Research online Ph.D. programs in organizational management, also called organizational leadership. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Several schools offer online Ph.D. courses in organizational management and organizational leadership, but the entire programs are seldom available entirely online. For example, students may have to take exams on campus. In general, full-time students take about five years to complete the program. Applicants must have a master's degree, and some programs require professional experience.

Research is a big part of any Ph.D. program. This program usually includes several courses in research theory and methods. Students also learn about various types of reasoning and analysis. They must research, write and defend a thesis, a process that takes several years. Residencies may also be required.

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Online Ph.D. in Organizational Management

Online Ph.D. programs with a focus in organizational management or organizational leadership include courses in leadership studies, organizational theory and research. Students are prepared to advance in their fields or conduct research in academia or industry.

Program Information and Requirements

Students typically take 3-5 years to complete an online Ph.D. in Organizational Management program. The coursework component takes approximately three years, and the research and defense of a thesis can take another two years. Part-time students who take online courses while working full time may take longer to complete the program.

List of Common Online Organizational Management Courses

Online Ph.D. students focusing in organizational management take courses in the design and structure of organizations, strategic management and ethical leadership. During the dissertation phase of the program, students take courses in research methodology and quantitative analysis.

Organizational Theory

Students study the structures and cultures of organizations, examining communication channels and methods of change. They look at how to improve productivity by helping leaders positively influence and motivate employees.

Leadership Studies

Students learn the qualities, behaviors and styles that make a good leader and compare those to their own ideas about leadership. They also may discuss ethical issues in leadership, leadership in a time of conflict and global leadership.

Research Methods

Students learn the tools and techniques of doctoral-level research, including how to define a research question, develop a plan, conduct research using various methods and collect and compile data. As part of the course, students may design their own research plan.


Career Information

Graduates of an online Ph.D. program in organizational management may pursue an executive-level position, conduct research or become a management consultant. Others may decide to teach at a college or university.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2015 that employment of management analysts was expected to grow 14% between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average rate for all occupations (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that one in five management analysts are self-employed, and the mean annual salary was $91,770 in 2015.

Online organizational management Ph.D. programs are though some do require residencies. Students in these programs learn research methods, leadership qualities, and the structures and methods of change in organizations.


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