Explore the dynamics of people and organizations.

The PhD Program in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR) is designed for research-oriented academics who want to study issues related to people and organizations. In the program, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the effects of management practices on people, between people within organizational settings, and between organizations themselves. (Note that the program is not intended for the development of consultants or managers.)


The program will prepare you for a career in research and teaching in business schools at leading research universities around the world.

 Percent Academic Positions

OBHR Placements

Kira Schabram
UBC PhD 2016
Assistant Professor, Organizational Behaviour
Foster School of Business, University of Washington

"UBC developed me into a critical and sophisticated researcher:  My department and supervisor challenged me to ask important questions and gave me the tools to seek their answers.  The training and support I received throughout my PhD program prepared me to find and flourish in my dream job."


Our OBHR Division professors are internationally recognized scholars who represent an array of academic disciplines, from sociology to organizational behaviour and human resource management. They have won awards for their research and for their innovations in teaching and pedagogy. Plus, they have earned some of the highest faculty ratings at UBC Sauder.

The following faculty (listed with their active research projects) are currently seeking new PhD students for September 2019:

Jennifer Berdahl
  • Collective silence around sexual harassment and the #metoo movement
  • Intersectional experiences of mistreatment, power, and voice
  • Toxic masculinity and organizational culture

David Clough

  • Interorganizational networks
  • Technological change
  • Entrepreneurial resource mobilization

Michael Daniels

  • Shame and shaming behaviour
  • Humility
  • Emotional labour

Sandra Robinson

  • Dysfunctional behaviour:  Do "bad actors" in organizations hurt or help themselves?
  • Territoriality:  What can we learn from theories of territoriality to reduce racism?
  • Ostracism:  Are there different forms that have different effects on employees?

Sima Sajjadiani

  • Employee Selection
  • Employee Turnover
  • Incentives Design
  • Machine Learning Applications in HRM

Marc-David Seidel

  • Distributed trust technologies such as blockchain
  • Innovation
  • Emergence of innovation ecosystems

Danielle van Jaarsveld

  • Customer mistreatment/customer incivility:  how do employees cope with and react to mistreatment and incivility from customers?
  • Strategic human resource practices:  how do the choices organizations make in how they manage employees (e.g., hiring, training, compensation) affect organizational performance and innovation?
  • Compensation:  to what extent do:  a) types of incentives (e.g., collective or individual) and b) workforce characteristics influence the relationship between pay dispersion and organizational performance?

Lingtao Yu

  • Abusive supervision
  • Unethical behaviours
  • Emotions

Our OBHR Division is characterized by highly collaborative and collegial relationships that contribute to the learning culture of the PhD program.  This means you can participate in a broad interdisciplinary, research-oriented program.


Admission to the OBHR PhD program is highly competitive.  Students are admitted into the program with Master's or undergraduate degrees with first class standing.  The majority of incoming students have academic backgrounds in business administration, social sciences and the humanities.  Admission details can be found here.


All students admitted to the OBHR PhD program are provided funding for 5 years that includes a minimum of $30,000 per year plus payment of all tuition for the first 5 years.  Funding details can be found here.


UBC is situated in one of the best cities in the world in which to live.  Metro Vancouver enjoys a multicultural population of 2.5 million, is a short drive to Whistler, and is surrounded by a beautiful landscape that inspires outdoor enjoyment.

For more information, contact:

Professor Lingtao Yu
PhD Advisor, Organizational Behaviour