Up to 7 PhD Students in Business Studies

Updated: 15 days ago
Deadline: 02 Apr 2024

Published: 2024-02-20

The Department of Business Studies is the largest department within the Faculty of Social Sciences at Uppsala University, with its approximately 140 co-workers and 3500 undergraduate students. We conduct extensive PhD education and have about 35 PhD students. The research schools MIT and FIRE are also connected to the department. The department conducts research and provides PhD education in the following fields: Accounting/Finance, Entrepreneurship, International Business, Marketing and Organisation/Management. The department has Swedish as its working language, but most research at the department is conducted in English.

The PhD student positions are announced following:

  • 2 general PhD student positions in Business Studies. We would like to see applicants in Marketing and Organisation but also in Accounting, Entrepreneurship and International Business. Financed through faculty funding.

Within organisation, research is currently conducted in organisational influence. Therefore, we welcome applicants for the following project:

While organisational research has given much attention to how environments shape organisations, less attention has been devoted to how organisations try to influence their environments. In a post-liberalization era, where calls for regulating the operation of businesses are increasingly heard, this is a question of utmost importance. Corporations, NGOs and public agencies alike try to bring about change in policy, sometimes by swaying public opinion, and sometimes more concretely by direct influence on policy and decision making. The rapid development of AI and digitalization, as well as the questioning of globalization has furthermore claimed to have reconfigured both the concentration of power, wealth and the modes of influence. In this project, we depart from the observation that influence has a tendency to gravitate towards certain places in organisational landscapes, be they formal organisations or more informal networks, that in turn become hubs for production and reproduction of influence. This means that policy is configured in fields comprising a wide set of actors: corporations, universities, lobbyists and other interest organisations as well as NGO’s and social movements.

A PhD candidate would be welcome to formulate his or her own research project broadly situated within this realm of work. The choice of empirical field, theories and methods is flexible, and the approach can be contemporary, or historical. Examples of questions could concern modes of organizing influence, new type of organisational actors or longitudinal development of influence organisations. A candidate would be offered to work in an active research environment, in conjunction with several ongoing research projects within organisational theory, dealing with questions about elite organisations, social networks and corporate policy change.

  • up to 5 PhD student positions in Business Studies related to the following research projects:

Project 1: The Growing Firm - Decisions about Innovation and Global Expansion

Firm growth is a central feature in the study of businesses. Firms desire to escape becoming stagnant and thus inherently have a wish to grow. Growth can be viewed as an evolutionary process characterized by creative destruction, wherein firms innovate, introduce novel products, and venture into new markets to drive growth. This alludes to the question that acts as a general point of departure for the current project: what influences decisions on the growth of the firm?

Decision-making is an essential process in firms that managers engage in, enabling them to make strategic choices that shape the organization's future, for example, in relation to growth via, e.g., innovation and global expansion. For the project, we seek candidates interested in strategic management, particularly in innovation and internationalization processes. The PhD student will be supervised by experienced researchers with a functional background in international business and innovation management, who also will participate in the project work.

Number of positions: 1

Note: This position is subject to availability of external funding.

Project 2: Decoding Digital Transformation in Multinational Corporations

Central to the field of international business and the study of multinational corporations lie themes pertaining to the strategic placement of operations and the effective management of international activities across diverse host country landscapes. The connection between the placement of activities and factors influencing location decisions, as well as the management of the interface between multinational corporations and various host country environments, global contexts, and digital transformation at local and global levels, is integral to this discourse.

It has been observed that multinational corporations increasingly leverage digital technologies to manage and streamline their global operations. However, there is a dearth of understanding regarding the effects of this digital transformation on the reconfiguration and coordination of international activities. For example, questions related to digital transformation abound about how host country diversity influences multinational corporations' strategies and its relationship with globalization and localization efforts. Furthermore, the impact of digital transformation on entry modes, as well as its performance effects, remain largely unexplored. The Ph.D. project aims to address processes and implications of digital transformation within multinational corporations with a focus on investigating how multinational corporations implement digital technologies to decide on new locations and coordinate business activities.

We seek candidates interested in international business and digital transformation for the project. The PhD student will be supervised by experienced researchers with a functional background in international business, who also will participate in the project work

Number of positions: 1

Note: This position is subject to availability of external funding.

Project 3: From Invention to Innovation: Novelty, Impact and Value of Patents in 20th Century Sweden

Innovation and technological change are key components of modern economic growth, something that has been quantified and measured with patent data. At the same time, as a huge number of patents are granted every year, it is paramount for scholars in innovation studies to understand which innovations are truly important for the processes of technological change and industrial renewal. In Swedish industrial history, this means investigating what innovations were pivotal for the country to become one of the leading innovators at a global level today.

This doctoral project brings to the international research frontier a fresh interdisciplinary approach; transcending traditional foci on patent statistics and citations. The student will apply novel digital research methods in natural language processing and machine learning (AI research) to new and unique patent data about historical patents in Sweden now available for research. The interdisciplinary perspective combines the disciplinary areas of social sciences (theories that will guide research questions), data science (technical methods), and digital humanities (digital studies in a historical context). The project covers the late 1910s to the oil crises in the mid-1970s. During this period, Sweden transformed into an industrialized nation with world-class innovations spurring internationalizing firms. While patenting in Sweden in the late nineteenth century is rather well examined, the period covered in this project is much less so.

We seek candidates interested in fields such as innovation, strategy, industrial dynamics, entrepreneurship, business and economic history, and digital methods, for the project. The PhD student will be supervised by experienced researchers with a background in innovation studies, economic history and digital humanities, who also will participate in the project work.

Number of positions: 1

Note: Since archival material is written in Swedish, basic knowledge in Swedish, in addition to requirements below, is a requirement for the position.

Note: This position is subject to availability of external funding.

Project 4: Pay with Engagement

Research into financial actors and financial services, including insurance companies, has a long tradition at the Department of Business Administration, Uppsala University. We are now looking for a PhD student for a research project where the purpose is to investigate whether and how an insurance company can create engaged, satisfied and loyal customers through proactive damage prevention activities using digital processes and AI. The digitization of all parts of society is ongoing and brings revolutionary effects. Application of new technologies that use artificial intelligence (AI) for assessment and decision-making, or machine learning develops new processes in companies' interaction with customers. In the project customer engagement is central. Engagement is a multidimensional concept that can be defined as a manifested behaviour and as a psychological state that arises through interactive experiences that are co-created in the interaction between the consumer and a focal object such as a brand. The project will study insurance customers in Sweden through both focus groups and experimental methods.

Number of positions: 1

Note: Fluency in Swedish is a requirement for the position in addition to requirements below.

Note: This position is subject to availability of external funding.

Project 5: Directions and Drivers of Technological Trajectories of Swedish MNCs over the Past Three Decades

In the early 1990s, a number of studies were published that highlighted the technological development and international competitiveness of Swedish multinationals. However, we know very little about what has happened over the past three decades. During this period, the global economy and corporate management have undergone a number of changes that have altered the conditions for companies' technological development. Based on patent data and annual reports, the research project intends to highlight patterns in technology development in some 40 Swedish multinational companies, with a focus on where in the world the development takes place, how it has been affected by global crises, and the connection to changing corporate management.

For this project, applicants will need to be interested in the collection and analysis of quantitative data, and to possess or be able to develop the ability to apply advanced statistical methods. Knowledge of Swedish language is an advantage but not a requirement.

Number of positions: 1

Note: This position is subject to availability of external funding.

General information

Duties: The duties of a PhD student are primarily focused on his/her own research education, (4 years full-time), 90 academic credits of courses and 150 credits research for the doctoral thesis. To a limited extent (maximum 20 %), the work may also involve other departmental duties, mainly related to teaching undergraduate courses – in which case the position may be extended to maximum five years. General rules about PhD education can be found (in Swedish) in Högskoleförordningen Chapter 5, §§ 1-7, in Uppsala University rules and in the General Study Plan for PhD studies at the Department of Business Studies , Uppsala University.

Requirements: General entry requirement: an advanced level qualification, has satisfied fulfillment of the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits awarded at the advanced level, including at least 15 credits for an individual piece of work, or has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.
Specific entry requirement: courses in Business Studies comprising 90 credits.

In order to receive a PhD position, the candidate needs to be admitted to the doctoral programme, and for this, his/her potential ability to pursue the programme is decisive.

Note that a master thesis that has not yet been completed and assessed by the application deadline is given respite until May 29, 2024.

Requirements - Language requirement in English: All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.

The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE

More information about English language requirements

Requirements - Language requirement in Swedish:

For project 3 "From Invention to Innovation: Novelty, Impact and Value of Patents in 20th Century Sweden" basic knowledge in Swedish is a requirement.

For project 4 "Pay with Engagement" fluency in Swedish is a requirement.

Criteria for assessment of applications: please see the criteria.

The application must include:

  • CV
  • Certified graduation diploma and transcripts of academic records, and other relevant documents that prove general and specific eligibility.
  • Research proposal in either English or Swedish (max. 12,000 characters including spaces). The research proposal should address the main research questions and the relevance of the project, relate the project to relevant previous research in the field, and present issues regarding data and methodology.
  • Motivation letter. In the motivation letter you will have to specify which project position you are interested in.
  • Master thesis and books, articles, scripts, etc invoked. Note that a master thesis that has not yet been completed and assessed by the application deadline is given respite until May 29, 2024.
  • TOEFL/IELTS-test (or equivalent). Note that applicants with a master’s degree from an English-speaking university or programme do not need to prove their English skills by submitting a TOEFL/IELTS-test. Information about English tests can be found in the link above.
  • Two letters of reference/recommendation (for example, from university teachers or employers). The letters have to include the contact information to the referees (e-mail address and phone number). The recommendation should state in what way the referent has known the applicant. We are particularly interested in an assessment of the applicant in terms of our admissions criteria. Instructions for recommendation letters .
  • Interview: An evaluation committee assesses the applications and provides a recommendation for which candidates should be called for interviews. Call for interviews will take place April 12, April 15-16 and (if necessary) May 6-8, 2024 to selected candidates. Those who successfully pass the interviews will have to do a written assignment.

    About the employment
    The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance, chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100%. Starting date August 21, 2024. Placement: Uppsala.

    For further information about the positions, please contact Director of PhD studies Susanne Åberg, ph +46 (0)18 471 1391, [email protected] or administrator for PhD studies Golondrian Janke, ph +46 (0)18 471 1369, [email protected].

    You are welcome to submit your application by April 2, 2024, UFV-PA 2024/586. Only complete applications with supporting documents will be reviewed.

    Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden .

    In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

    Uppsala University is a broad research university with a strong international position. The ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a difference in society. Our most important asset is all of our 7,600 employees and 53,000 students who, with curiosity and commitment, make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces.

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    Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

    Placement: Department of Business Studies

    Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position

    Pay: According to the local agreement for PhD students

    Number of positions: 7

    Working hours: 100

    Town: Uppsala

    County: Uppsala län

    Country: Sweden

    Union representative: Saco-rådet [email protected]
    ST/TCO [email protected]
    Seko Universitetsklubben [email protected]

    Number of reference: UFV-PA 2024/586

    Last application date: 2024-04-02

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