Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

This PhD specialisation is developed to provides candidates with the knowledge and skills to produce relevant and original research within strategic management, entrepreneurship, innovation and related fields.

Specialisation Objectives

The PhD specialisation in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides candidates with the knowledge and skills to produce relevant and original research within strategic management, entrepreneurship, innovation and related fields. We target motivated and capable individuals, looking to pursue international academic careers at the premier level. The programme encompasses the fields of strategic management, entrepreneurship and innovation, covering different theoretical perspectives on the micro and macro level. The specialisation adheres to an open and pluralistic view of research and provides a basis for developing a mature and critical attitude towards research in the fields. The specialisation is well-rounded and covers both contemporary theoretical and methodological issues.

Successfully graduated Doctorate candidates will have acquired, among others:

  • In-depth knowledge on a wide array of topic areas within strategic management, entrepreneurship and innovation and the ability to discuss and analyse contemporary business issues within these fields
  •  Focused knowledge at the frontier within their specialised field and the ability to lead standalone or team-based research initiatives
  • The ability to critically discuss, analyse and evaluate business problems and the skill to present the resulting opinions in front of researchers, students and businesspeople
  • Applied methodological skills for the analysis of large quantitative & qualitative data sets and the ability to critically evaluate methodologies based on theoretical best practices
  • An international network within the academic community that will help to foster their career on a national and international level

Meet Marte Aasmundsen who shares her experience as a PhD candidate

Professor Gabriel Benito discusses the advantages of being a PhD candidate at BI

Distinguishing Features of the Specialisation

The PhD programme is a four-year programme. During the first year, PhD candidates are expected to take courses that enhance their understanding of core strategic issues and methodologies, to conduct high-quality research. These courses can be extended and complemented with elective courses during the rest of the PhD. By the second year, the PhD candidates are expected to have developed their own research ideas and look for venues e.g. conferences and workshops to present these ideas and communicate with world-renowned academics in the field. During the third year, the candidates continue to focus their research output. During this period, PhD candidates are trained in teaching techniques to deliver superior learning to students at all levels. In the fourth year, PhD candidates finish the research related to their dissertation and are encouraged to submit their research papers to top-level journals in the discipline. While the activities' timeline is flexible, all PhD candidates should develop research papers, disseminate research outputs to various audiences (e.g. researchers and businesses) and deliver excellent teaching, throughout their time at BI.

Top business schools worldwide have welcomed PhD graduates from BI’s Strategy area. Recent placements include, among others, the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Grenoble School of Management, Alliance Manchester Business School, and the University of Groningen.

Fully funded scholarships

All PhD candidates receive financial support when accepted into the programme. The candidates are hired as full-time employees on an initial four-year contract. Continuation of the support through the four years of the program is dependent on good standing and regular progress towards completing the programme’s requirements. PhD candidates are entitled to full parental leave and health insurance, and are part of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. The workplace is BI Norwegian Business School at its main campus in Oslo.

What you can expect

The four-year study programme leading to a PhD degree is designed to allow you to conduct in-depth research. In addition, it is comprised of a course component, seminars, PhD committees, pre-doctoral defence, and lastly, dissertation and final defence. 25% of the time is reserved for teaching.

Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

The PhD specialisation in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation builds on the research competence of the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, which aims to be among Europe’s leading research departments within strategy and entrepreneurship. The department is research-oriented and aims to produce research that makes a difference for both the business environment and the academic community. The department has a strong track record of publications in top journals, while providing relevant education to the Norwegian business community and internationally.

The department employs PhD candidates who have been successfully admitted to BI’s PhD programme. For further questions about the programme and their perceptions of what it takes to be a successful contributor to the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, please feel free to reach out to them through the faculty webpages.

Areas of Research

  • Business models and value creation
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • International business
  • Knowledge creation and innovation
  • Strategy process and practice

The department also engages and encourages interdisciplinary research e.g. network and behavioural perspectives in international business, and entrepreneurship in corporate strategy through corporate venturing.

Career Possibilities

Following you will find examples of positions that graduates have obtained after completing a PhD with a specialisation in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation at BI.

Sverre Ubisch"Doing a PhD at the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship is a very remarkable opportunity. You get to work closely with and learn from faculty at the forefront of their fields. These are scholars that consistently publish in internationally leading journals. Moreover, the program offers comprehensive hands-on training in all aspects of the academic career including research, presenting at conferences, teaching skills etc. As such, the program provides excellent preparation for a research career."


Sverre Ubisch, BI PhD alumnus
Senior Researcher
Norwegian Defense Research

Christopher Sabel“The department is the leading research institute in strategy and entrepreneurship in Norway. I received extensive training from my PhD advisors but also in the form of PhD courses, research workshops, and teaching assistantships. Beyond the BI-internal opportunities for growth, you are also actively encouraged to participate in international conferences and to complete a visiting PhD abroad. The PhD at BI really paved my way to become a part of the global academic community.” 


Christopher Sabel, BI PhD alumnus
Assistant professor 
Rotterdam School of Management

Portrait of Flladina Zilja

“I truly enjoyed doing a PhD at the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. It is an intellectually stimulating environment, where I could freely pursue my research interests while benefiting from the knowledge and support of my colleagues. I was encouraged early on to be part of the BI and broader research community, to attend conferences and to spend time abroad. This helped create a strong path for a future in academia. I look back fondly to my time at BI Norwegian Business School.”


Flladina Zilja, BI PhD alumna
Assistant professor 
Copenhagen Business School

Gilbert K. Adarkwah

“The Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at BI is truly exceptional and regarded as one of the very best in Europe. The program is meticulously designed, offering Ph.D. students a comprehensive range of courses that prepares them for successful careers at prestigious universities and business schools.

What made my experience truly remarkable was the unwavering support and mentorship I received from the department's esteemed scholars. Their guidance and collaboration were invaluable in shaping my path in my field of interest. 

If you're considering a Ph.D. program, I wholeheartedly recommend choosing the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at BI. It's a place where you'll find endless opportunities, personal growth, and a network of inspiring minds.”

Gilbert K. Adarkwah, BI PhD alumnus
Assistant professor 
HEC Montreal