PhD Program Overview

Wharton’s program in Operations, Information and Decisions emphasizes research on real management problems and maintains a balance between theory and practice. The faculty trains scholars in decision making, information systems, and operations management.

Our faculty leads in the development and application of an innovative blend of analytical and empirical approaches to important problems facing the private and public sectors, including the design, development, and evaluation of:

  • behavioral approaches to individual and managerial decision making;
  • information systems as a means of commerce and of decision making; and
  • operations for the fulfillment of demand and broader economic and social needs.

Our PhD program provides a unique mix of behavioral, economic, statistical and analytical training to its students, and its strength is reflected in our students’ record of placement and achievement.

Three Areas of Specialization

Decision Processes (DP)

What factors influence human judgment and decision-making? Why and when are people prone to judgement errors and biases? What kinds of interventions will help people make better decisions or improve human welfare? Our interdisciplinary Decision-Making PhD program focuses on training students to conduct and publish academic research that helps to answer these important questions. Along the way, students receive rigorous quantitative/statistical training and acquire a deep understanding of the literature on judgment and decision-making, significant exposure to the fields of psychology, economics, organizational behavior, and marketing.

Information Systems (IS)

The Information Systems PhD Program covers a broad range of research interests, from the development of detailed analytical and information-technology-based methods for managing complex organizations to the broader economic evaluation of the impact of organizational and market-based use of information systems and information-based strategies.

Operations Management (OM)

The Operations Management PhD Program focuses on the processes that define an organization’s outputs, as well as the methods commonly used to analyze these processes. Students specializing in OM are interested in a wide range of functions, including operations strategy, product and process design, technology management, capacity planning, and supply chain management.  Their work similarly covers a wide range of organizations and industries, including education, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, distribution, and retailing.