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PhD Research

At Bentley University, you’ll join a world-class research community that examines the modern business world through its relationship with the arts and sciences. Bentley offers four multidisciplinary research centers, exploring topics from ethics to science, and an annual research symposium and research showcase. 

Bentley faculty produce research that is relevant, rigorous, diverse and, because of the integrative nature of our academic community, often trans-disciplinary in nature. These characteristics are evident within each of the university’s 17 academic departments, and exemplified by the researchers and research topics that each department has elected to highlight. It is common for PhD students to co-author papers with the members of their respective committees and this collaboration enhances the richness of departmental scholarship.

Our four research centers are an important part of your PhD experience, and exemplify Bentley’s integrated approach to research; Center for Business EthicsCenter for Integration of Science and IndustryHarold S. Geneen Institute for Corporate Governance and the Valente Center for Arts and Sciences

PhD in Accountancy Research

Research topics for the PhD in Accountancy include, but are not limited to, audit quality, management control, investor decision-making, accounting information systems, information technology controls, tax, and corporate governance.

Scholarship in the Department of Accountancy has several areas of focus. Archival and database research, for example, uses existing corporate accounting information and/or stock market information to analyze corporate governance behavior or firm reaction to changes in the accounting environment or accounting rules. Behavioral research employs experiments and surveys to gather behavior data. A strong relationship between the department and the accounting profession has facilitated access to accounting professional research subjects not available to other institutions. Finally, faculty undertake Accounting pedagogical research that produces widely uses accounting cases and textbooks as well as articles reporting on curricular innovations at Bentley.

The Department of Accountancy is nationally ranked in audit research and accounting education research as measured by the most recent Brigham Young University Accounting Research Ranking study. Department members publish in a variety of journals, including Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Financial Studies, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, Accounting Horizons, Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research, Issues in Accounting Education, Current Issues in Auditing, Journal of Investigative and Forensic Accounting, and the Managerial Auditing Journal

Download our Accountancy Flyer.

Recent Publications

Andiola, L. and J.C. Bedard. 2018. Delivering the “tough message”: Moderators of subordinate auditors’ reactions to feedback. Forthcoming in Accounting, Organizations, and Society.

Andiola, L. and J. C. Bedard, and K. Westermann. 2018. It’s not my fault! Insights into auditors’ attributions and emotions following audit review. Forthcoming in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory.

Hsieh, T. S. and J. C. Bedard. 2018. The impact of XBRL on voluntary adopters’ financial reporting quality and cost of capital. Forthcoming in the Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting.

Downey, D. H. and J. C. Bedard. 2018. Coordination and communication challenges in global group audits. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory 37(2): 197-223.

Cannon, N. and J. C. Bedard. 2017. Auditing challenging fair value measurements: Evidence from the field. The Accounting Review 92 (4): 81-114.

Burke, J., R. Hoitash, and U. Hoitash. 2017. The heterogeneity of board-level sustainability committees and corporate social performance. Journal of Business Ethics, forthcoming.

Hux, C. 2017. Use of specialists on audit engagements: A research synthesis and directions for future research. Journal of Accounting Literature 39 (C): 23-51.

Thibodeau, J., Williams, T. and A. Witte. 2017. Point and click data: An assessment of editorial perceptions and recommendations for the peer-review process in the new data frontier. Journal of Information Systems, forthcoming.

Bierstaker, J., Downey, D., Rose, J., and J. Thibodeau. 2017. Effects of stories and checklist decision aids on knowledge structure development and auditor judgment. Journal of Information Systems, forthcoming.

Gantman, S. and J. Fedorowicz. 2016. Communication and control in outsourced IS development projects: Mapping to COBIT domains. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems 21: 63-83.

Westermann, K., C. Earley, and J.C. Bedard. 2015. Learning the “craft” of auditing: A dynamic view of auditors’ on-the-job learning. Contemporary Accounting Research 32 (3): 864-896.

PhD in Business Research

Research within the context of the PhD in Business program will probe some of the most compelling issues in business today, all under the interdisciplinary umbrella theme of business, technology and society.

Within this umbrella theme you can concentrate in any of the business disciplines, including:

  • Business Analytics
  • Information Systems (including Information and Process Management, Computer Information Systems and Information Design)
  • Management (including Organizational Behavior, Strategy, International Business, Entrepreneurship, Organizational Theory, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Business Ethics)
  • Marketing

Below you will find additional information about our research and concentration areas and research being conducted by the departments and doctoral students.

Business Analytics

Through our Business Analytics specialization we actively mentor PhD candidates in their research, teaching and networking activities. In particular, business analytics PhD candidates benefit from involvement in the Data Analytics Research Team (DART), and in projects with the Center for Quantitative Analysis. Interdisciplinary applied research that’s relevant to business practice is a strength of the department. Possible projects could include business problems arising in areas such as marketing, finance, health care and economics that can be addressed through the innovative application of quantitative methodologies. Each project leverages expertise in cutting-edge quantitative methods to make a contribution both to the area of business analytics and the specific business area represented by the relevant data.

Information Systems (IPM, CIS, IDCC)

Bentley has a strong commitment to Information Systems, with three departments — Information and Process Management, Computer Information Systems, and Information Design and Corporate Communications — specializing in IS research and teaching. Preference will be given to highly qualified PhD applicants with particular interest in conducting research on digital innovation, the management of business analytics, and the future of work. Research aimed at the ways in which IT is transforming business practice, inspiring innovation, shaping knowledge creation, and influencing the complex mechanisms of communication, collaboration and information management.

Download our Information Systems Flyer.

Examples of possible IS related research topics include, but is not limited to:

Design and Implementation of Applications and Infrastructures
Examples include the design of collaboration-enabling technology, software and model reuse in an enterprise architecture context, the development of organizational and industry IT architectures, management of globally distributed software development, the development and implementation of technical standards.

Individual User Experience of IT
Examples include the use of IT to enhance creativity, the use of IT for marketing, the effects of online shopping tools on consumer decision-making, the usability of web search systems, the pedagogical use of handheld computing technology, collaboration theory as a foundation for usable enterprise systems.

IT-Enabled Business Process Management
Examples include process modeling, analysis and redesign; business process management and workflow technology; auditing of systems that support business processes; control issues related to business processes and systems; the role of IT, metrics and change management in business process management.

Policy and Societal Implications of IT
Examples include critical infrastructure protection, privacy, the development of technology and industry standards, the role of telecommunications in economic development and globalization, the social consequences of globally distributed work and digital media, protection of digital intellectual property.

Business Innovation and Information Management
Examples include strategic use of IT, designing and managing IT-enabled organizational transformation, requirements determination for business applications of IT, investing in IT architectures for business value, global IT sourcing, using IT to support globally distributed enterprises, and inter-organizational collaborations, project management and change management.


Bentley’s Management department is an inclusive community committed to producing high-quality research and training PhD students. Departmental research interests include: Diversity and Global Cultures; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Governance; Leadership and Change; Organizational Behavior and Careers; Strategic Management; Supply Chain and Service Operations Management; and Teaching and Learning.

Download our Management Flyer.

Faculty members have published in such top academic journals as; Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, The Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Management Science, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Organization Studies, Operations Research, The European Journal of Operational Research, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Industrial and Corporate Change, The Journal of World Business, Journal of Management Studies, Human Relations, Long Range Planning, Research Policy, Business and Society, and Business Ethics Quarterly. 


Through our Marketing specialization in the Bentley PhD program in Business, you might take specialized courses in consumer behavior, brand management and then a course related to your specific dissertation area within marketing. The marketing faculty portfolio of research interests, from brand and relationship management to international marketing, represents a wide-ranging perspective of the marketing discipline, a perspective that ultimately benefits, the university, the discipline and society. Marketing Department faculty support the mission of Bentley and contribute to the discipline of marketing by pursuing innovative and insightful research on how organizations produce, deliver and sustain value for consumers, other organizations and society.

Download our Marketing Flyer.

Research Topics of Special Interest

If you have a particular area of research in mind, Bentley faculty members will work with you to generate a clear and compelling focus, and a workable plan to compete your studies on time. 

Women in Leadership

Research that contributes to an understanding of women as leaders, broadly defined, and is intended to help educators, executives and policy makers better understand how women can lead in implementing business practice that fosters diversity, social justice and ethical behavior. Understanding women’s roles in business and society requires a deep and thorough knowledge of the historical, social, international, and cultural context in which women’s roles evolved. For example, scholars in history, English, and philosophy study different aspects of women’s roles in family, in the professions, in society, and in culture. An understanding of this larger context is essential for women to surmount the challenges that confront them in business today.

Intersection of Business and the Arts and Sciences

Research in any area of the arts and sciences that explores issues or concepts relevant to the mission and strategic goals of a premier business school. Because Bentley has a unified faculty in business and the arts and sciences, collaboration across disciplinary boundaries is encouraged. Arts and sciences faculties in relevant sub fields are ready and willing to work with PhD students. Our arts and sciences faculty includes scholars in international business and economic history, experts in qualitative research in the social sciences, and the editor of Business and Society Review, a leading journal in business ethics.

Recent Publications

Dagher, G. K., O, Chapa, and N. Junaid. (in press). The Historical Evolution of Employee Engagement and Self-Efficacy Constructs: An Empirical Examination in a Non-Western Country. Journal of Management History, 21(2), 232 - 256.  

Edelman, L. F., R. Donnelly, T.S. Manolova, and C. G. Brush. Gender Stereotypes in the Angel Investment Process. International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship. (Forthcoming).

Fedorenko, I., P. Berthon, and T. Rabinovich. (2016). Crowded identity: Managing crowdsourcing initiatives to maximize value for participants through identity creation. Business Horizons, 59 (6).

Fedorenko, I. and P. Berthon. (2017). Beyond the expected benefits: unpacking value co-creation in crowdsourcing business models. AMS Review, 7 (3-4), 183–194.

Junaid, Nora, Opal Leung, and Anthony F. Buono. "Institutionalization or decoupling? An exploratory analysis of the UN Global Compact LEAD Initiative." Business and Society Review 120.4 (2015): 491-518.

Karpovsky, A. and R. D. Galliers. (2015). Aligning in Practice: From current cases to a new agenda. Journal of Information Technology, 30 (2), 136-160.

Larson, Barbara, Opal Leung, and Kenneth Mullane. "Tools for Teaching Virtual Teams: A Comparative Resource Review." Management Teaching Review (2017): 2379298117720444.

Lutafali, S., Q. Pogvara, and F. Khoja. (2016). Expanding Role of Microfinance Institutions to Combat Multidimensional Poverty. International Journal of Ecological Economics and Statistics, 37(2), 1-10.

McLaughlin, M., W. Cram, and J. L. Gogan. (2015). A high performance computer cluster under attack: The Titan incident. Journal of Information Technology - Teaching Cases, 5, 1-7.

McLaughlin, M., S. Hansen, W. A. Cram, and J. L. Gogan. (2015). Snowfall and a Stolen Laptop. Journal of Information Technology - Teaching Cases, 5 (2), 102-112.

"McLaughlin, M. and J. L. Gogan. (expected June 2018). “Challenges and Best Practices in Information Security Management: Implications for the CIO.” MIS Quarterly Executive, TBD."

Pololi, L. H., A. T. Evans, J. T. Civian, V. Vasiliou, B. K. Gibbs, L. D. Coplit, L. H. Gillum, and R. T. Brennan. (2015). Faculty mentoring: a U.S. national survey of its adequacy and linkage to culture in academic health centers. J. Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 35 (3), 176-184.

Pololi, L. H., A. T. Evans, L. Nickell, A. Reboli, L. D. Coplit, M. Stuber, V. Vasiliou, J. T. Civian, and R. T. Brennan. (2017). Assessing the learning environment for medical students: an evaluation of a novel survey instrument in four medical schools. Academic Psychiatry,41(3), 354-359.

Quinn, M. A. and L. Melo. (2015). Oil, Foreign Direct Investment and Corruption in Developing Countries. International Journal of Business and Finance Research, 9(1).

Rabinovich, T., P. Berthon, and I. Fedorenko. (2017). Reducing the distance: financial services education in web-extended learning environments. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 22 (3), 126-131.

Semla, Todd P., Austin F Lee, Ronald Gurrera, Laura Bajor, Mingfei Li, Donald R. Miller, Eric G. Smith, Chao Wang, Yun Wan, Lewis E. Kazis, and Mark S. Bauer (2017), “Off-Label Prescribing of second-Generation Antipsychotics to Elderly Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Dementia:” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 08/2017.

Wang, E. J., P. Berthon, P. Leyland, and I. McCarthy. (2016). Service, emotional labor, and mindfulness. Business Horizon, 59 (6), 655-661.