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About the course

This programme is group-based so will give you a thorough understanding of group dynamics, and the way in which they affect change in organisations. Staff and students work together as a learning community, participating together in their research enquiries, in a way which reflects an understanding of organisational life as fundamentally conversational in nature. You will be encouraged to link your experience in the research community directly to your research question, so your work on the programme will be of immediate benefit, both to you and your organisation.

This programme is designed for leaders, managers, internal and external consultants in organisations who want to articulate what is being ignored in the dominant theoretical approaches to organisational life. Orthodox management literature stresses the predictable and rational aspects of managing, while on the programme you will be encouraged to pay attention to the ways in which leaders and managers are required continuously to act into the unknown.

During your time on the programme you will work with your own experience of change in your organisation, or in your consultancy practice. You will develop insights into your practice following an iterative cycle of reading, writing, thinking, rewriting and rethinking, all brought together through your active participation in the programme. You will develop a series of projects that relate to your work in your organisation and you will be encouraged to pay attention to how your practice is changing in your role as leader, manager or consultant and as a direct result of your research. Over a minimum of three years, your projects will develop into a thesis in which you will also be required to identify and evaluate your contribution to knowledge and to your area of practice.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the Doctorate in Management (DMan) please contact the programme’s director, Prof. Chris Mowles .

Please also include an outline of your research proposal with your application. Members of academic staff will advise on the length and scope of the proposal.

Download an application form -

Applications should be returned to the Doctoral College: .

Why choose this course?

As a participant on the programme, you will be expected to:

- Reflect upon and make sense of personal experience of change and continuity in organisations in the interests of many persons acting simultaneously into unfolding organisational life

- Develop your understanding of group dynamics, power relations and their underpinning ideologies and role formation in organisations

- Explore the consequences of uncertainty and not knowing in organisations

- Develop insight into the nature and cause of anxiety in organisations and the nature of relationships that might help people to live with it


This programme encourages you to explore alternative ways of thinking about organisations and how stability and change arise in complex, predictably unpredictable ways. The aim is to make you more skilful in your practice and therefore more useful to your organisations and clients.

Teaching methods

Within the larger research community you will be a member of a smaller learning set convened by your primary supervisor. You will also be assigned a second supervisor. We have an expectation that from the beginning you will read and critique the work of your colleagues in the learning set as they develop their portfolio of projects, just as they will be reading and responding to yours. Members of faculty and students both give theoretical inputs and/or discuss their work in the broader research community. We also provide sessions by visiting staff, practitioners and consultants to give a varied perspective of the topics covered.

Visit the Professional Doctorate in Management page on the University of Hertfordshire website for more details!




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