• Offered by Research School of Management
  • ANU College ANU College of Business and Economics
  • Course subject Management, Marketing and International Business
  • Areas of interest Business Information Systems, International Business, Management, Marketing, Project Management
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

This is an advanced PhD-level topic course. The topic will cover the role of theory in management and marketing research in a two pronged way—by covering both theory process and content. The course will begin with the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of theory and theoretical contribution (i.e., the process element of theory) in management/marketing research. Then the topic will move on to theory content by covering influential theories in management and marketing. The course will aim to cover theories that deal with micro, meso and macro phenomena. The overall goal is to strengthen knowledge and skills of advanced research candidates on the role of theory in research, learn about—and from—influential theories and practice developing their own theoretical insights into management and marketing phenomena of interest to them.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the nature of theory and theoretical contribution in management and marketing research
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with key theories in management and marketing
  3. Critically evaluate the role of theoretical contribution in research
  4. Synthesise theoretical perspectives and literature on the topic of your choice
  5. Develop a theoretical model explaining some aspect of the topic of your choice from point 4 above
  6. Present the model and its theoretical contribution in oral and written formats

Indicative Assessment

  1. Typical assessment may include, but is not restricted to: exams, assignments, quizzes, presentations and other assessment as appropriate. Further details will be made available via the Class Summary. (100) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

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Students taking this course are expected to commit 130 hours to completing the work. For semester length offerings this will typically include 3 hours per week in class and at least 7 hours a week on average on course reading, research, writing and assignment work.

Where this course is offered on-line or in intensive delivery mode as a continuous block over a shorter period of time, the expected total time commitment for this course will still be 130 hours.

Inherent Requirements

The course is aimed at honing advanced theorising skills and is therefore suitable for advanced PhD candidates. The students will benefit the most if they have had some experience conducting and writing research at the PhD level. Their ability to relate to the advanced skill development exercises (critically evaluating content related to theories and theoretical contribution) will be superior if they are in their second year of full-time equivalent and have completed the other core courses in the RSM PhD program. The student should also have successfully completed the thesis proposal review stage.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the Research School of Management to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed texts. Students will be assigned readings. Further information will be made available via the Class Summary and course Wattle site.

Preliminary Reading

Indicative only; the final list includes about 30 readings (2-3 per week on average). Further information will be made available via the Class Summary and course Wattle site.

  • Elfenbein, H. A. (2007). Emotion in organizations: a review and theoretical integration. The Academy of Management Annals, 1(1), 315-386.
  • Gavetti, G., Greve, H. R., Levinthal, D. A., & Ocasio, W. (2012). The behavioral theory of the firm: Assessment and prospects. The Academy of Management Annals, 6(1), 1-40.
  • Gibbons, R. (2010). Transaction-cost economics: past, present, and future?. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 112(2), 263-288.
  • Gregor, S. (2006). The nature of theory in information systems. MIS Quarterly, 30(3), 611-642.
  • Gregor, S. (2017). On theory. In R. Galliers & M-K. Stein. (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Management Information Systems (pp. 57-72). Routledge.
  • Hotho, J. J., & Pedersen, T. (2012). Institutions and international business research: Three institutional approaches and recommendations for future research. In R. V. Tulder, A. Verbeke, L. Voinea (Ed.), New Policy Challenges for European Multinationals (Progress In International Business Research, 7, pp. 135 – 152), Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Suddaby, R. (2014). Editor's comments: Why theory?. Academy of Management Review, 39(4), 407-411.
  • Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2008). Service-dominant logic: continuing the evolution. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36(1), 1-10.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are expected to be in their second year or above. They are expected to have completed their thesis proposal review (TPR) and the three methods courses (or have permission of their primary supervisor).


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7384 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 In Person N/A

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