Universität Fribourg Université de Fribourg Suisse | Universität Freiburg Schweiz Course offerings


Economic and Social Sciences

Fribourg profile

At the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, candidates can participate in a doctoral programme in the different subfields of the economic sciences management, economics or information systems.

The Department of Management offers doctoral studies in all management disciplines (e.g. financial management, accounting, HRM, marketing, corporate strategy, technology management, international management). These are organised according to the research fields of the professors of the Department. You can find a list of the research fields here: http://www.unifr.ch/bwl/en/research. During their doctoral studies, candidates usually write research articles, give presentations at academic conferences in Switzerland and abroad, publish articles and participate in various courses (e.g. doctoral seminars, method courses).

The Department of Economics offers doctoral studies in all fields of economics (e.g. microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics). Ph.D. students regularly participate in doctoral programmes offered by the Study Center Gerzensee:
Swiss Program for beginning doctoral students in economics, Gerzensee (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL)
Advanced Courses in Economics for Doctoral Students, Gerzensee (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL)
Moreover, Ph.D. students regularly participate and present in the departmental seminar series:
– Departmental Research Seminar
– Departmental Ph.D. Seminar

The Department of Informatics of the University of Fribourg offers doctorates in the fields of information management and computer science. Information management should be understood in the broadest sense of the term as comprising both information systems and decision-support systems.
During their studies, Ph.D. students can participate in doctoral schools (such as the CUSO doctoral programmes in computer science or statistics and applied probability), or in specialist seminars in operational research.
Consequently, doctoral theses may cover themes such as the Internet of Things/Web of Things, or decision support systems for managers through the application of operational research, fuzzy logic or applied statistics models.

Professors eligible to supervise a doctoral thesis

Department of Economics

  • Prof. Berno Büchel

Research fields:
– Industrial Organisation
– Network Science
– Law & Economics
– Applied Microeconomic Theory
– Applied Game Theory
– Digital Economy

Supervision of theses in English and German.

  • Prof. Christelle Dumas

Research fields:
– Development microeconomics
– Applied econometrics
– Empirical health, labour, education economics and demographics

Additional courses:
Other courses (health economics, econometrics) provided as workshop or block lectures, at University of Fribourg or in Switzerland.

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Reiner Eichenberger

Research fields:
– Public Economics
– Political Economics
– Public Choice
– Economic Policy
– Behavioural Economics

Supervision of theses in German and English.

  • Prof. Volker Grossmann

Research fields:
– Growth Economics
– Distribution of Income and Wealth
– Human Capital Formation
– International Migration
– Health Economics
– Economics of Ageing
– Bequest Taxation

Supervision of theses in German and English.

  • Prof. Philippe Gugler

Research fields:
– Competition Policy
– Competitiveness issues (economic policy, clusters, quality of the business environment; competitiveness of regions and cities)
– Multinational enterprises (MNEs)/international business (competitiveness of locations to attract FDI)
– Role of home country competitive advantages in the competitiveness of MNEs
– Public policies regarding competitiveness

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Holger Herz

Research fields:
– Industrial Organisation
– Organisational Economics
– Behavioural Economics
– Experimental Economics
– Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Additional courses:
Doctoral Program in Behavioral Economics and Experimental Research, CUSO (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL).

Supervision of theses in German and English.

  • Prof. Martin Huber

Research fields:
– Empirical labour, health, and education economics
– Microeconometric methods for causal inference
– Policy/treatment evaluation

Additional courses:
Ph.D. Program in Public Health of the Swiss School of Public Health (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL); Ph.D. courses offered by the Global School in Empirical Research Methods (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL).

Supervision of theses in German and English.

  • Prof. Thierry Madiès

Research fields:
– Policy Public economics
– Public finance
– Political Economics
– New economic geography
– International taxation
– Economics of secessions
– Experimental economics
– Applied game theory
– Economics of innovation

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Sergio Rossi

Research fields:
– Monetary Theory and Policy
– Inflation
– Financial Stability and Crises
– Bank Regulations
– Payment and Settlement Systems
– Exchange Rate Regimes and Global Imbalances
– European Monetary Integration
– History of Monetary Thought

Supervision of theses in English, German, French and Italian.

  • Prof. Mark Schelker

Research fields:
– Public Economics
– Public Finance
– Political Economics
– Law and Economics
– New Institutional Economics
– Applied Econometrics

Additional courses:
Other courses (public economics, econometrics) taught as workshops or block lectures at universities in Switzerland or abroad.

Supervision of theses in French, German and English.

Department of Management

  • Prof. Silke Bambauer-Sachse

Research fields:
– Price management
– Online marketing
– Complaint management

Supervision of theses in German, French and English.

  • Prof. Michael Burkert

Research fields:
– Strategy implementation with management control systems
– Corporate governance
– Incentive systems
– Cost accounting and cost accounting systems

Additional courses:
Swiss Doctoral Program Network in Accounting Research (see DOCTORAL SCHOOL) and other courses (econometrics, experimental research in accounting) taught as workshops or block lectures at universities in Switzerland or abroad.

Supervision of theses in German and English.

  • Prof. Eric Davoine

Research fields:
– International and cross-national comparative HRM
– Globalisation processes and HRM
– International mobility
– Managerial cognition
– French-German Intercultural Management
– Evaluation of HR processes
– Top management careers
– Gender and career

– Swissness and HRM in the watch making industry
– Context effects and HRM in MNC subsidiaries
– HRM in MNC subsidiaries in Switzerland, Ukraine and Lebanon
– Career anchors within global MNCs: generation and gender effects
– Globalisation of Swiss top management profiles
– Integration of highly skilled migrants in Swiss companies
– Competencies gained through international student mobility
– Impacts of new communication technologies on managerial practices
– Gender issues in international dual careers

Additional courses:
PhD Seminar of Department of Management; PhD seminar of RHO Chair with guest researchers; LIVES NCCR PhD seminar; Ad-hoc method seminars from Swiss universities.

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Paul H. Dembinski

Research fields:
– Non-market environment of business
– Very Large Enterprises in the World Economy
– Global Value Chains Structure & Meaning from macro & enterprise perspective
– The economic fabric of Switzerland
– Ethics in Business and Finance
– Epistemology of Economics, management and Finance
– Philosophy of the Enterprise
– Comparative Economic Systems
– Finance and Real Economy Nexus
– Entrepreneurship in theory and practice

Supervision of theses in French, English, German, Spanish and Polish.

  • Prof. Emmanuelle Fauchart

Research fields:
– Entrepreneurship
– Innovation Management
– Open Innovation
– Start-ups
– Small enterprises

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Olivier Furrer

Research fields:
– Marketing services
– Strategic marketing
– Intercultural marketing
– Corporate-level strategy

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Markus Gmür

Research fields:
– NPO Management
– Social Entrepreneurship
– Third Sector Studies

– Member Value Optimisation in Associations and Co-operatives
– Typologies of Social Entrepreneurship in international comparison
– Entrepreneurial Not-for-profit Management
– Third sector labour markets and career patterns of npo executives
– Corporate philanthropy and intersectoral cooperation
– Professionalisation in fundraising

Supervision of theses in German and English.

  • Prof. Rudolf Grünig

Research fields:
– Corporate-level strategy
– Strategy planning process
– Internationalisation strategies

Supervision of theses in German, French and English.

  • Prof. Duan Isakov

Research fields:
– Finance
– Business finance
– Business governance
– Financial markets
– Dividend policy
– Financial decisions and performance of family businesses
– Executive remuneration

Additional courses:
Block courses given in Swiss universities or abroad as well as some courses offered by the Swiss Finance Institute.

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Franck Missonier Piera

Research fields:
– Governance role of accounting information
– Valuation role of accounting data
– Determinants & consequences of analysts' forecast errors
– Role and consequences of IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards)
– Environmental disclosure

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Dirk Morschett

Research fields:
– Headquarters-subsidiary relationships
– Coordination of foreign subsidiaries
– Market selection
– Market entry strategies
– Internationalisation of services and services companies
– Internationalisation of retail companies
– Management in Emerging Markets

Supervision of theses in German and Englih.

  • Prof. Martin Wallmeier

Research fields:
– Asset Management
– Derivatives and Structured Financial Products
– Asset Pricing
– Firm Valuation
– Information Implied in Option Prices
– Behavioral Finance

Additional courses:
Ph.D. courses offered by the VHB (Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft), Swiss Finance Institute, Swiss Doctoral Program Network in Accounting Research.

Supervision of theses in German and English.

Department of Informatics (interfaculty)

  • Prof. Laurent Donzé

Areas of specialisation:
– Survey statistics
– Fuzzy statistics
– Statistical modeling
– Imputation of missing data in complex enquiries
– Evaluating economic policy programmes
– Problems related to evaluation of wage gaps

Subjects of specific interest:
– Hedonic methods, notably for constructing price indices
– Fuzzy statistics methods

Supervision of theses in French, German and English.

  • Prof. Bernard Ries

Areas of specialisation:
– Combinatorial optimisation
– Structural and Algorithmic Graph Theory
– Decision Support
– Complexity Theory
– Mathematical Modeling

Subjects of specific interest:
– Modeling and solving real world problems using graph theory and combinatorial optimisation
– Analysing the computational complexity of graph theoretical problems
– Analysing the structure of graphs in order to provide efficient algorithms

Supervision of theses in French, German and English.

  • Prof. Hans-Georg Fill

Areas of specialisation:
– Meta modeling
– Conceptual modeling
– Visualisation
– Process management
– Development of enterprise information systems

Subjects of specific interest:
– Semantic information systems
– Blockchains and smart contracts
– Application of virtual and augmented reality in enterprise modeling
– Deviceless interaction for enterprise information systems

Supervision of theses in German and English.

  • Prof. Jacques Pasquier Rocha

Areas of specialisation:
– Applying and improving software engineering techniques to build modular and extensible software architectures for challenging application domains
– Frameworks for integrating and coordinating heterogeneous software components (legacy applications, micro-services, objects populating the Internet of Things, REStful web services, etc.) and humans in complex distributed systems

Supervision of theses in French and English.

  • Prof. Marino Widmer

Areas of specialisation:
– Quantitative models and methods of operational research with their applications in manufacturing and logistics
– Combinatorial optimisation, in particular scheduling theory
– Heuristic and metaheuristic methods
– Simulation methods
– Decision support systems

Subjects of specific interest:
– Operational Research: General Applications for Small and Medium Enterprises
– Supply chain and distribution management
– Production planning and control in industry and services
– Design and control of systems in manufacturing and logistics

Supervision of theses in French and English.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

30 ECTS credits can be earned.

Doctoral school



In order to be admitted to a doctorate the candidate must have been awarded an academic bachelor's and master's degree or an equivalent qualification from a university recognised by the University of Fribourg.

Before applying for a doctorate the candidate must contact a professor who would be willing to supervise the thesis work.

There is no general right to be admitted to a doctorate.

The respective conditions of admission for each doctoral study programme are reserved.