DBA candidates are required to complete and submit doctoral dissertation for committee approval.
The dissertation is an integral part of the DBA program and serves as a demonstration of academic excellence in applying the science of business with all its expected rigor to an important problem of interest to the industry, as well as providing insight based on theory and supported by appropriate methodological and statistical rigor.
The dissertation process is comprised of a series of lockstep courses, culminating in two major milestones: defense of the proposal and defense of the completed research. The dissertation will need to show relevance, be tied to appropriate scientific literature, and have appropriate methodology and analysis to support the conclusions.
Each candidate will be assigned a dissertation chair, who will guide the student through the process starting in year one, and committee who will evaluate the proposal and the completed research. Both proposal defense and completed research defense must attain a passing grade for the degree to be conferred. There are no qualifying or candidacy exams.
Why is research so important? An Executive DBA program worth pursuing is one that holds candidates to the same rigorous standards as any other doctoral program. By maintaining a high standard, the degree holders may be confident in their accomplishment and conferred expert status.
An academically rigorous and research-based DBA degree from a ranked and credentialed institution may also qualify recipients also for academic teaching posts, and allow them to serve on some doctoral dissertation committees.
The reason the rigor and research are central to the experience is quite simple: The doctoral journey has the potential to change students. The intense focus, training in research techniques, the effort to express findings and make a publishable contribution gives students the ability to look at the business world through different lenses. There are no shortcuts to mastery in evidence-based practice.