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Redefining Executive Education

The program’s curriculum and teaching approach is consistent with the school's mission to educate working adults to achieve their professional goals and to improve the quality of education in their communities. It is designed to emphasize curricular leadership and to focus on applied and theoretical research that improves instruction and educational outcomes.

The requirement to complete 18.5 DBA multidisciplinary seminar credits allows for the choice and flexibility candidates need to meet their individual career goals and professional responsibilities. Candidates may choose the generalist track or choose from among the three specializations for the validation of this requirement. Candidates may seek advice from the Academic Director in choosing their multidisciplinary seminars which can be taken at several locations or online. Once candidates have validated their multidisciplinary seminars, they must complete core PhD seminars on research methods.

All PhD candidates must write a doctoral dissertation under the supervision of the Director of Doctoral Research and an assigned Dissertation Adviser. Doctoral candidates write a 10-15 page dissertation proposal which is reviewed by ISM faculty members to determine the feasibility of the dissertation's focus, direction, and the potential contributions to the academic and practitioner community. Once a proposal is accepted, doctoral candidates are assigned to an adviser who is selected based on his/her academic background, experience, and credentials; the Dissertation Adviser mentors the doctoral candidate through the dissertation process until completion. Doctoral dissertations are submitted to a review committee before final approval.

Candidates of the Ph.D. program will:

  • Write publishable research reports which make significant intellectual contributions to the body of knowledge in their chosen fields and provide innovative solutions to the day-to-day problems faced in their professional careers.
  • Communicate educational course content effectively, using traditional and emerging communication techniques and technologies in satisfactorily preparing and delivering graduate level business courses.
  • Apply relevant theoretical knowledge to contemporary business problems and critique contemporary organisational practice in the light of relevant theory.
  • Explain the principles of, and apply a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods frequently used in business research to solve current business management problems.
  • Critically evaluate business research studies in order to assess their quality and applicability in improving the effective handling of business management problems.
  • Acquire and utilise knowledge of behavioural, policy and strategic issues to improve the effectiveness of their own organisations.
  • Identify, analyse and evaluate internal and external environmental influences on organisations in order to develop strategic plans for the management of change and the development of their organizations.
  • Demonstrate superior oral and written communications skills relevant to business, link their educational experience directly to their own workplace experience, and be proficient in transferring those skills and capabilities to others.

Learning Objectives

On successful completion of the ISM PhD program, graduates should be able to:

  • Make significant intellectual contributions to the body of knowledge in their chosen fields and provide innovative solutions to the day-to-day problems faced in their professional careers.
  • Apply relevant theoretical knowledge to contemporary business problems.
  • Explain and apply a range of Quantitative and Qualitative research methods frequently used in business research to solve current business management problems.
  • Critically evaluate business research studies in order to assess their quality and applicability in improving the effective handling of business management problems.
  • Acquire and utilize knowledge of behavioral, policy and strategic issues to improve the effectiveness of their own organizations.
  • Identify, analyze and evaluate internal and external environmental influences on organizations in order to develop strategic plans for the management of change and the development of their organizations.
  • Demonstrate superior oral and written communications skills relevant to business.
  • Link their educational experience directly to their own workplace experience.