Executive DBA, AACSB accredited

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Dustin, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, I rolled my eyes at this: https://www.una.edu/business/executive-dba.html A $99,000, 3-year executive DBA offered by the University of Northern Alabama.

    If I understand the different degrees (and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), a PhD in Business Administration or Finance is going to focus on more "clean" theoretical problems, involving more quantitative and controlled data or simulations that are less easily applied, while a DBA thesis potentially involves more real-world data and perhaps a real organizational problem being solved.

    So it makes me wonder why the EDBA? The EMBA exists for busy executives who need a more intensive/quicker curriculum that focuses on the needs of those higher up in the organization (I think.) But you can't really cut time out of a doctorate and still develop the research skills you need, right? And if the goal were to target mid-career professionals, doesn't a "regular" DBA already cover this?

    Anyway, I'd love to hear people's thoughts because I'm coming at this as an outsider.
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  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sounds like EDBAs are just right for EMBA grads. High speed and focused - but not like "high speed Internet" ads, I hope... we need quality with our (academic) um...speed. :)

    Anyway, without any concrete experience to inhibit my exalted viewpoint, I feel people in a 3-year doctoral program with "Small Book" diss. or project should be able to learn reseach methods and successfully apply them to one project in that time frame. Heck, we're talking ONE year professional doctorate programs in other threads that are supposed to accomplish this!
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
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  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    The research method could also be qualitative or mixed methods.
  4. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Back in the day you had "executive MBAs". What was the deal? You had people who wanted an MBA degree (primarily for prestige purposes), were too busy to entertain the rigor of traditional programs, and had access to corporate coffers. By calling it an "EMBA" you could differentiate it from your "MBA" program and not cannibalize while still offering the same. letters. The students didn't have to work too hard, and you could charge a lot of money for it. A great business faculty strategic plan to bring in $$$

    This smells the same.
    Johann likes this.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It sure does, Greg. And if it smells, walks, talks and looks the same - it probably is. Be nice if it cost the same. Doesn't really matter. Corporate money, mostly, not individual.
    Like I said - EDBAs are for EMBAS. :)
  6. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I am not sure what Executive MBA programs you have looked into but I can almost guarantee, they require nearly as much work as a full-time program. I am in the MS in Quantitative Management program at Fuqua which is geared towards working professionals. During our orientation, I remember Dean Bill Boulding saying:

    “I admire you all for taking this educational step because you are taking on what is essentially a full-time program while also working full-time.” He then went on to say that “some of us may think we are going to have a social life” and so forth.

    Just because some programs are geared towards working professionals does not mean the school skimps out on the rigor, demand and intensity.
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  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Don't look at me, man, I don't get it either. AACSB seems to triple the cost of a doctorate in business. I can't imagine the ROI is there, but I guess some people must think it is or those programs would down in price. Do people graduate from there and parachute into tenure track positions? If not, why would anyone do it?
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It certainly doesn't mean your school would EVER do that, Josh. Or that many fine schools would, either. But the schools that would - and use the reduced workload as a way to attract a profitable number of students - those who don't want to work any harder than absolutely necessary - well, there's no shortage of such programs. I believe in what Greg says - quite a few (often not-so-bad) schools find these "executive" programs to be excellent money-makers - and if the work isn't too taxing and that appeals to more students - they can make good numbers out of the strategy.

    Everybody can find a program they like. You, who simply want the best - and are willing to pay a stiff price for a superior product AND put forth the last ounce of effort humanly possible - and Johann Faulpelz (Johnny Lazybones) who's having none of that - whatsoever, but still wants a degree out of it. :)

    There are students who want a degree without too much work - and schools that want to make money with minimal hassle.
    JoshD likes this.
  9. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I have looked at class profiles and it seems most in these Distance Learning DBA programs are at large companies such as AT&T, Verizon, Wal Mart, etc. I am unsure as to their utilization of the degree though.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Typically, scholarly doctorates contribute to theory (or test it) while professional doctorates contribute to practice. There are several good books on this subject.

    Without looking at the curriculum in detail, I would think the degree is focused on business administration from a strategic perspective, which is quite different from merely acquiring entry-level knowledge of accounting, finance, and the like.

    Usually. But there are times when a a particular program or school has a typical approach to research it expects to see. Theory building or theory testing? Inductive or Deductive? Qualitative or Quantitative? If the school has a rigid expectation, this will also restrict which subjects and issues can be researched.

    I think this is unfair. There is no reason for an EMBA to be any less rigorous than a regular MBA. It's a matter of perspective. I would expect the EMBA to have a more strategic perspective, emphasize leadership, decision-making, and running organizations/businesses. (NB: I used to teach in such a program and wrote/taught the strategic leadership course it offered.)

    As we've discussed in the past, ROI is just one consideration. And who's to say that a good ROI isn't available?

    I thought it was generally understood that many people pursue the doctorate to improve their non-academic careers.


    There are many reasons to send seasoned executives back to school. The military does this for its officers. In the Air Force, when you make major, you become eligible to attend an intermediate service school, a command and general staff college. Ours is Air Command and Staff College. It's about 8-10 months in residency full-time (part-time DL options are also available). The curriculum is typically along the lines of communication skills, air power, leadership, etc. If you make lieutenant colonel, you become eligible to go back to school at a senior service school--ours is Air War College. Your curriculum covers the same areas, but this time from a more strategic (and inter-service) perspective. And some officers are selected to go to other services' schools as well.

    The lesson: The same subjects can be taught at various levels as one moves through one's career. The MBA/EMBA/DBA/etc. matter is an example of this.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I've read here often that a lot of major employers won't look favorably on ANY business degree that isn't AACSB accredited. Perhaps that has carried over into academia. I think with empoyers, it's just a handy weeding tool for a prodigious-sized sea of applicants. Perhaps the same with academia. If AACSB is perceived as the best - use it to reduce the numbers to a manageable crowd.

    (I know also that in Germany - for a US MBA to be "real" by that country's standards - it must have AACSB accreditation. "AACSB or the Autobahn!") :)
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  12. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    A lot of TT faculty members don't even earn that much either.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Right - but if they make tenure, they're sure that what they get will continue. Stability and security are highly prized in these unpredictable times. Some people place a VERY high premium on safety. I know. As an old-age pensioner, I don't have THAT much of an income - but I'm very sure of what I do have and that is a big thing for me, psychologically. I was pretty broke when I got to 65 and in the years since, I've had financial peace of mind and I think that has contributed immeasurably to my present financial wellbeing - which is now at the best point in my entire life.
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  14. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    True. However, with COVID, even tenured profs have been laid off.
  15. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Here is another way I've seen the game played at a university years ago. The full time MBA was 2 years and you needed a decent undergrad GPA to qualify. The EMBA was also a "two year" program with somewhat different courses. In order to qualify, you needed 5 years of work experience with a minimum of 2 being at a managerial level (the definition of "managerial" was somewhat vague). The University would then grant you 30 credits based on your work / managerial experience. Hence, you could get a "two year" EMBA by completing a year of study. If you wanted the MBA, you would still need to study for two years... non-academic work granted no advanced standing.

    Again, the University made it easier for people to get a degree and tap in to Corporate training coffers.

    Ask yourself this, "why" is the University offering the degree. In such faculties it is because there is a "market" for it; what is the market they are trying to tap?
  16. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    My experience is a little different, but it is a "chicken or egg" question. I've never experienced the question from HR regarding whether a school is AACSB; question has NEVER come up. However, there were schools deemed "acceptable" and "not acceptable". I think the acceptable ones were all AACSB. In other words, the logic is that the "acceptable" schools were deemed to be "good" schools and "good" schools happened to be AACSB.

    The lack of AACSB of Heriot-Watt has never come up in my career in these United States of America; but it is a reasonably ranked B&M British Uni vs., for example, a for profit on-line offering.
  17. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    What is your measure?
  18. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    It appears to me that TT faculty isn't what it used to be.

    I think business, STEM, etc., is pretty safe but, as noted, there have been layoffs of TT faculty... particularly in other areas. Philosophy, etc., is getting hit hard it seems.

    Universities are going all in on DIE (diversity, inclusion, and equity), if you are a cis white male you might as well put your CV in your pocket and go home.
    DIE is killing some traditional academic subjects. Literally, you can't study english as an english major at Chicago:

    Universities are going all in on political correctness. Hard to have a meaningful discussion without a millennial snowflake being offended, and such a situation can result in your getting fired pretty fast.

  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I hold an MBA.
    I've taught in several MBA programs.
    I developed a strategic leadership course and taught it in what was an EMBA program--though it was called a "strategic MBA."
    I've been developing leaders at all levels professionally for 40 years.
    I'm a retired military officer and senor manager in the federal government.
    I founded the DHS Leadership Institute.
    I taught leadership to future military officers in a commissioning program.
    I'm a graduate of an executive leadership program at Harvard.
    I wrote a book on leadership development.

    Leadership is different at various levels of the organization. In fact, much of what we call "leadership" is really just "management" applied to people.

    MBA programs are, traditionally and historically, management training schools. You learn the various functions of a business/organization. Management--keeping things on track.

    EMBA programs are supposed to be different. They're supposed to approach the subject from a leadership standpoint. It's all about decision-making in the face of the unknown. You no longer need to know that credits go on the left side and debits on the right. Instead, you need to make decisions and create solutions, often using the data created by others. Understanding and using instead of generating. Properly constructed, an EMBA program would be more rigorous than an MBA, not less. But I understand the confusion.

    It's hard for schools to give up the "MBA" cachet when designing executive leadership programs. But I'd rather they did. The MBA was designed for people to become managers, not leaders. I would rather see degrees in leadership be titled something else. But I'm also a product of that "MBA or no way" era, so I understand.

    Yes, marketing and sales are a part of any university's efforts to educate working adults. But reducing the conversation to those points misses out on what's really there.

    Counting credits or comparing prerequisites really doesn't get at the distinctions I'm talking about. And, of course, I'm speaking generally, not about any particular program.
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  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Unless $60-70K is a lot of money, which to me it's not, then they don't make a lot.

    I've seen TT job posts with stated salary as low as $47k at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. I've also seen $60k at the University of Central Florida. According to Salary.com, the median salary for a TT assistant prof is $59k. The American Association of University Professors noted that the average salary for an assistant prof is $70k.

    Tenure Track Assistant Professor Salary in the United States

    How Much Did Professors Earn This Year? Barely Enough to Beat Inflation
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