Failed to defend diss at AACSB institution, what should I do next?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by FailedToDefendDiss, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    That is unfortunate indeed. Well, then you do not have an easy choice ahead of you, but you have found some viable options presented to you. It all comes down to how much you enjoy teaching and also your own financial needs. I would certainly continue to explore and perhaps apply to a few that seem viable. (Most for profit institutions, if you consider any, are much less selective, so I would not waste funds apply to multiple such institutions.)

    If you wish to pursue a tenure track position, you would need to do at least a few publications, so you would need to overcome your dislike of research.
  2. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Didn't the voc-tec school you taught at go out of business? I don't think that is a reasonable example of what a research university would require.
  3. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    I think she is aware that research is rarely if ever required at community colleges or vo-tech schools. Many vocational programs only require a bachelor's to teach at, some at the CC level. She likes to stir the pot sometimes.
  4. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

  5. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Whatever solution you decide upon, here's a blog from a well-published author on making writing easier and a daily habit: Hope it's useful as you regroup!
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    A research university would require even more publications than the vo-tech school I taught at. The OP didn't really express an interest in teaching at CCs, so he would most likely be required to publish.
  7. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    We actually did three articles comparing the Ph.D. and DBA in management and general business: one on curriculum, one on credentials for teaching in graduate business and the third on dissertations. One of our findings is that neither the U.S. Dept. of Education, nor any of the six regional accrediting agnecies nor AACSB, IACBE or ACBSP distiguishes between Ph.D. and DBA degrees. Thanks for mentioning our work!
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There are distinct differences between scholarly and professional doctorates. The PhD is supposed to be scholarly; the DBA is supposed to be professional (practiced-based). These are huge distinctions, the difference between theory and practice. (Practice is based on theory, whether or not one has yet discerned which theory(ies) is/are in play.)

    Professional degrees are every bit as legitimate and valid as scholarly degrees, and they should be considered comparable. Some universities make and maintain the distinction, others do not.

    And that's how it is in both the conduct of these degree programs and the utility of the degree earned: the lines are frequently blurred.
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    It feels like you're saying one thing and then contradicting yourself. You say there's a distinct difference but then go on to say that not everyone agrees with this. So there is not a distinct difference. One school does it one way and another school does it differently. If, as you said at the end, that the lines are frequently blurred, this mean that in reality there is no consistently distinct difference.
  10. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Hi Rich,

    we haven't interacted in a while. Hope things are going well with you. What you have said regarding scholarly and professional doctorates mirrors what the academic programs say about themselves. I was wondering what changes--if any--we would need to do if we decided to offer a DBA in addition to our Ph.D. degree. The literature stated pretty much what you did in your post, but no one had actually done any empirical study on the question, so I and three of our then-Ph.D. students did a study comparing the Ph.D. and DBA programs in management and general business that were both regionally and programmatically (AACSB, IACBE, ACBSP) accredited. There were over 100 of them. Our first study was to determine whether Ph.D. and DBA students were prepared with different curricula, number of credits, number of research courses, comprehensive exams and dissertation. Study 1 found no significant differences between Ph.D. and DBA curriculum.

    Study #2 compared the terminal credentials of more than 6,000 faculty teaching at over 400 graduate schools of business that were both regionally and programmatically accredited. The question was whether the DBA was a viable credential for business faculty. The fact that about 40% of the programs employed faculty whose terminal degree was the DBA was a pretty good indicator that professors could get jobs with a DBA.

    The last remaining argument for a significant difference between DBA and Ph.D. was the nature of the dissertation. Is it true that DBA dissertations are more "applied," while those for Ph.D. are "basic" (research-based)? Helen MacLennan conducted an analysis based on a structured sample of DAB and Ph.D. dissertations and found that there were not significant differences between methodology choice, sample size or whether the dissertation was more applied or basic research.

    So, what would we need to change to transfer our Ph.D. to a DBA (or vice versa)? Nothing, really.

    When it comes to looking at the DBA vs Ph.D. across institutions, the idea that the DBA is a "professional" degree, while the Ph.D. is a "scholarly" or "research" degree is not supported for management and general business programs at regionally and programmatically accredited institutions. The three programmatic accrediting agencies do not treat the two degrees as distinct from one another, neither do the regionals or the U.S. Dept. of Education. Since the relatively recent action of the USDOE to supersede its previous classification of degrees (which defined the differences between research doctorates and first professional degrees) in favor of three categories (Doctoral Degree-Research, Doctoral Degree-Professional Practice and Doctoral Degree-Other) and allow institutions to define what those mean for themselves, the issue is now hopelessly muddied.

    It now comes down to what you said at the end of your message: "Some universities make and maintain the distinction, others do not...And that's how it is in both the conduct of these degree programs and the utility of the degree earned: the lines are frequently blurred." The DBA vs. Ph.D. question applies more accurately within an institution than it does across different institutions.


    1. Piña, A. A., MacLennan, H. L., Moran, K. A. & Hafford, P. F. (2016). The D.B.A. vs. Ph.D. in U.S. Business and Management Programs: Different by Degrees? Journal of Excellence in Business Education 4(1), 6-19.

    2. MacLennan, H. L., Piña, A. A., Hafford, P. F. & Moran, K. A. (2016). Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.): A Viable Credential for Faculty in Programmatically Accredited Business Degree Programs? International Journal of Doctoral Studies 11, 217-226.

    3. MacLennan, H. L., Piña, A. A. & Gibbons, S. (2018). Content Analysis of D.B.A. and Ph.D. Dissertations in Business. Journal of Education for Business 93(4), 149-154.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
    Dustin and SteveFoerster like this.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The difference between a scholarly doctorate and a professional doctorate comes down to one simple factor. The scholarly doctorate adds to theory by either creating it, testing it, or both. The professional degree adds to practice. Either should be making a significant, original contribution to knowledge (again, either theory or practice), and both should be academically rigorous.

    The lines are blurred, yes, but much less so in other locales, such as the UK and in the EU. Also, there's a difference between the nature of the degree (scholarly or professional) and what it is used for. This can be seen in the examples you found, where people are in academic positions while holding a professional doctorate. (Again, we don't know if the dissertation itself was scholarly or practical in those cases--I've seen and experienced it crossed up both ways, with PhDs being awarded for non-scholarly work and professional doctorates that required scholarly research.)

    As we also know, many people take their scholarly PhDs into practice as well.

    On a personal note, my PhD at Union could be criticized for not contributing to or testing theory--it was really a study in the practice. And I can assure you the DSocSci from Leicester was a scholarly degree, despite the professional doctorate designation. Leicester even makes it clear that the degree is (a) scholarly and (b) considered equal to their PhD. Go figure.

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