PhD in Org. Management vs. Bus Admin?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by davidincolorado, Jan 26, 2005.

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  1. davidincolorado

    davidincolorado New Member

    I have been searching the forums for a few days now and have not seen this question discussed in other threads, and maybe that is because it is a non-issue, but I'll ask it anyway.

    Is there any credibility issues with the PhD programs in organizational management/leadership versus the PhD programs in Business Administration?

    My impression is that the post-graduate programs in organizational management/leadership have gained in popularity recently (last 10 years) and focus more on the human side of the organization whereas the business administration distinction is more established and reflects greater breadth across traditional organizational functions (e.g. Finance, Marketing, Business Process Management, Technology, as well as general management).

    I am looking into pursuing a DL PhD and narrowing my choices down to either the Business Admin focus or Org Management/Leadership focus. My goals are as follows:

    1. I am a senior IT manager in a large non-profit that has seen double-digit growth over the last five years and having a PhD in Org Management/Leadership seems to be a good segway for more exceutive positions as they grow. This causes me to lean towards Capella's DL program.

    2. However, my management background has been primarily in Logistics, BPM, and Technology, not much in tradional business areas such as marketing and finance, so it wouldn't hurt to add more education there, which causes me to also lean towards the DL programs at NCU or TUI, which are Bus Adm.

    3. In my closer to retirement years (still 20 years away) I'd like to teach full-time, albeit doing this at a for-profit university or non-traditional B&M is fine so I think the credibility of RA DL schools like NCU, TUI, and Capella will suffice.

    Still, considering any PhD program worth its weight will be a considerable investment, I want as much credibility as is possible. So is there any credibility gaps with a PhD in organizational management/leadership as opposed to the traditional PhD in Business Administration?

    It would be great to hear from current students or graduates who have come from or are in either stream.
     
  2. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member

    Org vs. BA

    You present a well conceived conflict that many face. Simply put, school (companies) who survived the initial pre-development and development stages of the DL explosion over the last decade did do for one reason: they produce what people are willing to purchase. They match products to demand, just like the private sector.

    I have wondered about why most PhD's in the DL community are management org related. One reason may simply be the same as why undergraduate gravitate towards a management major: it's the fastest in many respects, less time consuming degree path. The DL community is a somewhat less than technically savvy, on average and this generalization will disturb some, in terms of their quantitative skill sets. Thus, management may better fit their ability and requisite time budgets more closely.

    Alternatively, the reality is that DL PhD students are significantly more mature (closer to 38+) on average than B & M schools. They have been in the trenches and seek a broadening of their perspective and skill sets that span entire organizations and industries. Membership in the executive ranks of large companies requires a broadened perspective that spans entire films and industries. Thus, the DL market's emphasis on management/org may simply be the more obvious result of matching products to the over 38+ crowd, who on average, ARE the one's seeking to enter the executive ranks, and/or consult.

    Ultimately, you have to decide where you might be happy. Many IT folks or anyone else passionate about their trade get frustrated in executive management because they are disconnected from what they love. A restaurant owner here in Tampa quite his job as president to go back to cooking in one of his stores, which is his passion. He's worth 35+ million and cooks.

    YOU have to try to determine whether you will be cut out for executive management and whether you want to pursue this. The worst thing it seems would be to get a management/org degree that does not extend your more technical skill sets, then find that you are better suited to manage a large IT department or consult with other IT departments, rather than run a large firm with many departments, on of which may or may not be IT.

    I would say that many IT vs. MIS folks know how to do the plumbing, but don’t necessarily know how to explain to a board of directors how the IT component yields an adequate equity return and/or improves the bottom line. To the extent the strategic application of IT generally to improve organizational efficiency and profit is where your interests lie, the org degree may be the ticket, especially if this is paired with significant experience. In this sense, you would tailor your course papers and dissertation around the direction you seek.

    Sorry for the long winded babble. Good luck.
     
  3. me again

    me again Active Member

    I second what Messagewriter wrote.

    When business "management" degrees first hit the market, I compared then with business "administration" degrees and found the two to be slightly different from each other. The management degrees didn't seem to require as many of the hard classes for graduation. However, as the years have gone by, I don't know if this difference continues to exist.
     
  4. davidincolorado

    davidincolorado New Member

    Ultimately, you have to decide where you might be happy. Many IT folks or anyone else passionate about their trade get frustrated in executive management because they are disconnected from what they love. A restaurant owner here in Tampa quite his job as president to go back to cooking in one of his stores, which is his passion. He's worth 35+ million and cooks.

    MessageWriter

    Your point is well taken, one needs to know who they are before they can figure out where they are going. Overall, my background is more diverse than just IT and I have spent a lot more time orchestrating and directing than getting to technical "weeds" ...and I truly enjoy that type of role which is why I want to best position myself for executive opportunities in the years ahead.

    In any event, you've both touched upon the jist of my question...which has more weight or meat? Org. Man. or BA? So far it appears that the BA route is winning.

    I'd be interested in hearing from any Capella or other PhD grads/students in the Org. Management degree arena and get your impression of the program content....any takers?
     
  5. Han

    Han New Member

    There is one huge issue that the ledership programs face..... they are usually not a part of the business department at all, so not considered under their accreditation (if they are professionally accredited).

    I looked into several programs and somebody raised the issue, if you care about the professional accreditation, make sure to get the information on what department, and accreditation they hold (it may differ from the business department)
     

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