• The Concept Paper (Initial Research Memo)

    The concept paper clearly delimits and describes the research project. This paper will benefit from all developments, presentations and discussions that take place during the opening research seminar (Philosophy of Management Research). The concept paper is directed at being a solid and precise basis of discussion with the dissertation advisor.

    1.      Content

    The concept paper will include an overview of the context of the research and of the proposed topic of the research, a brief review of selected literature, a statement of the research objectives and main research questions, a statement of the potential contribution and usefulness of the research, and finally a very brief description of proposed research methods.

    2.      Evaluation

    The concept paper is evaluated based on the ability to present the basic elements of the research before its refinement through interaction with the dissertation advisor. The basic elements evaluated are the preliminary title of the research, a statement of the context and topic of the research, a statement of research objectives, and a statement of research questions and of potential research contributions. 

  • The Literature Review

    A Literature Review constitutes an essential chapter of the DBA dissertation. It is a self-contained review of writings, research, and knowledge on a subject. It takes place during Year 1/Phase 1 of the Euro-Asia DBA program.

    1.      Purpose

    The general purpose of a Literature Review is to critically analyse published research in a selected area of knowledge. It is an essential first step in any research project since it demonstrates a participant’s solid knowledge of a particular field of study. It is only based on this body of knowledge that an original piece of research may be defined, justified, and conducted.

    2.      Content

    A literature review is organized around themes, concepts or theories.  These concepts or theories should be carefully selected in terms of their importance and relevance for the research topic of the DBA participant. The general idea is not to list and review all material published, but to analyse, evaluate and synthesize research linked to the selected research topic and directly relevant to it.

    Note that the Literature Review is not an original piece of research aiming at generating new knowledge in the field of study. It aims at critically reviewing the state of the art, i.e. current knowledge. The generation of new knowledge will take place in the DBA dissertation itself.

    3.      Evaluation

    The Literature Review demonstrates participants’ acquired knowledge and abilities on several dimensions. These dimensions are the basis of evaluation:

    - Knowledge and understanding of the research topic,

    - Ability to identify the literature relevant in the field of studies,

    - Ability to critically analyse and structure disparate yet related pieces of research,

    - Ability to identify recommendations for further research.  

  • The Research Proposal

    The Research Proposal is the first step towards executing the DBA dissertation. The proposal is a unique manuscript in the sense that it describes with necessary details how your dissertation is an original contribution to knowledge or to management practice.

    The Research Proposal occurs at the conclusion of Phase 1 of the EA-DBA and at an early stage of the dissertation process.  It sets out research objectives, research questions, potential contributions to knowledge and practice, and a planned methodology. This is susceptible to change over time, and is therefore not binding. However, the proposal should clearly demonstrate that the chosen topic is appropriate to the field of study, and that it is both scientifically relevant and managerially important.

    The Research Proposal should be written in a direct and scientific style. It will be read by committee members who are experts in the field and who will judge whether spending time and effort on the proposed topic and applying the methodology recommended is worthwhile and susceptible to contribute to knowledge in the field of study.

    1.      Purpose

     

    • Present the context of the research and key research questions,
    • Justify and demonstrate the importance of the research and possible contributions,
    • Briefly present theoretical bases and important prior research results,
    • Position the proposed dissertation research versus current knowledge,
    • Show how the research will be conducted (methodology),
    • Describe potential outcomes of the research.

     2.      Content

    The written proposal should be approximately 20-30 pages long and communicates clearly and precisely the content of the research and ways to implement it. It is divided into the following sections:

    • Title  
    • Abstract
    • Research Context, Research Objectives and Research Questions
    • Literature Review, Hypotheses or Propositions
    • Methods and Procedures
    • Synthesis
    • Reference List  

    All studies cited in the research proposal should be included using standard (APA) citation methods.

    3.      Evaluation

    The dissertation proposal and research proposal defence will be evaluated based on the DBA participant’s ability to master the different dimensions of the research proposal including the title of the research, the abstract, the research context, research objectives and research questions, the literature review, the formulation of hypotheses or propositions, and a detailed presentation of research methods and procedures. Will also be considered the inclusion of a dissertation forecasted timetable and of a reference list.

  • Research Proposal Defence

    The Research Proposal Defence lasts 30 minutes and will be followed by 30 minutes of questions, comments and discussion from the dissertation proposal defence committee.

    The presentation will follow the structure of the written research proposal and should be aimed at justifying the importance and rationale of the research, as well as the ability of the participant to conduct the research successfully and to contribute to the body of research in the chosen field.

    1.      Evaluation

    The Research Proposal and Defence will be evaluated based on the DBA participant’s ability to master the different dimensions of the research proposal as cited in the Research Proposal description.

    • Title  
    • Abstract
    • Research Context, Research Objectives and Research Questions
    • Literature Review, Hypotheses or Propositions
    • Methods and Procedures
    • Synthesis
    • Reference List  

    Decisions of the committee

    Following the Research Proposal Defence, the committee shall either:

    A. Accept the proposal (“pass”) as presented or subject to modifications agreed upon by the dissertation committee and to be incorporated into the final dissertation.

    If both the dissertation proposal and its Defence are deemed satisfactory, the DBA participant moves to Phase 2 of the DBA program, devoted to the elaboration of the DBA dissertation.

    B. Reject the proposal (“fail”). In this case, a new dissertation proposal will be developed and a new proposal Defence date will be scheduled. 

  • The Preliminary Dissertation Draft

    1. Purpose

    The preliminary dissertation draft shows the ability of the participant to empirically implement the research approved during the research proposal Defence and in many instances improved through further exchanges with the dissertation advisor. The empirical investigation implies a precise methodology including data collection procedures and effective data collection. All data planned for the final dissertation need not be collected at this stage. However, data analysis must be performed as well as presentation of empirical results and interpretation of results, even if these results may yet be partial. 

    2. Content

    The preliminary dissertation draft includes all elements of a research. Beyond elements already covered in the research proposal, a solid and complete literature review will lead to a precise and theoretically justified formulation of the conceptual model of the research and of the hypotheses (or propositions). The methodology section covers all data collection procedures (measurement instruments, samples, observations, tests of the measurement instruments, and data analysis procedures). Empirical results are presented and discussed. Finally the next steps planned to fully implement the DBA dissertation are presented. The reference list and appendices (e.g. questionnaires) are included in the manuscript.

    3. Evaluation 

    The preliminary dissertation draft is evaluated based on the ability of the DBA participant to conduct an empirical research in management, considering that the empirical part may yet be partial. The evaluation of the manuscript is coupled with the evaluation of the dissertation pre-Defence. Details are provided in the dissertation pre-Defence evaluation section.

  • The Dissertation Pre-Defence

    1. Purpose

    The dissertation pre-Defence is an oral presentation of the preliminary dissertation draft in front of the pre-Defence committee. The pre-Defence committee is composed of three members including the dissertation advisor and at least one faculty member of Kedge Business School. The purpose of this pre-Defence is to assess the ability of the DBA candidate to sufficiently improve the manuscript to present a final dissertation meeting the required quality standards and to successfully defend the dissertation during the final Defence.

    2. Content

    The DBA candidate presents the main ideas of his/her dissertation in about 30 minutes through a structured PowerPoint presentation. The committee members then ask their questions to the candidate who responds to these questions. The committee members suggest revisions that are necessary to improve the thesis. During the pre-Defence, the candidate take notes of all the questions and suggestions and bundles all remarks, suggestions, and required changes to the dissertation.

    3. Evaluation 

    The committee decides whether or not, and under which conditions the DBA candidate is admitted to the present the final Defence of the DBA dissertation some months after the pre-Defence. The decisions of the committee are: (1) acceptation of the dissertation without revisions, (2) acceptation with minor revisions, (3) acceptation with major revisions, or (4) rejection.  In case of rejection, and if the pre-Defence is the first one taking place, the committee will grant the candidate an extra year to complete the dissertation. This extra year implies a second dissertation pre-Defence. If a second dissertation pre-Defence leads to a rejection decision by the committee, the candidate will not be granted the possibility to defend the dissertation.  

  • The Final Dissertation Paper

    1. Purpose

    The final DBA dissertation paper demonstrates the ability of the candidate to conduct an original and independent research in management. The research must be theoretically founded, methodologically sound and must offer original contributions to knowledge and/or practice.

    2. Content

    The DBA candidate presents the main components of his/her dissertation in about 30 minutes through a structured PowerPoint presentation. The committee members then comment on the qualities and limitations of the DBA research and ask questions to the candidate who responds to these questions. The committee members suggest revisions that are necessary to improve the thesis. During the pre-Defence, the candidate take notes of all the questions and suggestions and bundles all remarks, suggestions, and required changes to the dissertation. 

    3. Evaluation

    Regardless of the nature of the research, the ultimate test of a successful DBA dissertation is whether or not the research adds meaningful advances to the established body of knowledge surrounding the issue and research topic. The expectation is that a DBA dissertations makes some contribution to knowledge and practise, even if modesty should be the rule. Contributions might be diverse such as conceptualizing an issue in a novel manner, collecting new and original data, demonstrating the applicability of an existing model in a new empirical setting, expanding the application of a theory or previous research conclusions in a new domain, or demonstrating boundary conditions to previous knowledge.

    The final dissertation is evaluated by two committee members other than the dissertation advisor. These two committee members must formally authorize the final Defence for the Defence to take place. In the absence of two written Defence authorizations, the candidate will be granted an extra year to raise the quality of the dissertation to expected standards. In the case of a second DBA dissertation evaluation, the absence of two Defence authorizations will lead the candidate to not be granted the possibility to defend the dissertation.  

  • The Viva Voce (Final Dissertation Defence)

    1. Purpose

    The final dissertation Defence is an oral presentation of the DBA dissertation in front of the Defence committee. The Defence committee is composed of at least three members including the dissertation advisor and at least one faculty member of Kedge Business School. The purpose of the Defence is (1) to demonstrate that the dissertation is commensurate with the standards for original research in management, (2) to demonstrate that the ethics and standards governing research in management have been followed.

    2. Content

    The DBA candidate presents the main elements of his/her dissertation in about 30 minutes through a structured PowerPoint presentation. The committee members then comment on the qualities and limitations of the DBA dissertation and ask questions to the candidate who responds to these questions.

    3. Evaluation

    The outcome of the oral Defence is decided by the Dissertation Committee. Both the dissertation itself and the candidate’s performance in the oral Defence are grounds for the Committee’s decision to pass or fail. The committee decides whether or not the DBA candidate is granted the degree of Doctor in Business Administration. The decisions of the committee are: (1) granting the DBA degree, (2) granting the DBA degree with minor revisions to the dissertation which implies that a revised version of the dissertation be sent to the committee members and to the program manager within 4 months, or (3) rejection.  In case of rejection, and if the Defence is the first one taking place, the committee will grant the candidate an extra year to complete the dissertation. This extra year implies a second dissertation pre-Defence and final Defence. If the second dissertation pre-Defence or Defence lead to a rejection decision by the committee, the candidate will not be granted the DBA degree.