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Discourse, knowledge and power: the continuing debate over the DBA

David William Stoten (Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




The purpose of this paper is related to how students and academics in a business school perceive the doctor of business administration (DBA) in terms of its purpose and value compared to that of the conventional PhD.


The research methodology involved a two-stage approach in which a pilot questionnaire and short interviews with 37 students was followed by a second questionnaire to 21 academics employed at a business school at a post-1992 English university.


The findings suggest that although the DBA is valued as means to develop professional knowledge and expertise, the PhD remains the premier choice for those who wish to embark on an academic career. The DBA does, however, also represents a development of work-based learning in higher education.

Research limitations/implications

The research was undertaken at one post-1992 university business school, further research should look to expand the sample size and include a variety of business schools from both pre- and post-1992 universities in England.


The paper does offer a justification for the continued development of the DBA and professional doctorates in general in terms of the development of work-based learning in higher education.



Stoten, D.W. (2016), "Discourse, knowledge and power: the continuing debate over the DBA", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 430-447.



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