Mind the gap: navigating the transition from coursework to thesis for candidates and supervisors in a professional doctorate program
Wallace, M, Sheldon, N, Pervan, S, Sloan, T, Vocino, A & Blackman, D 2015, 'Mind the gap: navigating the transition from coursework to thesis for candidates and supervisors in a professional doctorate program', paper presented to the the European Academy of Management (EURAM) 2015, Warsaw, Poland, 17-19 June.
The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is one of a range of professional doctorate programs across the world. This paper explores the practices of DBA supervisors in the gap where the candidate is transitioning from the coursework phase to the thesis writing phase of the program. In particular, we explore how supervisors structure their supervision and the needs of candidates in this phase and what might be done to make this challenging transition a better experience for both candidate and supervisor. The lessons from this research can be applied to doctoral supervision more broadly. The research found that many candidates find the thesis component of their studies quite daunting and sought greater structure and direction from their supervisors in this phase; however, only some supervisors saw that a more structured approach was needed.