The Doctor of Business Administration: Managing candidate diversity and the academy

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Wallace, M & Marchant, T 2018, 'The Doctor of Business Administration: Managing candidate diversity and the academy', in FF Padró, R Erwee, MA Harmes, MK Hames & PA Danaher (eds.) Postgraduate education in higher education (University development and administration), Springer, Singapore, pp. 425-449. ISBN 9789811052477

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Peer Reviewed



Professional doctorate programs have been offered through Australian universities since the mid-1990s, and the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) has been at the forefront of offerings. The chapter provides a snapshot of contemporary DBA programs in Australia and explores the diversity of DBA candidates and their needs. The authors explore issues regarding the expectations of academic managers, candidates, and supervisors of DBA programs, current positive and negative outcomes of DBA programs from both management and candidate perspectives, the structure of DBA programs, and the gap between coursework and thesis. Practical suggestions are made to manage the status of the DBA in the academy, enhance the structure of the DBA programs, and better manage the enculturation of candidates into the academic genre, given the applied nature of a DBA program. This chapter is informed by contemporary literature on doctoral candidature and two recent empirical studies; one is a qualitative study on the DBA co-led by the first author and funded by the Australian government’s Office of Learning and Teaching, and the other is an analysis of Australian government statistics on DBA numbers and completions 1993–2013.