Business administration has two PhD’s someone can obtain. One is a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), and the other is the PhD or Doctor of Philosophy. Of the two, the PhD program is designed specifically for a career in research and teaching or other academic pursuits. The PhD doctoral program will provide a foundation in business, economics and management. Equally important, however, are the components of research theory and the type of interdisciplinary regimen that will be necessary for original research in the field.
The in-depth study of research and research technique begins with a review of the literature on the subject. Moving on, the PhD candidate in business administration will study theoretical modeling; research design; computer-assisted analysis of empirical data; and the preparation of proposals and research papers drawn from these studies. A basic requirement for someone interested in pursuing a doctoral career of this type is an inquisitive nature that is comfortable with the intellectual skepticism critical to a research environment. Many great scientists place doubt as the keystone of great research: in academia, uncertainty is a positive and productive force.
Another critical element of the PhD program for business administration is the development of teaching skills. The assumption is that people enrolled in this program may well be headed toward a life in an academic environment and in the field of business administration; the classroom will be part of that environment. Some schools have developed teaching courses that are interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together doctoral candidates from a variety of fields to learn about the teaching process. Out of this, a PhD candidate should develop a philosophy of teaching that is bred from coursework, work as a graduate assistant and interaction with his peers from other disciplines.
In a traditional campus setting, the faculty advisor is an important resource for PhD candidates, acting as a mentor through the course of study. Choice of a faculty advisor usually depends on the intended area of concentration, such as management, financing, and the like. At some point, a Doctorate Program Committee comes together as the student begins to formulate a thesis outline.
There are a certain number of core courses regarding business administration that are required for any PhD program. These may or may not have been met during previous study. They include the basics of business theory, economics, statistics, and the use of computers for a variety of purposes.
Beyond the core requirements, much of a PhD program may involve activities outside the classroom and off campus, in the “area of emphasis.” PhD candidates in business administration may focus on a primary area of interest. Among the standard academic offerings as focal areas are international business, international finance, marketing, production/operations management, finance, and accounting.
The purpose of a PhD program in business administration is to prepare the doctor-to-be for a productive role in research, in the classroom, and should the path lead elsewhere, in a corporate environment or in government. Because of the rapidly growing communications abilities of the internet, there are some PhD programs in business administration available online. The DBA mentioned earlier, on the other hand, is a program offered by a variety of online schools. Both University of Phoenix and Warren National University offer online doctorate programs in business administration. The computer and the telephone provide the communications links to campus resources and faculty guidance.