DBA vs PhDChen Wan Lim
A DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) and a PhD in Business Administrations are essentially geared towards deeper studies and research in specific areas. Before comparing and contrasting between a DBA and a PhD, let’s explore the similarities first. Make no mistake that both programmes are extremely intense requiring very deep understanding and focus on a particular area of study. Both programmes are research-intensive and candidates are required to defend a doctoral dissertation by the end of the programme (viva voce). In terms of academic status, both programmes are also academically equivalent, where successful candidates are awarded a doctor’s (Dr.) title. Now the differences:
PhD – PhDs are academically driven where successful candidates are often looking for a long term career in academia such as being a professor and educator at a higher education institution.
DBA – Candidates for DBSs are typically seasoned industry professionals seeking to undergo deeper research and understanding within their respective field of expertise. Candidates often seek to study specific issues within their industry.
PhD – PhDs are usually done on a full-time basis but part-time research and study is also quite common these days.
DBA – Most DBAs are usually done on a part-time basis and very flexible in nature as candidates often hold very senior and crucial roles within their organisations.
PhD – Candidates undergoing PhD programmes often have to finance from the University in the form of scholarships or university research grants. Also, it is common for PhD candidates to be research assistants and teaching staff in the university during their PhD tenure there.
DBA – DBA candidates are often either self-funded or are funded by their companies if their research is based on data/information from the company.
Contribution to academic
PhD – The quest of attaining a PhD is largely focused on developing new theories or trying to fill and explain gaps in existing theories.
DBA – On the other hand, a DBA programme is skewed towards an existing issue their companies are facing and case-study approaches are used to tackle that issue rather than using an empirical approach.
Access to data
PhD – With the depth and breadth of research commonly undertaken by PhD candidates, the data that PhD candidates require are not readily available. Instead, these data are often painstakingly collected and collated via interviews, surveys and public data mining and then analyzing them in great detail.
DBA – In contrasts with PhD candidates, since DBA candidates often conduct research on specific issues faced by their companies, the data and information required are often proprietary and highly confidential in nature which only belongs to their companies. As such, data required by DBA candidates are often more readily accessible.