Executive Business Doctorate: A Journey of Motivations, Expectancies, Cost and Realized Value
73 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2017 Last revised: 2 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 8, 2017
There is a significant rise in executive doctoral programs offered by business schools. In offering the executive doctorate, the school administrators opportunistically seek to address an underserved population. This population is comprised of experienced professionals characterized by their collective desire to educate themselves beyond the master’s degree level in business, but for whom the traditional, full-time Ph.D. program path does not meet their needs. Although executive doctoral programs seem well-positioned to serve the needs of this population, this relatively new option has yet to prove sustainable value. Thus, the choice to pursue the executive doctorate is risky for prospective students, especially given the significant investments of money, time, and effort. This case study examined the motivations, expectancies, experiences, and outcomes from the perspective of executive doctoral program graduates through the application of modern expectancy-value theory. The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 33 graduates from five AACSB-accredited executive doctoral programs. The researchers analyzed responses to 37 questions using qualitative and quantitative analysis methods. The results provided rich understanding into the decision process and factors impacting the obtainment of the doctoral degree and realizing value through associated outcomes. This empirical study contributes theoretically by applying all four value components of expectancy-value theory in the graduate business school setting. The research contributes to practice by providing valuable insights to prospective students and doctoral program administrators.
Keywords: doctorate, expectancy-value theory, motivation, executive education, case study
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