Executive Business Doctorate: A Journey of Motivations, Risks, and Real-World Outcomes

39 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2018

See all articles by Ginger Lange

Ginger Lange

Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Kamau Smith

Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Katherine Spradley

Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Wesley James Johnston

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Date Written: August 30, 2018

Abstract

In recent years, the number of executive doctoral programs that business schools offer has risen significantly. For program administrators, offering the doctorate lets them address an underserved population of experienced professionals who desire a business education beyond the master’s degree, but for whom traditional, full-time Ph.D. programs are impractical. Although executive doctoral programs seem well positioned to serve this population’s needs, this relatively new educational option has yet to garner wide acceptance and recognition for its value in business and academic communities alike. Thus, for prospective students, choosing to pursue the doctorate is risky, especially given the significant investments of money, time, and effort. This study applies modern expectancy-value theory to examine the motivations, expectancies, experiences, and outcomes from the perspective of program graduates. The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 33 graduates from five doctoral programs in the United States. The five core findings provide rich insights into the decision process, as well as into factors impacting the obtainment of the doctorate and realizing its value. From this study, we argue that the doctorate is valuable and is an essential bridge between academia and industry. This empirical study contributes theoretically by applying the modern expectancy-value theory in the doctoral business school setting; it contributes to practice by providing valuable insights for prospective students and program administrators.

Keywords: doctorate, expectancy-value theory, motivation, executive education, case study

Suggested Citation

Lange, Ginger and Smith, Kamau and Spradley, Katherine and Johnston, Wesley James, Executive Business Doctorate: A Journey of Motivations, Risks, and Real-World Outcomes (August 30, 2018). 2018 Engaged Management Scholarship Conference: Philadelphia, PA. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3241743 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3241743

Ginger Lange (Contact Author)

Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

PO Box 4050
Atlanta, GA
United States

Kamau Smith

Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

PO Box 4050
Atlanta, GA
United States

Katherine Spradley

Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

PO Box 4050
Atlanta, GA
United States

Wesley James Johnston

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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