Part-time program for experienced leaders with at least 10 years of work experience and a strong desire to be practical researchers
Lead transformation in turbulent times: become a real-world researcher
- Real-world project focus
- Drive transformation through research
- Part-time, blended learning
- Stepping stone to c-suite
- rigorously and methodically investigate real world problems;
- use evidence-based research to develop practical solutions;
- build sustainable and entrepreneurial research approaches;
- lead transformation, consciously and mindfully;
- implement new models and frameworks to co-create value with stakeholders.
Global turbulence and uncertainty create complex and hitherto unseen management problems. Rapid technological advances and environmental crises are disrupting businesses, industries, and countries. These challenges demand professional and business practitioners equipped with unique skill sets and approaches. To successfully tackle these challenges, we need real-world researchers. These highly skilled business practitioners and professionals are able to apply systematic research to solve complex problems. The Sasin DBA program has been carefully designed to develop such experts. With your time and development in mind, the DBA has been built around three driving principles, which are embedded throughout the program:
1. Research from day oneYou’ll gain immediate exposure to research processes right from the start of the program. You’ll begin thinking about research and reflecting upon your existing business or professional practice, from the very first day of your program. You’ll practice reflexivity and rigorously investigate problems throughout your research journey.
2. A blended learning approachA highly focused learning process will empower your development as real world researchers. You will learn online, at your own pace, when and where you choose! All our online courses include:
- carefully produced short video classes;
- guided exercises and activities;
- support through ‘live’ online tutorials led by faculty;
- including interaction and discussions with your fellow DBA participants;
- you can ask questions throughout the course.
3. Assignments that ‘plug into’ your research and thesisEach course assignment will plug directly into your research and, eventually, your thesis. So, you progress in your research journey: step-by-step throughout the program. Each course assignment has been carefully designed to develop your knowledge and skills in relation to a part of your research process or a component of your thesis. Make efficient use of your time, stay focused, and see how the pieces of your research puzzle gradually fit together!
Thesis MentorEvery DBA student has a thesis mentor, who will become a sounding board for your ideas and research approach. You’ll meet your thesis mentor at the start of the program and regularly thereafter to discuss your research, ask questions, and address concerns or challenges you may encounter. You’ll also utilise meetings with your thesis mentor to discuss your progress in preparing course assessments. This will help you to utilise course assignments to develop research skills, apply learned concepts and principles to your own topic, and produce content for your research and thesis. Please browse the expertise and research interests of Sasin faculty to identify potential thesis mentors. Examples are listed below. During the first DBA course you’ll have the opportunity to meet various faculty members to learn more about their research and potential fit with your own project.
- Benjamin P. W. Ellway, Ph.D.
- Chaipong Pongpanich, Ph.D.
- Gérald Mazzalovo, DBA
- Hee-Chan Song, Ph.D.
- Associate Professor Krittinee Nuttavuthisit, Ph.D.
- Pinnaree Tea-Makorn, Ph.D.
What Are Typical Research Topics?Your thesis will be on a topic chosen by you, in conjunction with your thesis mentor. Topics will be as varied and individual as the program participants. However, some potential sample topics are:
- Transitioning to a Digital Strategy: Insights for the Experience of Company XYZ
- Digital Disruption: How to Anticipate It, and What to Do: Practical Lessons
- Sustainable Management Practices as Applied to ….
- From China to Southeast Asia, to the World: Successful Pathways to International Expansion
- Is there an Asian-style of Management: Empirical Evidence
- Mindfulness in Management: Practical Results
- Crisis Management in Action: Challenges to Supply Chains
- Dealing with Turbulence and Uncertainty: Practical Lessons from XYZ
The Sasin DBA program will enable you to build on your existing expertise, deepen your understanding of your professional and business practices, and harness research skills to tackle the complex problems you face. This program gives you the opportunity to step back from your frenetic career, realize your true potential, and build practical contributions for your organization. As with all Sasin programs, the DBA involves three underlying themes, which drive the future of management: mindfulness, sustainability, and entrepreneurship.
- Mindfulness: deliberative reflection upon your prior and ongoing management experiences. Reflexivity — conscious reflection — will become fundamental to your research processes. This is a crucial step in your development as a reflexive researcher.
- Sustainability: already is an existential imperative for 21st century leaders. Economic, social, and environmental sustainability will drive your research and facilitate human and societal well-being.
- Entrepreneurship: you will develop a keen entrepreneurial mindset so you can recognize, and harness, value-creation opportunities in the uncertain and turbulent operating environment of the future. Like an entrepreneur, you will become able to envision new approaches, models, and logics to enable transformation within your profession, business, or industry.
DBA and Ph.D. are both doctoral level degrees. Both require the completion of a major piece of research and a written thesis, but they differ in terms of their emphasis, career paths, and contribution to original knowledge.
Ph.D. and DBA Research Differences: An Example
Business Model Generation is a global best-selling book by the creators of the Business Model Canvas. The Business Model Canvas is a one-page visualization tool for building, evaluating, and testing business models, suitable for large corporations, small to medium enterprises, or start-ups.
What would a Ph.D. project on business models look like vs. a DBA project?
A Ph.D. project would probably start by looking at the academic literature on business models to identify current issues being debated and discussed by researchers.
This would involve an examination of the literature which preceded the development of the business model canvas as well as more recent literature, including criticisms of the business model and business model canvas concepts.
The theory underpinning the business model concept would be examined, as well as cases of its successes and failures, and potential limitations. This analysis of past research would reveal unanswered questions, tentative hypotheses, or gaps in existing literature that could be explored through further investigation.
The overall aim of the Ph.D. project would be to make an original contribution to knowledge through an improved or enhanced understanding of the theory (and potentially also practice) of business models.
A DBA project would, in contrast, start with a tangible problem or real-world scenario. This could be the uncertainty faced by an established company when new competitors adopt new business models, or it could be the intended application of a business model from one industry to another.
The DBA project would start with a clear specification of the nature and scope of the real-world problem or scenario. Literature on business models would be examined to identify empirical studies on the application of the business model concept in practice, with a special emphasis on finding examples of successes and failures. The project would probably develop or modify a business model, and then test its feasibility or likelihood of success.
The overall aim of the DBA project would be to make an original contribution to knowledge through improved industry or business best practice on business models.
- A Ph.D. makes an original contribution to academic knowledge or to theory. The Ph.D. thesis is founded on a critical evaluation of academic literature. This results in publications in academic journals, targeted to those in academia. A Ph.D. is best suited to those who wish primarily to pursue a full-time career in academic institutions.
- A DBA makes an original contribution to practitioner knowledge, to investigating and solving real-world problems. The DBA thesis will involve critical evaluation of literature from a management practitioner perspective. This results in publications in practitioner, application-oriented journals. A DBA is for candidates who want to advance their careers as thought leaders and change agents in their professions or industries and to develop practical research skills in order to investigate, and propose solutions to, complex management problems. Although they may also teach at academic institutions, this is typically not one of their primary roles.
|Original Knowledge Contribution||Academic knowledge||Practical knowledge for professionals/practitioners|
|Publications||Academic journals||Practitioner-focused journals, popular management books, book chapters|
|Career Path||Academic: work in a university, teach and do research||Thought leaders/change agents/consultants in professions, industries; entrepreneurs|
|Research Skills||Harness the research process for academic research, and new theories||Harness the research process for practical applications and insights|
|Thesis Starting Point||A research question, academic literature, a dataset, a method, a theory, a philosophical worldview||Usually, a real-world problem or an intended project outcome|