DBA Dissertation Topics
- Global Business Politics
- Information Technology Integration
- Business Accountability
- Finance and Accounting
- Social Entrepreneurship
If you choose to become a Doctor in Business Administration, you can count on more career opportunities to move yourself ahead in the business place. While there are many reasons to consider a DBA, such degrees do require a great deal of time and effort.
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As part of your pursuit, you will be expected to complete a dissertation, which should explore one of the most pressing issues in the field. Here are five hot topics to consider for a DBA dissertation.
1. Global Business Politics
The world is becoming increasingly interconnected. As more businesses explore international opportunities, the need to adapt to a global marketplace is pressing. It is not merely a question of understanding different markets, but it is necessary to look at the legal and political ramifications of globalization as well. Globalization topics can range from an analysis of emerging economies to the way businesses and governments work together in international contexts. Dissertations about globalization can be enriched with detailed case studies and comparative data.
2. Information Technology Integration
Technology is essential to modern business. Almost every business relies on technology in manufacturing, software development, bookkeeping and more. Therefore, a dissertation on information technology is always a good choice. It is especially useful to look at the way technology can be successfully incorporated into the business structure, analyzing its benefits and the complications. Since technology is always evolving, there are plenty of examples to explore during your research. Examining technology from a managerial point of view can be a particularly useful way to go since it looks at the topic from a higher level. Ecommerce and security are also relevant considerations.
3. Business Accountability
After the turmoil in 2008, the idea of accountability is huge in business. Business leaders are always trying to make more money and reach new consumers, but these goals must be adequately balanced by ethical practices. The world saw too clearly what can happen when businesses let ethical standards slide, and many people are still trying to recover professionally and personally. This is why there is ample space to explore new accountability practices, assessing the best ways to maintain ethical business practices while still pushing ahead with profits.
4. Finance and Accounting
Many businesses also suffered financially after the crash of 2008. For this reason, issues of finance and accounting are worthy of more study. To really push the envelope, consider more advanced types of accounting that look at total assets and not just money. These less tangible assets are increasingly important to modern business models, which is why a method of accounting for them is so useful. Finance and accounting are topics that can be paired with other issues. For example, accountability is often tied to financial issues, and there are plenty of issues surrounding the global pressures on accounting practices. The way these topics intersect can make for a more dynamic dissertation.
5. Social Entrepreneurship
One of the most interesting business trends is social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship uses business to solve social problems. In these business models, success is not merely measured by conventional profits. Instead, success is marked by social gains. There is more interest than ever in giving back to communities, which is why social entrepreneurship might be an inspired topic. An exploration of hybrid businesses that seek to earn money and give back can be especially noteworthy for DBA students.
These topics are modern and relevant, which make them ripe for further exploration. Whatever you choose, your DBA dissertation can be an important building block for your career goals.
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Looking for a DBA or PhD in business and management? Find out which fields of business research present most opportunities, according to course leaders.
In the words of Dr Valérie Sabatier, deputy director of the Doctoral School at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, “What we knew several years ago doesn’t work anymore. We need new research and new models.”
Globalization, technological change, environmental concerns, social and political upheaval, the financial crisis of the end of last decade, and rising business school enrolments are all driving demand for business PhDs and DBAs across a spectrum of diverse, though interconnected topics. Here, course leaders identify five of the most in-demand areas of business research.
1. Managing technology & innovation
“Management of innovation and technology is of particular importance right now,” says Sabatier. “Questions about R&D, strategy and business models, and innovation are very important both from a theoretical and managerial point of view.”
What’s driving demand? Rapid and continuing change. “The world has changed so much and is evolving so quickly with new questions emerging all the time,” Sabatier says. Gillian Symon, director of PhD programs at the School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, adds: “The continuing rapid developments in social technologies that have revolutionized marketing, communications and organizational relationships make these topics vital.”
2. Resources management & sustainable development
Energy management, water management, and sustainable development are all identified among “the great ‘macro’ themes of the century” by Alessandro Binachi, DBA program thesis and research coordinator at European University’s Business School in Spain.
What’s driving demand? Quite simply, as Binachi says, “without solving [these issues] in the short term, life on Earth may become seriously jeopardized, or at least unpredictably complex.”
3. Social entrepreneurship
Recent years have seen a growth in the number of MBAs in social entrepreneurship – and there are also opportunities in this field for PhD and DBA candidates. “Social entrepreneurship, business models for developing countries, but also frugal innovations are hot topics,” Sabatier says.
What’s driving demand? Social, economic and attitudinal change. Research in this field focuses on “how to create value for society, as well as value for profits and returns,” says Sabatier.
4. Corporate responsibility, ethics & accountability
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has similarly been a ‘hot’ topic for some time now, but the course leaders say it remains a key priority for research. Binachi identifies ethical issues among the most pressing topics for business research today, while Symon says ‘Sustainability, responsibility and ethics’ is one of the six areas of research excellence being prioritized at Royal Holloway.
What’s driving demand? The impact of the financial crisis of 2008 onwards is still very much being felt, Symon says, meaning corporate responsibility, accountability and “assessing fair value accounting” remain very much at the top of the research agenda.
5. Accounting & finance
Finally, accounting and finance remain high-demand areas. As well as highlighting the link between accounting and accountability, Symon also predicts growing demand for models of accounting for intangible assets.
What’s driving demand? In addition to the broader pressures of social and economic change, increased enrolments in higher level business school programs. “With the boom in professional education, there are not enough professors at PhD level to teach in business schools,” Sabatier says. As a result, academics in the fields of accounting and finance - particularly corporate finance and markets - are in high demand, for both research and teaching positions.
Of course these are by no means the only areas of opportunity. Symon also mentions war and global security and global labor standards as fields of business research likely to see growth, while Sabatier mentions healthcare in addition to the fields already covered.
Meanwhile Binachi emphasizes that beyond these overriding themes, each region and industry presents its own specific priorities and challenges. Finally, he points out that many of the concerns that kept business leaders awake a century or more ago remain just as pertinent and pressing today – including productivity, labor problems, cost containment and new products development.