1 - What is the difference between a PhD and Executive DBA ?

A doctoral thesis is a diploma of state which asks for a registration in a doctoral  program. It takes place in principle in 3 years after a Master's degree (professional, but most of the time search) The doctoral thesis is centered on the production of knowledge with academic purpose, even if in sciences of management, the interest in the practice of organizations has to appear.

 A Executive DBA has a professional purpose. Produced knowledge have to provide to be quickly inserted into the practice of the affairs in the broad sense. It doesn’t require a solid theoretical Knowledge as that required in a classic doctorate.

Executive DBA vs PhD Differences: Executive Doctorate of Business Administration Programs

Both, the PhD in Management and the Executive DBA, are doctoral degrees and as such have similarities, but  there are some differences:


   a- Target groups

   b- Motivation

   c-  Career goals

   d- Financing


a-Executive Doctorate of Business Administration target groups: young graduates vs. senior professionals

PhD in Management and Executive DBA programs address different target groups.

If people aim a career in social sciences and eventually want to become of fulltime professor at a business school. A PhD program is tailored for them. Their goal is to become an academic and do research. These people often come directly from the university and start the PhD after graduating.

In contrast, people do a Executive DBA when they are already successful in business for many years and look for a new intellectual challenge. These people often have an MBA already and want to further distinguish themselves from others by doing a doctoral degree. At the same time, they are interested in management research and may have a practical research question in mind .


b- Motivation: career perspective vs. personal challenge

A difference between PhD in Management and Executive DBA program is often the motivation behind the studies. For PhD students the PhD is the path to a career as an academic. Their degree qualifies them as scholars and the overall goal is to start a career as a fulltime professor at a business school.

Executive DBAs in contrast are driven primarily by the search for a personal challenge. They already have achieved a lot in their business career and some of them have an MBA. The Executive DBA provides them with a new challenge that goes beyond the practical knowledge that they learnt in business or in the MBA. It challenges them as potential researchers.


c- PhD and Executive DBA career Goals: fulltime vs. part-time academic

PhD in Management students aim at a career in academia. They apply for positions as fulltime professors after graduating or go for a Postdoc for some years. Their key activity is doing research, publishing in academic journals or books, and teaching. And this is what PhD in Management students become qualified for – at least at top schools.


In contrast, Executive DBA graduates usually stay working professionals in their companies and want to stay in the business world even after their graduation. However, their doctoral degree qualifies them for doing research as well. They may teach as guest professors, invited or adjunct faculty occasionally.


d-Financing your Doctorate in Business Administration

PhD in Management students, particularly at top schools, often get financial support during the studies, either by a scholarship or through a position as research assistant. Executive DBA students on the other hand often pay for their education even though some schools may provide scholarships for them as well.

Some companies fund Executive DBA students, especially when they use data from their employers and when their research is relevant for their companies. PhDs on the other hand are sponsored by their universities because the university has an interest in them.

2 - Who can join Executive DBA?

Every graduate of the higher education with a Master's degree. It is recommended to have economic or management Education. But another profile of training can be also accepted. A work and Management experience is asked in principle.

3 - Is the DBA a recognized diploma?

 It is a diploma of the university of Nice Sophia Antipolis. The Executive DBA is recognized by the Anglo-Saxon companies or those really internationalized. The diploma is referenced EDBAC and the IAE of Nice AACSB.

4 - What we can expect from a DBA?

ü  On a personal plan, the capacity to realize a research project. The personal valuation to master a subject and answers to a question which calls out to the professionals in service.

ü  On the professional level, it completes a will and a capacity to dominate a precise problem met in the company (private or public)

Finally, the wish to share an experience accumulated and formalized within the framework of a Executive DBA is an important gratifying element.

5 - What are the skills developed in a Executive DBA?

Essentially, the capacity to lead a professional research. The methodology occupies an important place which allows to distinguish the knowledge so produced by the one as a practitioner in service can bring. The knowledge produced during a Executive DBA are leaned in the theoretical knowledge validated in the concerned field (marketing, management control) The methods and protocols of research are rigorous, what gives the legitimacy and the robustness to the produced knowledge.

6 - Which subject research we can choose?

In essence, the Executive DBA is designed to professionals having a few years of experience. The Research subject must be connected, directly or indirectly to their experience. The intuitions, the problems lived by the candidate are on the basis of the formulation of their subject research.

7 - What workload represents a Executive DBA for the participants?

It is a very long training. "On a daily basis, the personal investment is not particularly raised. It’s important, to hold on the duration and to be regular in the work.

In Summary, How interesting is Executive DBA for a manager? How does the Executive DBA knowledge help managers in their job?  What we learn in a Executive DBA program?

Doctorate in management - whether fulltime or part-time, whether a PhD or a Executive DBA - NEVER has the purpose to increase your management capabilities. You can get some take-aways from a doctorate that you can apply in business. But the primary reason for doing a doctorate in management is NOT to become better managers.

Well, you learn to become a researcher. This means that you will be able to identify a relevant research problem, to frame it in a terminology such that it can be studied, to design an apt methodology, and to actually study it.

Of course, this research topic can and should be related to the real management world. And in a Executive DBA program, this research topic will be even closer to your every day life as it may stem directly from your employer's practice. But at the end of the day, a doctoral student is learning the tools to do research on these problems on a higher level, abstracting from the one concrete company case to a more general level that can help explain similar phenomena in other settings as well.



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