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Doctor of business administration brochure


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With a DBA degree graduates are armed to find creative solutions at the very frontier of management challenges. The content of the degree – coursework in the first year and applied fieldwork/ research in the remaining three years – is based on applied research and research in application. As such, it draws upon practical business administration issues and challenges on the organizational level. The DBA emphasizes interdisciplinary understanding, problem-solving skills and intellectual leadership – resulting in MSM’s graduates obtaining a lifelong advantage in management practice.

Doctoral Coursework and the MPhil Degree The core part of the Doctoral Program begins with coursework and literature review seminars in two common research areas:

• Research Methods I
• Research Methods II
• Quantitative Methods I
• Quantitative Methods II
• Academic Writing in English

The student practices and increases his or her writing skills throughout the first year. The modules consist of 36 contact hours, delivered in the months September and October. Given the modular setup the different modules can be followed spread over two consecutive years. Class sessions are concluded with an assessment, mostly in the form of a take-home assignment. A large part of the literature review in support of the field of research, is done through individual reading under the guidance and supervision of the appointed advisor. It is from this field of research that the participant draws the research proposal, which is presented and defended in a seminar after the coursework has been successfully completed. The research proposal seminar is the final step towards the MPhil Degree award. This is also the moment for the research committee to decide on the student’s capabilities for further studies within the Doctoral Program.

Field Research, Data Analysis, Dissertation write-up and Defense
After the participant has been given permission to proceed with the field research, the participant gathers and analyses all the data and information from relevant sources, be it interviews, literature, surveys, or company-specific information, etcetera. The outcome of the dissertation research is a book length manuscript (ideally consisting of a combination of international scientific journal publications), representing an original contribution to one of the numerous facets in the broad fields of management. Originality is demonstrated through the discovery of new facets, the discovery of a new conceptual framework, or the creative application of existing analytical concepts and tools to address contemporary issues in industry. Such a contribution should ensure that the dissertation can withstand the independent critical scrutiny of experts in that field. The participant is therefore required to defend the dissertation in front of a dissertation defense (examination) committee, consisting of both faculty as well as external experts in the field of research.

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Doctor of business administration brochure

  1. 1. Working together for better global management The Maastricht Doctor of Business Administration The pinnacle of global management scholarship
  2. 2. This brochure provides an overview of the highly ranked Maastricht DBA: the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree offered by the Maastricht School of Management MSM. It sets out the why of the Maastricht DBA and describes the structure, content, schedule, as well as the admission requirements for the program. Doctor of Business Administration
  3. 3. The Maastricht DBA is popular, but hard to get into. We receive more than 200 applications every year, of which less than 15 per cent are selected. As one of the top business schools in the world, we prepare our students to tackle ever more complex challenges and opportunities worldwide, and to reach the pinnacle of management education. The Maastricht DBA is a tough, challenging, but ultimately rewarding qualification. It is internationally accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). MSM is a member of the international Executive DBA Council and a signatory to PRME: the Principles for Responsible Management Education. Whether or not to pursue doctoral studies, and indeed the choice of school, are not easy decisions.We hope this brochure will help you make an informed decision. You can submit an application to the program at If you require more information, please visit our website Please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our faculty or staff. We look forward to hearing from you. Prof. Dr.Wim Naudé, Dean Dean’s Declaration Prof. Dr.Wim Naudé
  4. 4. MAASTRICHT SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT | DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Highlights of recent research publications by MSM faculty • Activists and Incumbents Structuring Change:The Interplay of Agency, Culture, and Networks in Field Evolution- by Jakomijn van Wijk (Maastricht School of Management) et al., published in Academy of Management Journal,Vol. 56, No. 2, 2013, pp. 358-386. • Entrepreneurship and Human Development: A Capability Approach- by Wim Naudé (Maastricht School of Management) and Thomas Gries, published in Journal of Public Economics,Vol. 95 (1): 216-224. {2014} • The Eye of the Beholder: Service Provision and State Legitimacy in Burundi- by Nora Stel and Réginas Ndayiragije, published in Africa Spectrum 3/2014: 3-28. ISSN: 1868-6869 (online), ISSN: 0002-0397. {2014} • Introduction: Global Banking, Financial Stability, and Post-Crisis Policy Challenges Symposium- by Harald Sander and Stefanie Kleimeier, published in Comparative Economic Studies, 2014, vol. 56, issue 2, pages 253-256. {2014} • On Input Market Frictions and Estimation of Factors’ Demand- by Arnaud Dupuy and Todd Sorensen, published in Southern Economic Journal,Volume 80, Issue 3. {2014} Why MSM’s DBA Since 1995, MSM’s DBA program has grown into the largest in Europe, and one of the most highly ranked programs worldwide. Our doctoral program ranked #2 in the world Since 2012 the Maastricht School of Management’s DBA program is ranked second in the world in the global ranking of Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) programs. MSM offers an excellent and stimulating research environment for its doctoral candidates with its yearly research conference, many research workshops and lectures with free access for our doctoral candidates. Our candidates present their research through our working paper series and research seminars and conferences. This research environment has contributed to several of our doctoral candidates having received best paper awards on high standing conferences worldwide. Also MSM’s doctoral supervisors are reputable academics who publish in premium journals. Our candidates are encouraged to engage with their supervisors and publish their research in international journals.
  5. 5. Finding novel solutions to both new and old problems, and finding answers on how to turn opportunities and challenges into organizational success, requires visionary management and leadership - leadership at the cutting edge of management science. This is the domain of the Maastricht DBA. Our basic premise is that these questions can only be answered by managers and entrepreneurs who understand the complexities and trade-offs in evidence-based decision-making. Anecdotes, past experience, and copying the behavior of other firms are not good guides to decision-making. Evidence-based decision- making on the other hand requires a scientific or evidence-based approach to management and entrepreneurship. The doctoral difference You are passionate about your job.Your business is important, not only to you, but to your workers, your colleagues, and even your family.You are a pillar in the community.You are highly educated, with a top-class Master’s degree behind your name. And you have been in management for a significant number of years. 2011 2012 2013 Applications 79 146 269 Admitted 49 29 35 % admitted 62% 20% 13% If this sounds like you, then you may have been grappling with some fundamental questions. • Does my business really contribute to the prosperity of my region or country? • How can I improve my organization’s performance? • Will my business survive the onslaught from competitors, regulators, changes in consumer tastes, and disruptive new technologies? • How can we manage the growing scarcities in basic resources like energy, water and land? • Should we start exporting or not? • How will climate change impact my business? • Is big data the answer?”, and many more.
  6. 6. MAASTRICHT SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT | DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION The“doctoral difference”in management and entrepre- neurship lies in pursuing novel solutions with scientific and intellectual rigor. Solutions that will stand the test of time and that can make a general contribution to management science. You are a recognized intellectual leader in your field. You are one of a select few that has, and still continues to, expand the boundaries of management and entrepreneurship. You have a deep and solid under- standing not only of the theoretical foundations of your job and business, but extensive practical experience of using the best techniques of applied science to find answers to perplexing questions.You are secure in your position and place in the world of business. If this describes you, you may already have a prestigious Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree. You already have the“doctoral difference”. The doctoral decision The PhD is the typical“academic”degree. It places a strong(er) emphasis on the academic development of your subject (whether it be in marketing, finance, strategy, economics, etc.) and on your contribution to the academic debate. Doctoral topics tend to be more general in scope. It is the degree of choice for people interested in an academic career, or a career in a research organization or think-tank. The DBA is the typical“practitioner’s”degree. It puts a strong(er) emphasis on finding a solution, via rigorous scientific methods, to a very specific problem facing a particular organization, industry or country, and where the principles and knowledge base of management science are central. It is the degree of choice if you intend to stay in the world of business and apply your research skills to the problems and opportunities facing your own organization. To enter a DBA program you will need several years of practical experience, whereas many PhD programs do not require such experience.The Maastricht School of Management has offered the DBA degree since 1995. The program boasts international accreditation and our graduates enjoy senior positions in their organizations. They often publish in academic journals and many are recognized in their communities. We believe our graduates learn more about themselves as they learn about the world at MSM. Ultimately this is what will give them and their organizations the edge in life and business. Country of Origin of Participants 32% 19% 37% 6%5% 1% Gender of Participants Male Female 27% 73% Asia Africa South America North America Middle East Europe
  7. 7. The PhD program is conducted as a joint doctorate program in its so-called PhD Schools between MSM and several leading Dutch universities and Institutes such as the University of Maastricht, the Technical University of Eindhoven, the International Institute for Social Studies, Tilburg University and Radboud University Nijmegen. One of these carefully-selected partner universities confers the PhD degree on a student completing the program. This allows students in our DBA program to switch to the PhD programs of any of these universities after their first year, conditional on their performance and acceptance by these institutions. The doctoral decision is yours.We are ready to assist you with any questions you may have.The next section explains the requirements of the program, as well as its schedule and content. The doctoral demands Problem orientation Ours is a doctoral program with a difference: we expect all our doctoral students to focus on solving a real-life problem. Instead of being discipline-focused, like most traditional academic degrees, we take disciplinary excellence as a given.We require our students to use their disciplinary expertise to solve problems - often problems facing global business and its impacts. An important requirement of our doctorate is that you are able to indicate the nature of the problem, and how you wish to solve it through your doctoral studies. From this point, you will grasp that the Maastricht DBA aims to foster a multi-dimensional understanding of the way that business, society and government interact.You will see how they result in sustainable development, how they affect global public goods, and how business promotion can contribute to sustainable societies that are also shared, peaceful and prosperous. Alignment with MSM’s expertise clusters Although any good proposal is welcome, we encourage prospective doctoral candidates to align their studies with MSM’s three clusters of expertise. MSM, a global business school with substantial links to emerging economies, is committed to the sustainable development of our world.We encourage research that tackles the major challenges facing organizations and entrepreneurs in sustainable global development. Our three expertise clusters focus on: • Entrepreneurship and innovation (The innovative organization); • Global value chains and partnerships; (The trading organization); and • Organizational development, performance and public policy (The performing organization). My doctoral decision MSM has been instrumental for my career... Pragmatic content complemented by thorough research have provided me with organizational solutions. Vanessa Borg, MSM Alumna and Executive Director ofVanessa Borg, MSM Alumna and Executive Director ofVanessa Borg Consultancy & Training Acumen Centre Ltd, winner of the Bronze Stevie® Award of Company of the Year 2012.
  8. 8. MAASTRICHT SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT | DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION More information on our research focus areas is available on our website or on request.We strongly recommend that you check the research profiles of our current faculty,in particular their scientific publications. Our faculty is highly qualified to supervise you: they publish in and serve on the editorial boards of a number of top scientific journals. Doctoral candidates are highly encouraged,and assisted, to publish their work. In recent years an increasing number of MSM students have been published in scientific journals. Program outline The Maastricht DBA takes at least four years.The first year consists of coursework, particularly focused on research methods and skills. Participants will have the option to follow our 12-week Research Methods and Skills program. For more information: After the first year,candidates must submit and defend a complete research proposal - a Master’s thesis. The successful evaluation of this thesis is a precondition to continue into the second year under the guidance of a supervisor, or in many cases, a team of supervisors. Drawn from our international faculty and/or associated faculty, our supervisors are highly qualified and experienced, and regularly publish in top peer Year 1 Quarter 1: Coursework: Research Methods and Skills Year 1, Quarter 2,3,4 Year 2,3,4 Focus of theses on MSM’ Research Focus Areas 25% 27% 25% 23% Performing Organization Innovating Organization Trading Organization Other Introduction Research Methodology Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Research Proposal Closing&Evaluation • Research Philosophy • Empirical cycle • Research approaches & strategies • Role of literature • Conceptualizing research • Research ethics • Interviews • Focus groups • Textual analysis • Case study • Coding & ATLASti • Validity & reliability • Presenting qualiy data • Mathematical skills • Descriptive statistics • Probability & probability distributions • Estimation & confidence intervals • Hypothesis testing • Introduction to STATA • Chi-square distribution • F-distribution • (Non-)linear regression • Multiple Regression • Specialization lectures & coaching: - Impact monitoring - Qualitative designs - Quantitative designs • Academic writing • Presentation skills Research Proposal Development Showcase Research Presentations & Meetings Reflection & Learning through:assignments, discussions, coaching & feedback, presentations reviewed journals (see our website for a comprehen- sive list of recent publications by our faculty). Under the guidance of a supervisor or supervisory team,a candi- date typically takes three to four years to complete a doctoral dissertation,either in the form of a monograph (book) on a single topic, or a series of journal articles on a topic or related topics.The differences in approach, qualifying journals and numbers of articles to be submitted are discussed on MSM’s research website,where you can find information about the various possibilities for doing and submitting your research. Before being allowed to graduate, a candidate must defend his or her thesis at a public defense ceremony, normally held in Maastricht, the Netherlands. NB:the maximum duration of the DBA program is six years. Writing Extended Research Proposal MPhil Defense Data gathering, analysis and thesis writing DBA defense ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜
  9. 9. Decided? Deliberating? Applications can be submitted at any time of the year. However, please note that many coursework sessions usually take place between September and December. If you plan to join them, applications must be submitted at least three months before the start of the coursework sessions. Apply to the DBA program online at or by submitting to the following documents: •A short CV • Certified transcripts of your Master’s degree • Proven proficiency in English:We require a score of at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or 250 on the computer- based TOEFL, or an equivalent score on an approved alternative test. • A preliminary thesis proposal (max. 1500 words), outlining the problem that you wish to solve.
  10. 10. MAASTRICHT SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT | DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION About MSM The Maastricht School of Management (MSM) was founded in 1952.We are one of the oldest and most international business schools in the Netherlands, offering internationally accredited MBA, MSc, Master in Management (MM) degrees, and many shorter professional courses, in addition to the DBA.We offer our programs in Maastricht and across the world through collaboration with various partner institutions in amongst others Albania, Azerbaijan, China, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Kazakhstan, Peru, Romania, Suriname, Vietnam and Yemen. Around 1,000 students graduate every year from our programs, and our alumni occupy top positions in business, government and academia. 马斯特里赫特管理学院简介 马斯特里赫特管理学院 MSM 于1952年成立。作为荷兰 历史最悠久和最国际化的商学院之一,我院不仅设有工商 管理博士课程,而且还设有国际认证的工商管理硕士,理 学硕士,管理硕士(MM),以及多种短期专业培训课程。 不仅在马斯特里赫特,我院通过与各国伙伴机构的合作, 还在世界各地开设这些课程,其中包括阿尔巴尼亚,阿塞 拜疆,中国,哥伦比亚,埃及,德国,哈萨克斯坦,秘 鲁,罗马尼亚,苏里南,越南和也门。每年有大约1000 名学员从我院的各类课程毕业,我们的校友中有很多人在 企业,政府部门和学术界担任高层职位。 Über die MSM Die Maastricht School of Management (MSM) wurde im Jahre 1952 gegründet.Wir sind eine der ältesten internationalen Business Schools in den Niederlanden mit der größten Anzahl von Partnern weltweit. Die MSM bietet international akkreditierte MBA, MSc und Master in Management (MM) - Studienprogramme sowie viele Kursprogramme für Professionals an. Zudem ist insbesondere ein Promotionsprogramm zum Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) hervorzuheben.Wir bieten unsere Studienprogramme in Maastricht und in der ganzen Welt durch die Zusammenarbeit mit verschiedenen Partnerinstitutionen wie z. B. in Albanien, Aserbaidschan, China, Kolumbien, Ägypten, Deutschland, Kasachstan, Peru, Rumänien, Suriname, Vietnam und Jemen an. Rund 1,000 Studen- ten absolvieren jedes Jahr unsere Studienprogramme. Unsere Alumni besetzen Top-Positionen in Wirtschaft, Politik und Wissenschaft. Sobre MSM Maastricht School of Management (MSM) fue fundada en el año 1952. Somos una de las escuelas de negocios más antigua e internacional de los Países Bajos. Ofrecemos los programas acreditados internacional- mente de MBA, MSc, Master in Management (MM) y diversos cursos profesionales de corta duración así como también el programa DBA. Nuestros programas se ofrecen en Maastricht y gracias a la colaboración de nuestras instituciones socias alrededor del mundo en países tales como Albania, Azerbaiyán, China, Colombia, Egipto, Alemania, Kazajistán, Perú, Rumania, Surinam, Vietnam y Yemen. Cada año se gradúan alrededor de 1,000 estudiantes, nuestro alumni ocupa posiciones de altos mandos en el mundo de los negocios, gobierno y la academia. En el Perú, Colombia y el Ecuador ofrecemos nuestro programa de DBA en colaboración con CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School, Escuela de Negocios número 1 del Perú y entre los primeros lugares a nivel de América Latina.
  11. 11. Rreth MSM Shkolla e Menaxhimit të Mastrihtit (MSM) është themeluar në vitin 1952. Ne jemi një nga shkollat e biznesit më të vjetra dhe më të njohura në rang ndërkombëtar në Hollandë, duke ofruar të akredituara ndërkombëtarisht MBA, MSc, Master në Menaxhimin e (MM), dhe shumë kurse afatshkurtra profesionale, përveç DBA. Ne ofrojmë programet tona në Mastriht dhe nëpër botë nëpërmjet bashkëpunimit me institucionet partner të ndryshëm mes të tjerave përmendim Shqipërinë, Azerbaxhanin, Kinën, Kolumbinë, Egjiptin, Gjermaninë, Kazakistanin, Perunë, Rumaninë, Suriname,Vietnam dhe Jemen. Rreth 1,000 studentë të diplomuar çdo vit nga programet tona zënë pozicione kyçe në biznese, në qeveri dhe në fushën akademike. Në Shqipëri ne ofrojmë programin DBA në bashkëpunim me partnerin tonë, Institucionin ISSAT. The Dean and key members of the DBA-team at the Maastricht School of Management, 2014
  12. 12. Maastricht School of Management Endepolsdomein 150, 6229 EP Maastricht,The Netherlands T:+31 43 387 08 08