x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Business doctoral students staying in academia

Employees who take up business-related doctoral programmes are leaving their jobs to enter academic professions, rather than developing research capabilities within their organisations.

DUBAI // Employees who take up business-related doctoral programmes are leaving their jobs to enter academic professions, rather than developing research capabilities within their organisations, educators have found.

The lack of readily available information in the public and private sectors, a low priority on research and development, and a comparative lack of support also contribute to these career-changing decisions, experts say.

An employee with a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree can address organisational issues through research relevant to the workplace, but few employees with DBAs stay in their jobs long enough to do this research.

"Around 70 per cent of the students we meet [here] say once they acquire a DBA they will quit their job and get into academia," said Ronald Bradfield, the director of the Strathclyde Business School, a Scottish school with a presence in Abu Dhabi. "I think companies in the UAE are sceptical of the benefits of DBAs as their whole focus is on short-term solutions.

"They miss the long-term view that is the outcome of such programmes. In Scotland, students are funded by the institutions to tackle their problems as they understand the value that will come out of it."

Strathclyde plans to offer a DBA at its Abu Dhabi location from next year. The Manchester Business School already has a similar programme in place, and Nada Messaikeh, 40, plans to continue as a professor after obtaining her diploma in about two years.

She said access to information for her doctoral project on industrial problems can be hard to obtain in the Emirates.

"Very little research has been done here, especially in the public sector, because of a lack of transparency and cultural issues," she said. "Things are slowly changing, but if we don't start reviewing experiences now, it will be hard to tackle further challenges."

The Manchester Business School has experienced an increase in local students, as nine of the 15 DBA candidates from the Middle East are UAE residents.

 

aahmed@thenational.ae