The difference between the Doctor of Management and a PhD

How is the Doctor of Management different from a typical PhD and a typical DBA (Doctor of Business Adminsitration) course?

This is an important question, as it will help you decide if this is the right programme for you.

*A research degree*
*A practice-oriented degree*
Doctor of Management
*A practice-oriented research degree*
Degree aims To contribute to the body of academic literature and theory in your discipline To contribute to your profession, community, and practice in the relevant area of focus To contribute both to the academic discipline and the practice within your organisation
Research focus/project Research is focused on key questions within the academic discipline A combination of coursework and research, which is limited in scope and is practitioner focused Research contributes to the discipline and is focused on problems relevant to practice
Research process A supervisor guides you to become an expert in research practice A supervisor guides you to produce research appropriate to the needs of your practice You and your supervisor co-create research as part of a research-practitioner community
Career outcomes To become a professional research practitioner (often as an academic) To become a more professional practitioner To become a research-oriented practitioner who can bridge theory and practice


  • PhD studies tend to be oriented towards contributing to the theoretical work (academic literature) in the chosen discipline or sub discipline. This is achieved through extensive engagement with the theory, as well as training in a variety of research methods. The work is done under the supervision of a supervisor who guides you to become an independent expert in research practice. PhD students intend to become academics (or professional research practitioners) themselves.
  • A DBA is very different from a PhD. The aim of the DBA is to contribute to practice and to develop professional practitioners. The DBA normally consists of a combination of coursework and a research project that is limited in scope, and focused on improving practice. The research project is completed under the supervision of a supervisor. Engagement with theory and methods are limited to those which are appropriate for your project. DBA students tend to want to become more informed and professional by incorporating their research insights into their own or organisational practice.
  • The Doctor of Management aims to create research that is academically rigorous and practically relevant. It aims to contribute both to the discipline and to practice. This is achieved by a different research process called co-creation. Academics are expert research practitioners. Doctor of Management participants are expert organisational practitioners. These two practitioner communities bring their different expertise to bear on relevant and important organisational issues to co-produce research. Doctor of Management participants appreciate the importance of research and aim to contribute to their own organisation, and the academic discipline, by acting as a bridge between theory and practice. The research relationship is typically seen as a long-term investment for both communities.