Sign In
Skip Navigation Links.
Expand AboutAbout
Programs and Degrees
Our People
Expand Quick linksQuick links
Expand MediaMedia

Doctor of Business Administration

College of Business Administration
Doctor of Business Administration
Study System
Thesis and Courses
Total Credit Hours
48 Cr. Hrs
3-5 Years
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time

Doctor of Business Administration

The DBA program mission is to help professionals, managers, and executives to be better users and producers of practical knowledge in order to attain academic credentials and professional advancement and improve the practice and performance of their organizations.

The DBA program aims to achieve the following goals:
  • Develop a sound understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations of and the latest thinking in their areas of interest in the fields of business and management.
  • Be proficient consumers of research findings in addressing specific challenges confronting business and the wider community.
  • Be adept at applying quantitative and qualitative research methods to produce and publish sound original or applied research.
  • Communicate and defend rigorous research ideas, studies, and findings to both academic and professional audiences.
  • Demonstrate high ethical and professional standards in research, conduct, and relationships.
DBA Program Learning Outcome (PLOs)
By the end of the program, students should be able to:
  1. Deeply understand and relate key concepts, theories, issues, and debates in relevant business research and domain knowledge.
  2. Evaluate and critically review research at the forefront of the discipline or professional practice of interest.
  3. Evaluate the practical implications of relevant research to address critical business challenges.
  4. Translate sound research findings into useful recommendations for managerial practices.
  5. Ascertain the appropriate qualitative or quantitative methods to successfully address original or applied research questions.
  6. Produce and present high quality, peer-reviewed, original or applied research.
  7. Persuasively communicate and defend ideas and research findings both orally and through formal research writings and presentations.
  8. Act with integrity and professionalism towards others and make sound judgments in dealing with ethical issues in research and related activities.
  9. Lead and contribute positively to group discussions, debates, and presentations.

Program Overview:
The DBA program mission is to help professionals, managers, and executives to be better users and producers of practical knowledge in order to attain academic credentials and professional advancement and improve the practice and performance of their organizations.

The program information is as follow: 

ComponentNumberCredit Hours
Research Methodology Courses412
Decision Making Courses206
Doctoral Special Field Seminars206
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal106
Doctoral Dissertation Work118

Program Structure & Requirements:
The program structure is designed to serve the stated goals of the program. Graduates of the program have the choice to advance their managerial careers or move on to academia as professors. To make these two options viable the program emphasizes both cutting-edge proficiency in decision-making and sound academic training and deep grounding in research methodology before engaging in writing the DBA dissertation.
A satisfactory completion of 48 credits is required to be awarded the DBA degree. These include 24 credit hours of coursework, 6 credit hours of doctoral research proposal, and 18 credit hours of dissertation work.

A) Research Methodology Courses
Students need to take 4 research methodology courses to prepare them to be professional researchers, academics, or informed consumers of research done by others.

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
0309701Business Research: Philosophy, Design, and Analysis3Grad. Standing
0309702Quantitative Business Research Methods I30309701
0309703Qualitative Business Research Methods30309701
0309704Quantitative Business Research Methods II30309702

B) Decision Making Courses
Decision making is the core of the executive role. Students need to take 2 courses focusing on the latest development in the field of decision making.

Course Code
Course TitleCredit Hours
0309705Behavioral Decision-Making for Leaders3Grad. Standing
0309706Evidence-Based Decision Making for Leaders3Grad. Standing

C) Doctoral Special Field Seminars
To have a strong grounding in a specific field of knowledge, the DBA program offers students the opportunity to choose 2 doctoral seminars of an area of interest.

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit HoursPrerequisites
0309711Doctoral Accounting Seminar in Performance Management I3Grad. Standing
0309712Doctoral Accounting Seminar in Performance Management II30309711
0309721Doctoral Management Seminar in OB/HRM I3Grad. Standing
0309722Doctoral Management Seminar in OB/HRM II30309721
0309723Doctoral Marketing Seminar I 3Grad. Standing
0309724Doctoral Marketing Seminar II30309723
0309725Doctoral Management Seminar in Entrepreneurship I 3Grad. Standing
0309726Doctoral Management Seminar in Entrepreneurship II30309725
0309731Doctoral MIS Seminar in Business Analytics I3Grad. Standing
0309732Doctoral MIS Seminar in Business Analytics II30309731
0309781Doctoral Finance Seminar in Corporate Finance I3Grad. Standing
0309782Doctoral Finance Seminar in Corporate Finance II30309781

D) Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation
Passing a comprehensive qualifying exam that tests both their research methodology knowledge and skills and their grounding in a chosen specialized area is needed for students to move into the stage of doing research. Upon successful preparation of a dissertation proposal students can start writing their dissertation work.

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit HoursPrerequisites
0309791DBA Dissertation Proposal6Qualifying Exam
0309792DBA Dissertation 180309791

Study Plan (48 Credits)
Students may select the following study plan. The DBA Program, in this case, is organized into 8 (6) semesters spanning 4 academic years with a study load of 6 credit hours per semester. The plan shows that a student should be able to complete the program within the span of 4 years including dissertation work.
First Level
Fall Semester
Course CodeCourse Name
Credit Hours
0309701Business Research: Philosophy, Design, and Analysis3Grad. Standing
0309705Behavioral Decision-Making for Leaders3Grad. Standing
Spring Semester
0309703Qualitative Business Research Methods30309701
0309706Evidence-Based Decision Making for Leaders3Grad. Standing
Second Level
Fall Semester

0309702Quantitative Business Research Methods I30309701
03097---Doctoral Special Field Seminar I3Grad. Standing
​Spring Semester

0309704Quantitative Business Research Methods II30309702
03097---Doctoral Special Field Seminar II3Seminar I
Third Level
Fall Semester

DBA Qualifying ExaminationAll Course Work
0309791 Dissertation Proposal6DBA Qualifying Exam
Spring Semester

0309792 DBA Dissertation60309791

​Fourth Level
Fall Semester

0309792 DBA Dissertation60309791
Spring Semester

0309792 DBA Dissertation60309791

Course Description

0309701                Business Research - Philosophy, Design, and Analysis       

This is the first course in students' methodological training. It introduces students to the nature, scope, and significance of research and research methodologies including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research designs as they are applied to business. It is intended to help students gain a deep understanding of the research process and relevant approaches and elements of conducting and evaluating a research enquiry. It develops students' skills and competencies in defining research questions, setting appropriate research objectives, study design, data collection and instruments, sampling and analysis methods, and effective reporting of results. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of ethical conduct in carrying out research projects.

 0309702                Quantitative Business Research Methods I                  

The course develops students' technical skills and knowledge in quantitative research methodologies and prepares them to be proficient researchers and users of research services rendered by others. It guides students on how to critically assess major quantitative research methods, how to make the right decision to use the most appropriate statistical analysis methods for research questions of interest, and how to carry out practical research activities. The topics covered in the course include: descriptive statistics, bivariate correlation, reliability and validity, inferential statistics, hypotheses testing, ANOVA, and nonparametric tests. The course will also introduce students to a statistical software package such as SPSS.

0309703               Qualitative Business Research Methods              

This course aims to give students broader and deeper knowledge and higher level skills of conducting qualitative research than that they gained in 'Business Research Methods: Philosophy, Design, and Analysis.' Qualitative research relies on diligent observations, individual interviews, focus groups, and action research in the collection of data to gain rich understanding of a specific phenomenon under investigation. It is interested in the participants' perspective and the meaning they give to their experience of events and examines the context within which those experiences are framed. The course will focus on the process, methods, and tools of conducting qualitative research, how to present the results of qualitative research, and how to deal with the challenges of doing qualitative research. 

0309704                Quantitative Business Research Methods II          
The course aims to build on the Quantitative Business Research Methods I and move forward to more advanced quantitative research methods. It focuses on some of the most commonly used multivariate techniques to help students develop an advanced understanding of methodological issues in designing and carrying out quantitative research. The topics covered in the course include multivariate research methods such as: multiple regression analysis; multiple discriminant analysis; conjoint analysis; cluster analysis; principal component analysis; exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis; and structural equation modeling. It will also advance students' proficiency in using a statistical software package such as SPSS.

0309705                Behavioral Decision Making for Leaders             

Sound judgment and shrewd decision making are the mainstay of responsible leadership and high performance organizations. The purpose of this course is to provide students with deep understanding of how decision makers think about complex problems and what are the imperfections that limit the effectiveness of decision making.  It also aims to offer guidelines and techniques for overcoming these limitations and improving the quality of decision making. The topics covered include human decision-making systems, judgmental heuristics, common biases, behavioral marketing, behavioral finance, behavioral strategy, behavioral ethics, behavioral leadership, and debiasing and improving decision making. 

0309706                Evidence-Based Decision Making for Leaders      
Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) has been developed as a response to the need for more effective decisions based on relevant scientific evidence, unbiased organizational facts, and refined judgment. It has emerged out of approaches to evidence-based practice developed in medicine, healthcare, education, policy-making, and elsewhere. This course is designed to advance students' understanding and use of EBDM principles and practices. Specifically, it aims to develop critical thinking and reasoning; identifying and gathering of the best available evidence; critical appraisal of evidence (especially from scientific research); and applying evidence of different forms to decision-making.

0309711                Doctoral Accounting Seminar in Performance Management I       

Performance Management is the framework of activities implemented to achieve organizational objectives. Performance Management discipline includes topics such as: Performance measurement, cost and managerial accounting methods, decision making tools and budgeting systems. This seminar examines important theoretical and empirical literature in a practical context. It aims to equip students with specialized knowledge to map important approaches and perspectives in the field of Performance Management. The seminar also provides policies and methods which enable students to enhance their ability in decision making. Students are required to show real competence in areas such as: activity based costing (ABC), pricing decisions, budgeting, and performance analysis; which will enable them to understand, evaluate, apply and communicate these areas in practical settings. In addition, students will be able to select their topic of interest and develop new ideas through class discussions, arguments and research.  

0309712                Doctoral Accounting Seminar in Performance Management II     
This seminar covers advanced topics in performance management such as: strategic planning, uncertainty and performance, strategic performance measurement and evaluation. Advanced performance management also deals with contemporary topics and trends in the field which are important to develop business processes. The seminar focuses on in-depth knowledge and new advanced ideas in the field of performance management. Students are expected to have specialized knowledge in areas such as: Performance hierarchy, strategic performance measures and quality in performance measurement systems. This seminar examines up-to-date performance management systems and processes. Students are further expected to choose specific areas of interest with new ideas useful to develop specific research proposals.

0309721                Doctoral Management Seminar in OB/HRM I       

This first doctoral seminar in OB/HRM offers an introduction to established and emerging trends of theory and research in the field of Organizational Behavior (OB). Drawing on theory and research in psychology, social psychology, and organizational behavior, content coverage focuses primarily on individual and collective processes – such as the study of individuals and groups within an organizational context, and the study of internal processes and practices as they affect individuals and groups. 

0309722                Doctoral Management Seminar in OB/HRM II     

The purpose of this second doctoral seminar is to examine and evaluate the theories and research in the field of human resource management. The seminar will cover classical and emerging theoretical perspectives in strategic human resource management (SHRM), contextual factors that influence the linkages between a firm's human resources and human resource practices with firm performance, micro-HRM practices, and the employment relationship between organizations and employees.

0309723                Doctoral Marketing Seminar I                     
This seminar is the first of the two seminars offered in Marketing to prepare DBA students for research in Marketing. The seminar aims to expose students to classical and modern research in marketing in order to enable them to understand the field, get accustomed to the fundamental literature and identify their own research topics. The seminar presents an overview of the marketing history, research in marketing strategy, consumer behavior, and social and neuromarketing. The seminar will build on the knowledge of the marketing theory and practice by analyzing the relationships in different areas of marketing. Further, the seminar exposes students to marketing strategy studies that discuss application of marketing knowledge in marketing decisions.

0309724                Doctoral Marketing Seminar II          

This course is a continuation of the first seminar offered in Marketing to prepare DBA students for research in Marketing. The course builds on the knowledge gained from the first seminar and exposes students to advanced topics in classical and modern research in the marketing field. In this seminar students will be exposed to major research in the field of services marketing, behavioral marketing, branding, consumer judgement and decision making and research models in marketing. The course will build on the knowledge of the marketing theory and practice by analyzing the relationships between different areas of the discipline. Further, the course exposes the students to marketing strategy studies that discuss application of marketing knowledge in marketing decisions.

0309725                Doctoral Management Seminar in Entrepreneurship I     

The notion of entrepreneurship not only relates to new venture creation but also underpins how innovative and entrepreneurial ideas are nurtured in an existing organization. This seminar based course appreciates the multidisciplinary nature of the field of entrepreneurship and presents an overall view of the domain of entrepreneurship and provides opportunity to students to explore major themes in the literature. The seminar critically reviews the seminal theory and research in the field of entrepreneurship addressing the fundamental issues. A selection of seminal articles, from the top ranked journals in the field by influential researchers, are included in each session for critique, discussion, and presentations. Some of the major topics covered in this seminar include the domain of entrepreneurship as a field of study, typology of entrepreneurs, institutional, resource based, behavioral, and social capital perspectives of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial opportunities and learning, corporate entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial failure, and entrepreneurship in the global context. 

0309726                Doctoral Management Seminar in Entrepreneurship II           

In this seminar based course, students will get the opportunity to further develop their knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship by exploring the contemporary research trends. It critically reviews the new directions and emerging themes in theory and research in the field of entrepreneurship. A selection of cutting-edge articles, from the top ranked journals in the field by influential researchers, are included in each session for critique, discussion, and presentations. Some of the main topics include entrepreneurship in sharing economy, crowd funding, entrepreneurship and biology, entrepreneurial wellbeing, entrepreneurial reentry, strategic entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial government and social and green entrepreneurship.

0309731                Doctoral MIS Seminar in Business Analytics I           

This seminar addresses the foundation of Business Analytics. The aim is to review and critically analyze the theoretical developments in Business analytics. In addition, it examines the most influential and innovative works that apply a range of theories and theoretical approaches in the discipline. The students are expected to participate in the theoretical discourse and debates about the relevance of Business Analytics to competitive advantage.

0309732                Doctoral MIS Seminar in Business Analytics II      

This seminar integrates and applies key concepts of business analytics and critical thinking from an executive management perspective. Students learn how to leverage data and systems to develop and evaluate strategic alternates, make better informed decision, and effectively manage business. Through exploration of the available tools, models, and techniques. The seminar explores students how analytics can be used for competitive advantage.

0309781                Doctoral Finance Seminar in Corporate Finance I       

This course has the objective of introducing doctoral students to the theoretical and empirical research in corporate financial policies and strategies. The first part of this course will examine the fundamentals of corporate finance theory, including the capital asset pricing model, arbitrage pricing theory, agency theory, capital structure theories and dividend policy, as well as various areas in corporate finance (e.g., corporate hedging, risk management and agency problems, adverse selection and signaling theory, and various aspects of option pricing). The second part of this course will cover the empirical research in corporate financing decisions, including managerial decisions relating to debt issuing, equity securities, financing structure of organizations. Topics will be covered including governance and ownership structures, contracting decisions, creditors, dividends and stock repurchases, mergers and acquisitions, financial distress and its resolution, risk management, and the design of securities.

0309782            Doctoral Finance Seminar in Corporate Finance II                         

This advanced seminar examines emerging ideas, modern theories, research foci, newly published research topics and concepts in the functional areas of corporate finance. The seminar material focuses on leading models of financial analyses, seminal studies, recent literature and bibliographical sources. A special emphasis will be given to writing skills in advanced financial studies. The seminar material also emphasizes advanced estimation techniques of financial models. Students learn to test underlying hypotheses and formulate practical policy conclusions. The functional areas include: firm valuation and tax policy, financial distress and debt negotiation, behavioral corporate finance, corporate governance and corporate ethics, dividend policy, IPOs and corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, entrepreneurial financing, international corporate finance, and corporate financing sustainability.

The DBA Qualifying Exam           

The DBA Qualifying Exam aims at measuring the student's ability to master and demonstrate a deep understanding of his/her chosen area of expertise, show the ability of critical, analytical, and creative thinking, and employ relevant research methods, tools, and techniques in investigating business challenges and proposing ways of tackling them. The qualifying exam consists of two written parts and may include an oral exam.

0309791         Dissertation Proposal         (6 Credit Hours)

The DBA Proposal is a formal written plan which communicates ideas about a proposed study in order to obtain approval to conduct the full DBA dissertation.
It synthesizes the knowledge and skills developed in previous research courses and apply them to the doctoral dissertation process in which a student learns something of real or potential significance about an area of interest to him/her.
Students learn about the process of developing a dissertation proposal and carrying out the doctoral dissertation in accordance with the standards and expectations of the doctoral level. They learn how to define research topics, develop fitting research designs and choose the most appropriate research methodologies to be employed in the development of the DBA dissertation.
The proposal offers a justification for the study, indicating why the research is worth doing and how it will be carried out. It should include the following components: a title reflecting the nature and scope of the work; an outline indicating how the work is presented; a short, focused and relevant introduction setting the stage for what comes next; literature review demonstrating that the proposal is solidly grounded on past work and clarifying the extent to which the proposed research will move the field forward; research problem or question and aims describing what  exactly the researcher intends to achieve; methodology explaining how the stated aims are to be achieved and including reference to how data will be analyzed and interpreted; work schedule or plan identifying and sequencing the several tasks of the research and the time projected to each of them; and bibliography listing all the sources used and cited in the proposal following a standard form for citation.
The proposal should be approved by the supervisor and defended before an examination committee. Recommendation of the committee should be considered in the implementation phase of the dissertation. 

0309792                DBA Dissertation             (18 Credit Hours)

This is the culmination of the research component of the DBA program. Students who reach this stage have gained strong foundation in research methodologies, started to build expertise in a chosen area of business, and successfully defended their dissertation proposal. 
It is a significant piece of work that requires students to critically and rigorously investigate a topic of practical interest to them in the field of business or management. The aim is to equip graduates with the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality in their chosen area of interest. Students are expected to demonstrate an ability to identify a research topic, choose appropriate research design, apply suitable research methods and techniques and tools, design and carry out an effective research plan, and communicate their research findings in the form of a final dissertation.
The DBA dissertation must demonstrate a high level of intellectual capability and novelty and must make a substantial intellectual contribution to the candidate's organization or profession.
The DBA student should communicate with all dissertation committee members and submit them dissertation drafts in writing to ensure that their expectations have been properly met and the dissertation is ready to be defended. The Committee Chair should ensure that all committee members are in agreement about the quality of the dissertation. Once the committee agrees that the dissertation is defensible, the student will schedule an oral defense.
The written dissertation must meet all requirements of the College of Graduate Studies. It should have a sound structure and clear style. The dissertation typically contains the following five chapters: Introduction – showing consistency in the problem statement, research questions, research objectives, and research approach; Literature Review – displaying mastery of the literature, identifying a gap to be addressed, and how the current study intends to close them; Research Methodology – justifying the logic of methodological choices and suitability of research strategy to research questions; Findings – drawing accurate conclusions from the data analysis; and Discussion and Conclusions – summarizing main research findings, discussing their theoretical and practical implications, and suggesting their contribution to the current theory and practice.
However, because the DBA degree is designed to be responsive to the needs of the students (mainly executives), there is sufficient flexibility in the format that the dissertation can take – following the same level of rigorous standards and subject to approval by the committee.  Examples that could be approved might include a write-up of a substantial work-related project in which the principles of evidence-based research were applied; an essay-style dissertation; and a portfolio of related research products/activities that demonstrate knowledge creation or innovative application in a given area.
The quality of the dissertation should be amply demonstrated by being worthy of publication in high-quality professional or research journals and by presentations in scientific/professional conferences. Candidates are required to publish at least one conference proceedings article and one peer reviewed journal article from their dissertations.
A satisfactory pass of the dissertation by a committee of examiners forms the sole criterion for awarding the DBA.