The D.M. was introduced at Case Western Reserve in 1995, and several universities have since developed their own programs. In the UK, the Doctor of Management (DMan) was introduced at the University of Hertfordshire in 2000. The D.M. program is an applied doctorate including a similar strong emphasis on research to the academically-equivalent PhD in management, but with a focus on the application of management theories rather than on developing and extending those theories. In addition to research, it is focused on developing the talents, skills and abilities of organization executives and experienced management professionals.
In most cases, the distinction between the degrees is one of orientation and intended outcomes. The Ph.D. is highly focused on developing theoretical knowledge, while the D.M. further emphasizes applied research leading to the practical application of this theoretical knowledge. The Ph.D. thus prepares students for careers in academia, while the D.M. is more aimed at those seeking a career in management. Some D.M. programs require a dissertation, while others have replaced this with a number of smaller applied research projects.
The British DMan is a professional doctorate with the same academic status as a Ph.D. The U.S. Doctor of Management is also a professional doctorate but is not currently recognised as a Ph.D.-equivalent research doctorate by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
To be admitted as a doctoral management student in the U.S., one must hold a management-related master's degree, have sufficient managerial experience, and pass a comprehensive entrance exam or doctoral essay. In the UK (and in many programs in the U.S.), there is a minimum of five years of management or professional consulting experience required. In the UK, an honours degree plus a relevant master's degree is preferred. The student must then complete necessary coursework (typically focused on leadership and strategy, and including training in research methodology), perform independent original research under supervision of a qualified doctoral advisor, pass the doctoral dissertation or doctoral thesis defense and, in some cases, teach examinable courses.
Although it can be completed in as little as three years, the D.M. typically takes 4-6 years to complete. The first two years of the program are usually focused on intensive coursework and generally at least one research practicum (near the end of core courses, residencies, and research and writing training). It may be followed by a comprehensive examination at this point if the candidate has successfully reached this stage. Similar to the PhD, the subsequent dissertation completion phase for the D.M. can take an additional two or more years. In some programs where the candidate has a good deal of professional management practical experience, the D.M. can be completed in as little as three years if the candidate has proven capable of taking a full load of credits each term, as well as successful completion of the required dissertation and its defense.
Common research methodologies used in management studies include both quantitative and qualitative approaches such as: Modeling, Econometrics, Experiments, Descriptive and Field Studies, Phenomenology, Case Study, Action Research or Mixed Methods strategies of inquiry.
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D.M. professionals may provide consulting services to the general public as professional management consultants. They either operate their own practice or provide specialized consultancy within larger consulting firms. Like high level academia, a consulting practice can also provide a great standard of living in terms of income, but also like academia, the consultant must leverage the skills and abilities learned during the doctoral program to gain the most opportunity. This is no different than any other profession where the individual must carve the right career path and have the proper type of plan of action to achieve it. This also goes for industry practitioners who have this credential.
Becoming a professor of business or management means investing years of study before obtaining the desired degree, but academia offers many benefits, including: attractive salaries, the combination of varied activities in one career, intellectual stimulation as well as professional autonomy. However, following through with a doctorate can be challenging not only because of the academic rigor but also due to the pressure and stress that comes from conducting research and defending a dissertation. Moreover, once a person obtains a doctorate, there is no guarantee that even with an offer from a business school, that the doctor will go on to publish his or her research in a top journal, will be able to teach effectively, or will receive a tenured faculty position.
Still, for those who have the motivation, drive and stamina to be successful in this field, there are many benefits. The life of a business or management professor is markedly different from a corporate career. An academic has more time to explore his or her own interests, pursues research, and rarely has a 'nine to five' type of career. Being a professor is much like being an entrepreneur (in many respects). Success is based on the individual, and faculty are often their own bosses. Beyond being intellectually bright and able to conduct research, professors also need to be able to perform in the classroom. Teaching is a fundamental component of being a professor, though most faculty may only teach around 100 hours per year, the classroom setting can be challenging and often involve debate.
Not everyone can be a professor, but for those who have the skills required, it provides an excellent standard of living, with salaries comparable to the corporate world. Consulting, book publishing, and speaking engagements can also further add to overall compensation. Academic institutions are often less vulnerable than corporations to forces like global economic downturns. Academia offers much in the way of financial stability when working within a sufficiently established institution(s) and other income avenues are integrated.