The Professional Doctorate: Its Relativity to the PhD and Relevance for the Knowledge Economy
Informing Science Institute
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Management
The Professional Doctorate (ProfDoc) is attracting increasing attention because of its perceived greater than the Doctor of Philosophy’s (PhD ’s) focus on meeting the needs of the knowledge economy. The paper examines the nature of the ProfDoc vis-a-vis the PhD and identifies significant characteristics of the ProfDoc, especially in respect of relevance and performativity. It then analyses these characteristics in the context of the professional Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) in Information Systems (IS) at an Australian university. An ethnographic approach is used to examine the internal (university) and external (student) environments of the DBA(IS). Recommendations are made to increase its effectiveness for the knowledge economy, including moving to a greater student and industry centred approach. Finally, conclusions are drawn to determine its relevance to the knowledge economy.