Program Overview

The primary objective of the Ph.D. in Business Administration program is preparing students for academic careers as influential researchers in leading business schools. Accordingly, the first two years will include course work with a first year summer paper. Upon the completion of the course work, students complete the qualifying requirement of their specialization.  In  marketing, students are required to write a conceptual paper. In operations and information systems, as well as in quantitative methods students are required to pass a qualifying exam.  Once this requirement is fulfilled, the student moves to candidacy. A thesis must be submitted and defended to the Graduate School before a student can graduate. Most students complete the program in four to five years.

All students are expected to take the core courses in Microeconomics, Research Methodology, and Quantitative Methods. Depending on the track, these courses can be taken from other departments (e.g., psychology, economics, engineering) at Koç University or at other universities approved by the Graduate School. Students who have limited or no knowledge in business area must also take some of the fundamental courses in the MBA program.

Students will participate in postgraduate seminars in each area of ​​expertise. All elective courses given at Koç University is open to doctoral students.

Students with a thesis master's degree are expected to take a minimum of 7 courses (21 credits) and students without a thesis master's degree are expected to take 14 courses (42 credits). Most students complete the program in four to five years. Details of the curriculum can be found .

Studens have the chance to go abroad for a research visit at a top business school for a semester. This visit is intended to strengthen the international profile of students by encouraging international research collobarations. Past destinations include Stanford, Tilburg, Maryland, Michigan, and UCLA.

Although teaching requirements are kept to a minimum to allow more time for developing research skills, it is also important to demonstrate effective teaching skills before students go on the academic job market. To this end, students who have moved to candidacy may be asked to teach an undergraduate course before their graduation.

Program Learning Objectives for the PhD in Business Administration:

The PhD program in Business Administration is a diversified program with specializations in five different areas (Finance, Management and Strategy, Marketing, Operations and Information Systems, Quantitative Methods). In the summer of 2016, the following program learning objectives have been formulated and approved by the Doctoral Committees of all the different areas which offer PhD specializations in Business Administration:

The PhD in BA program will enable students to

PLO1:   Gain in-depth knowledge in their field of expertise, synthesize research in their field, and think critically on an academic issue;

PLO2:  Develop advanced skills in research methodology;

PLO3:  Identify, design, manage, and implement sound and original research projects;

PLO4:  Collaborate with scholars and communicate scholarly work within the global research network;

PLO5:  Make an original and meaningful contribution to the body of knowledge thereby advancing business theory and practice;

PLO6:  Become responsible academic scholars who adhere to the highest ethical standards.

Long-term solution to evaluate PLOs: “Researcher Development Program”

Koç University has run a pilot study to prepare for the introduction of the Researcher Development Framework (see figure below), in collaboration with the Career Development Center. This framework, adopted by several European schools, tracks the performance of individual students in (1) Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities; (2) Personal Effectiveness; (3) Research Governance and Organization; and (4) Engagement, Influence, and Impact. There is great correspondence between the objectives of the PhD program and the different components of this evaluation framework. Once implemented, this framework can be used to evaluate progress of our doctoral students along all dimensions outlined in the PhD in BA program PLOs. It may be far more effective than the typical AACSB style rubric. Yet, the initiative has recently been transferred from the Career Development Center to the VPRD’s office and it remains to be seen when the Framework can be used to evaluate progress of the doctoral students along all PLOs.

Short-term solution: development of an AACSB rubric (qualifier exam)

 

In order to get started with measurements now (as requested by AACSB), rather than wait for the effective implementation of the Researcher Development Framework, we can evaluate all doctoral students who successfully pass the qualifier exam on the first three PLOs. The last three PLOs are unrelated to coursework and cannot be evaluated before graduation (perhaps even only one or two years after graduation). Let us therefore focus on PLO1, PLO2, and (part of) PLO3.

  1. – can be broken down in three subcomponents:
    1. Gain in-depth knowledge in their field of expertise
    2. Synthesize research in their field
    3. Think critically on an academic issue
  2. – can be evaluated on just one item:
  1. Develop advanced skills in research methodology;

PLO3 – can be broken down in two subcomponents (student won’t have experienced “managing” and “implementing” research projects at the qualifier stage):

  1. Identify sound and original research projects
  2. Design sound and original research projects

 

As a short-term solution, we can thus create a simple measure consisting of 6 measurement items which are all related to coursework in the PhD in BA program. All doctoral students who have successfully passed the qualifier exam can be categorized as below expectations, meets expectations, or exceeds expectations on each of these six items. The table for this rubric would then take the following form:

 

 

Below expectations

Meets expectations

Exceeds expectations

PLO1

Gain in-depth knowledge in their field of expertise

 

 

 

PLO1

Synthesize research in their field

 

 

 

PLO1

Think critically on an academic issue

 

 

 

PLO2

Develop advanced skills in research methodology

 

 

 

PLO3

Identify sound and original research projects

 

 

 

PLO3

Design sound and original research projects

 

 

 

 

Who should use the rubric and evaluate the student? Faculty members who sit on the student’s qualifier exam committee would be best placed to evaluate the doctoral student along these six items.