New AACSB and EDAMBA Report Offers Insights on Trends in Global Doctoral Programs

Press Releases
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
The collaborative study includes input from business school leaders and learners, identifying opportunities for innovation in doctoral education.

Tampa, Fla., USA (April 27, 2021) - AACSB International (AACSB) and the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA) released a new report today that evaluates the global landscape of business doctoral degree programs.

The report was inspired by AACSB’s 2013 Doctoral Education Task Force, which recommended that business doctoral programs explore new innovations to create impact, while meeting the demands of business and business education. Business schools were surveyed to gather new opinions and insights on the challenges facing business doctoral programs globally. The released report highlights these findings, including:

  • Shifting career aspirations among doctoral candidates
  • Variations in theses, dissertations, and supervisory models globally
  • Teaching preparation
  • Program delivery models, including online experiences
  • Desired outcomes and indicators of success within doctoral degree programs
  • The future of doctoral degrees in business education

"Doctoral programs are an integral part of the business education landscape, preparing not only business school faculty but also researchers and executives who guide the world's industries and economies," said Caryn Beck-Dudley, president and CEO of AACSB. "Insights into trends about these programs allow business schools, and higher education as a whole, to innovate and enhance doctoral education for society's benefit."

Because the 2019 survey concluded prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report findings have been augmented with follow-up interviews/surveys with doctoral program leadership and students, providing additional insight into disruptions caused by COVID-19. The final report offers valuable trends and benchmarking resources in a time of global uncertainty.

“Doctoral education is changing, a reality further heightened by the impacts of COVID-19,” said Dimitris Assimakopoulos, president of EDAMBA. “This report allows business schools to consider these changes—such as shifting demographics, evolving definitions of the doctoral thesis, supervisory models, dissertation formats, and approaches to impactful research—as they refine their programs in support of the future of business education.”

To view the report, please visit

About AACSB International

Established in 1916, AACSB is the world’s largest business education alliance, connecting educators, learners, and business to create the next generation of great leaders. With a presence in more than 100 countries and territories, AACSB fosters engagement, accelerates innovation, and amplifies impact in business education. Learn how AACSB is transforming business education for a better society at


EDAMBA, the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration, is an international nonprofit association currently operating in 28 countries. Our mission is to develop common ideas, values, evaluation criteria, standards, and practices to assess and enhance the quality of doctoral education, through the exchange of experiences and cooperation in a global network. EDAMBA members are committed to creating and sharing initiatives and achieving excellence whilst appreciating and promoting collaboration, diversity, and community-building.