New Report from AACSB International Sets Pace for the Future Direction of Business Doctoral Education

Tampa, FL, USA (September 11, 2013)—AACSB International (AACSB) and its Task Force on Doctoral Education announce the release of a new report—The Promise of Business Doctoral Education—which explores the potential for business doctoral education to better address the varied needs, challenges, and goals of doctoral programs worldwide. The report draws from a global review of effective practices, innovations, and unique doctoral education program design/delivery strategies, and provides an analysis relevant to business school leaders, practitioners, and others with a stake in business doctoral education.

"The academic community as a whole is challenged to evaluate how it approaches and delivers doctoral education," said Robert Sullivan, dean of the Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego and chair of AACSB's Board of Directors. "Much has been accomplished through business doctoral education over the years, but many opportunities remain underexplored, including the role of school partnerships, business school and industry collaborations, and alternative recruitment, positioning, and placement strategies."

In the report, the task force outlines a series of challenges and recommendations, both for business schools and AACSB. Among the findings, the report:

  • explores how business doctoral education can and should support individuals pursuing a range of professional paths within and beyond academia, as well as create new career pathways between business and academic sectors;
  • calls for innovations that expand access to doctoral education among currently underserved populations and enhance the ability of schools to use scarce and valuable resources more effectively;
  • recognizes business schools and industry as critical partners in the development of doctoral level talent and the creation of research with relevance to practicing managers;
  • stresses that doctoral programs should be characterized by rigor, providing suggestions for ensuring high quality program mission, content, design, and learning outcomes.

"Doctoral education serves a vital role in sustaining management education and serving broader society," said Robert Sumichrast, dean of the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech and chair of AACSB's Task Force. "The report highlights that management education leaders must lead the way in enabling doctoral education to evolve with the needs of the academic and professional communities—while preserving program quality and integrity amidst pressures to cut corners or lower standards."

An exclusive advanced copy of the report is available to AACSB members and media. A full version will be avaliable to the public on September 16, 2013. For more information, visit