PhD in International Business programs help candidates research and analyze managerial decisions for today’s interconnected economy. Through a wide range of courses, graduates pursue a deeper grasp of diplomacy, financial markets, banking systems, currencies, and, most of all, foreign cultures.
written by Rana Waxman
Doctorate and PhD in International Business programs could have participants study the interface between trade, the role of national governments and supranational organizations, and the strategies of international firms. International business PhD programs also frequently call on students to conduct research that is in accordance with the type of program they are studying.
Wonder how long it might take to complete a PhD in International Business? Doctorates typically take four to six years beyond the bachelor’s level with the dissertation. Eligible applicants to international business PhD programs may need to have earned a masters degree from an accredited university.
This could involve a generalized business degree in areas such as business management or business administration. Or, a focused business degree such as Master of Finance, Master of Human Resources Management, and an undergraduate degree in business.
International business consists of the commercial exchange of goods and services among individuals and trade companies from countries around the world. A fairly broad discipline, IB essentially delves into the many facets and challenges presented by global markets.
Course content does vary, though might discuss financial and monetary issues, international business policy, and applications to doing business in specific countries and markets. Participants could also learn the principles and processes of negotiation, export
sales, trade controls, and global operations.
In addition, international business grad students frequently examine the diverse ways to manage cross-border transactions to support business growth. For instance, how could our organization create effective ad campaigns for foreign markets? How do we communicate with personnel overseas? What are the competitive advantages of certain countries.
For those who strive towards a terminal business degree, Doctorate in International Business programs present two primary paths: (1) research PhD (2) applied doctorate such as a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or Doctor of Management (DM).
While there is often an overlap in terms of coursework, it is worthwhile getting the lowdown on these potential avenues to measure against career goals. For instance, DM and DBA in International Business programs might target seasoned executives who may want to amplify expertise in a specific area.
First off, a PhD in International Business is a terminal research degree. Candidates usually direct their research to make a contribution of new insight and theory to the body of knowledge in their field.
International Business PhD programs might therefore help students to sharpen research skills in tandem with an ability to lead teams in the global marketplace.
In terms of curriculum, a PhD in International Business program might require students to complete about 20 courses or 60 credits, though this is a variable.
Commonly, International business PhD coursework often includes courses in statistics and research techniques in cross-disciplinary subjects.
Candidates might use these topics as a platform to conduct research on how multinational and international organizations meet modern global challenges. This could foster an ability to analyze fresh concepts to get to the heart of “why” a specific problem exists. The innovative solutions to these issues is showcased in a final, required scholarly dissertation.
The way a PhD is formatted depends on the university. As an example, but not a rule, full-time students may be expected to take three courses for degree credit each semester in the first two years. After this, candidates typically take a qualifying exam at the end of their second academic year.
For the final (two) years, students often work mainly on their dissertation, but might also take extra methodology course(s), especially if advised to do so. Within a year after passing the exam, a student may be required to defend a dissertation proposal.
A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in International Business is a professional practice (applied) doctorate. Here, international business is examined through the lens of a larger context – business administration. DBA students could therefore study executive decision-making and leadership along with theory and applied research.
This research typically zooms in on the practical application of knowledge and theory that already exists within the field. A main goal is often to implement data findings to solve a problem. In short, an applied doctorate is less on “why” and more on “how”.
Curricula for DBA in International Business programs might resemble some of the topics that PhD students have on their course lists. But, on careful examination, one could find fewer statistics and research methods in favor of more coursework in business strategy and overall business-oriented topics.
While course requirements vary, doctoral candidates might need to complete about 60 credits along with a final dissertation. Part of the coursework could deal with current business challenges such as change management, crisis management, innovation, and disruptive technology.
Core business topics, a hallmark of a DBA degree often cover diverse types of leadership styles.
Additionally, students might assess and investigate sources of power and different leadership and motivation theories to gain a better grasp of the nature and practice of leadership and business culture. Below are samples of a few other potential course topics.
To culminate their studies, students complete a doctoral dissertation once they have obtained any necessary academic approval. Specific requirements for this final paper are usually found on a university’s website.
A Doctor of Management (DM) is a terminal degree in management where students could anchor courses and research in international business. Often planned-out for current professionals, DM degree programs could enable students to develop key management and organizational skills for the global sector.
Some DM programs entail aspects such as mentoring, action research, and practical projects, to help enable students to make key leadership contributions in their area of expertise. The concentration in IB is usually intended to provide students with in-depth knowledge of management theories and the background to effectively take part in global organizations.
Students might have the opportunity to develop a deeper grasp of the moral dilemmas, choices, and challenges that come with melding varying cultures, values, and ethics in organizations around the world. This focused study could expand and enhance candidates’ leadership traits and those of other successful organizational staff.
DM in International Business curricula often revolve around core management and research courses. Some programs also stress research and writing in addition to leadership and change management within one’s chosen emphasis.
In terms of research, DM programs could entail extensive literature review. Akin to a DBA degree, the type of research has an applied nature. Graduation usually requires the approval of a dissertation. Dissertation requirements vary by university.
In some cases, a dissertation might document the student’s research processes and presents the findings and conclusions of that research, with suggestions for future research. The full paper is often reviewed by a committee.
Another practice-oriented doctorate in the field of international business is a Doctor of Education (EdD). A Doctor of Education degree program is often a blend of theory, research and practical application.
Partner school, Northcentral University offers an EdD in Global Training and Development. Students who pursue this degree could learn to critically analyze needs and evaluate the influences of how performance improvement and training should be designed from a tactical and strategic standpoint.
Through diverse courses, students could research organizational leadership, human resources, adult education, and organizational change for solution-driven effectiveness. Participants might hone the skills needed to identify emerging workforce issues and resolve them through effective training and instruction.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that post-secondary business teachers earned an average annual salary of $77,490 in May 2016.
Below are some examples of course topics one might find in Doctorate International Business programs. Be sure to read course lists for individual programs.
1 - Information Systems Management: A course in MIS could discuss the advantages and disadvantages of global Internet commerce. Students might examine the role of on- and off-shore workers in a company-wide information system, and the pros and cons of short-cycle time approaches to information systems development.
2 - Marketing in Globally Diverse Markets: This type of course could examine the global marketplace to help learners identify, adapt, and apply skills and tools to create a competitive global edge. Students might discuss various marketing concepts (E.g. marketing mix, differentiation, and brand voice) and may conduct detailed case studies and marketing audits.
3 - Fiscal Leadership in a Global Environment: Students might cover the financial and monetary markets in the United States and abroad. From this economic context, participants could assess an organization's financial position. Topics might also discuss financial planning for organizational ventures, budgeting, and other trends, such as balancing risks.
4 - Global Business Operations: Students in this course could be immersed in the ways business operates in a global environment. Other topics might shed light on supply chain management, process management, quality, innovation, and forecasting.
5 - Global Supply Chain Management: A course that could highlight the process of conducting business worldwide. Students might discuss how products, services, and information products develop from ideas to deliverables. Also, about the systems in place to identify resources and ensure quality standards are met.
Do you prefer to head to campus with other students, or study from wherever you have internet? Essentially, there are both on-campus and online PhD in International Business Management programs available, so you could choose the format that works with your timetable.
Some of the online Doctorate in International Business programs require a residency, but otherwise, students might log into coursework at their own convenience. Coursework could be interactive and modular, or a live stream version of an on-campus lecture. If you are someone who lives far from university or doesn’t want to relocate, online programs may address your needs.
Schools with on-campus International Business PhD programs could have students research alongside faculty. Class times are typically set, so could provide a nice and steady routine. In addition, some universities might offer courses in the evenings or weekends to address the needs of at-work participants.
Both types of program formats might include mentorship, though in a campus program, there could be more opportunity for direct face-to-face contact. Commonly, distance and campus students have access to their grad school’s facilities though the actual facilities and resources differ between individual schools.
Finishing an international business doctorate might unlock a variety of career path options. No degree is a guarantee but knowing what your goals are could help you choose a program with appropriate coursework. You can pursue a career as a:
Now you're equipped with the information you need to start your search for a doctorate in international business. The academic path you choose may depend largely on what you plan to do after you complete your degree. To a certain extent, you want to not only prepare yourself with an education but also the ‘right’ education for the type of career you want to lead.