What is the SDA Bocconi DBA?

Doctorate in Business Administration

The first two years primarily consist of coursework in four weekly residential modules, and virtual learning classrooms. During coursework, participants will be exposed to the most recent developments in the fields of research methodologies, quantitative and statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, strategic management, organization theory, marketing, technology management, economics, public policy and finance. In addition, during the first two years participants will conduct, under the close supervision of their academic advisor, preparatory work for the doctoral dissertation.

From a practical standpoint, preparatory work for the doctoral dissertation consists of two main documents: literature review on the area of research interest for the candidate (to be submitted by the end of the first academic year) and a thesis proposal (to be submitted by the end of the second academic year). The objective of the literature review is to identify the “state-of-the-art” in a specific area of research in terms of what is already known. Building on the literature review, the objective of the thesis proposal is to identify one or more gaps in the literature that are worth examining in order to advance knowledge and understanding of a specific research area.

The third year will be mainly devoted to individual research and study, conducted under the close supervision of an academic advisor, geared toward drafting a doctoral dissertation that will be presented and defended by the candidate at the end of third academic year in form of a monograph. The thesis work will start from the approved thesis proposal and will end with the thesis defense. In addition to the thesis work, during the third year of the program, interested candidates will have the option to take one additional class related to their specific thesis topic chosen from classes offered in the Bocconi PhD program.

What skills will you get through the SDA Bocconi DBA?

Upon completion of the program, candidates can expect to acquire, hone and develop the following set of skills:

  • Analyze and understand complex phenomena associated with current business practices
  • Interpret the phenomena of interest under the light of extensive academic literature
  • Identify gaps in management literature that can lead to generation of new knowledge
  • Formulate research questions that are relevant for a specific audience
  • Formulate a research design to collect data relevant for the phenomenon studied
  • Analyze data and make statistically solid inferences to corroborate a proposed theory
  • Contribute to the development of new, original knowledge that is both theoretically and practically relevant
  • Understand the ethical implications of conducting research in social settings
  • Learn how to effectively communicate theory and findings to a specific audience
  • Learn how to write journal articles according to the scientific standards of major research outlets

"Developing a recognized thought leadership in your field requires the ability to develop new knowledge that is relevant in its concrete implications for managerial practice but also rigorously crafted according to the highest academic standards. During your DBA at SDABocconi, its internationally renowned faculty will help you develop such new knowledge not only by interacting with you during class, but also by individually tutoring you in every step of your research projects".

Former DBA Director