Mind the gap: DBA students, knowledge generation, transfer and impact

Foster, C., Kirk, S., Kougiannou, N.K. ORCID: 0000-0002-6422-3831 and Scurry, T., 2023. Mind the gap: DBA students, knowledge generation, transfer and impact. Studies in Higher Education. ISSN 0307-5079

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Increasingly higher education institutions are expected to demonstrate their contribution to academia, society, and the economy. This is pertinent for business schools as a key purpose for them is to provide education that enhances management practice, with Doctorates in Business Administration (DBAs) being the highest-level qualification offered in pursuit of this goal. Yet there is scant research that captures the impact of DBAs beyond the individual and academia. This paper focuses on the important role of DBAs in generating and transferring knowledge from academia to practice and in creating wider impact in society and the economy. Based on 36 semi-structured interviews with DBA students and alumni, our research shows how DBA students are able to generate and exchange knowledge between academia and business, enabling a wide range of impacts to be achieved. We show how knowledge transfer is the outcome of a learning process in which DBA students and their supervisors learn to speak each other’s language, enabling two-way communication. Facilitated by the power and associated credibility and legitimacy of the DBA students as practicing senior managers, the knowledge can then be transferred. Personal development in the form of analytical skills and increased confidence gained through the learning process results in a personal impact that acts as the precursor to other forms of impact, such as improved organisational performance and broader societal benefits. Research generated by DBAs is thus well-placed to offer opportunities for impact and contribute substantially to the research-practice conversation in higher education.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Studies in Higher Education
Creators: Foster, C., Kirk, S., Kougiannou, N.K. and Scurry, T.
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Date: 1 September 2023
ISSN: 0307-5079
Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 01 Nov 2023 10:02
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 10:02
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/50180

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