Doctor of Management Curriculum | Weatherhead

Doctor of Management Curriculum

The DM and the PhD in management: Designing Sustainable Systems programs are based on the expectation that you, the practitioner-scholar, will develop the ability to think intensely and critically about problems confronting an organization, a community, a nation and the world. Through conceptually modeling these problems, assessing and modifying the assumptions underlying the models, testing assumptions empirically and applying modes of thought drawn from many disciplines, you will draw conclusions and propose solutions based on the results your models produce.

Our curricula and coursework provide a foundation for conducting rigorous research and practicing evidence-based management. Courses are interrelated theoretically and methodologically and prepare you to bring academic, theoretical and empirical perspectives to bear on problems that you face in your organization or in public policy advocacy.

DM Program Overview

* Two symbols indicate major focus in subject and one symbol indicates minor focus

Fall, Year One

Course Credits Design Sustainability Systems
EDMP 611 – Theory and Practice of Collective Action 3
EDMP 613 – Leading Change 3
EDMP 665 – Introduction to Research Inquiry 3
Total Credit Hours for Semester: 9

Spring, Year One

Course Credits Design Sustainability Systems
EDMP 638 – Qualitative Inquiry I 3
EDMP 672 – Flourishing Enterprise: Creating Sustainable Value for Business and World Benefit 3
EDMP 673 – Understanding, Designing, Managing Complex Systems 3
Total Credit Hours for Semester: 9

Fall, Year Two

Course Credits Design Sustainability Systems
EDMP 680 – Conflict & Cooperation in the Global Arena 3
EDMP 641 – Qualitative Inquiry II 3
EDMP 648 – Causal Analysis of Business Problems I 3
Total Credit Hours for Semester: 9

Spring, Year Two

Course Credits Design Sustainability Systems
EDMP 617 – Technology and Social System Design 3
EDMP 643 – Measuring Business Behaviors and Structures 3
EDMP 649 – Causal Analysis of Business Problems II 3
Total Credit Hours for Semester: 9

Fall, Year Three

Course Credits Design Sustainability Systems
EDMP 614 – Business as an Evolving Complex System 3
EDMP 646 – Advanced Analytical Methods for Generalizing Research
EDMP 645 – Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Inquiry 3
EDMP 677 – Designing Sustainable Systems 3
EDMP 642 – Directed Studies Seminar 0
Total Credit Hours for Semester: 9

Spring, Year Three

Course Credits Design Sustainability Systems
EDMP 640 – Social Ethics: Contemporary Issues 3
EDMP 664 – Knowledge Dissemination to Influence Managerial Practice 3
EDMP 616 – Global Economic Systems and Issues 3
Total Credit Hours for Semester: 9

Total Program Hours: 54

PhD in Management: Designing Sustainable Systems

Weatherhead’s Designing Sustainable Systems track in the PhD in management program offers an extension to the DM. This program is for DM students who wish to reorient their careers to formally pursue positions as academic researchers and scholars. DM students can apply for this degree program during their second year in the DM program.

Research Requirements and Deliverables

Research Proposal

The first research requirement is a qualitative Research Proposal that frames the student’s research problem and question. Additionally, the proposal specifies a design for the fieldwork portion of the qualitative research project. An inductive qualitative research proposal is developed that synthesizes a substantial body of scholarly literature (theoretical and empirical) in a fashion that creates a conceptual framework and model that provides insight into a significant problem of practice reflecting the lived experiences of a specific group of practitioners. The proposal outlines a broad research question to guide the qualitative research and specifies a design for the fieldwork to be carried out in the study. Students develop individual skills of conceptualizing (including modeling), creating ethnographic/phenomenological interview protocols, conducting semi-structured interviews, and interpretively analyzing qualitative interview data.

Qualitative Research Paper (QRP)

The Qualitative Research Paper presents findings and explanatory concepts from a qualitative fieldwork project. It identifies and frames a potent "phenomenological practice gap" wherein current practitioner and academic knowledge is lacking in guiding effective practice. The research synthesizes significant scholarly literature into a coherent conceptual framework and an understandable model of relationships among theoretical constructs. Students learn to frame effective questions for practitioner-scholarship research that embodies inquiry and openness, aligning the conceptual framework and research question to the chosen problem of practice, and to write scholarly papers that are clear and present a logical flow of well-supported arguments. By understanding the development of grounded theory and understanding ethnographic observation and field notes, students formally and rigorously analyze qualitative data in an interpretive fashion.


The Capstone integrates the analytical approaches the student has learned in EDMP 643 Measuring Business Behaviors and Structures and EDMP 649 Causal Analysis of Business Problems II. The Capstone exercise is intended to allow students to demonstrate their independent competence in quantitative inquiry skills and, based on a satisfactory assessment, to progress toward the completion of the quantitative research project which is a requirement for both the DM and the PhD in Management: Designing Sustainable Systems programs.

Quantitative Research Paper (QNTP)

At the end of the Fall semester of the third year students complete a Quantitative Research Paper. The objective of the quantitative research project is to generate a rigorous and valid quantitative empirical study that is guided by a hypothesized model of the student’s phenomenon of interest. The study must be framed by current theoretical and empirical work within the area of interest. A robust research design is utilized that follows the material covered in the quantitative research courses including collecting and validating data in a way that mitigates biases. The student completes a systematic and rigorous quantitative analysis and interprets the analysis in a way that provides novel insight to the phenomena of interest. The quantitative research paper details the project and is written in a manner that meets high scholarly standards to merit publication in top-rated journals and outlets.

DM Dissertation

An original and significant endeavor, the DM dissertation consists of the Qualitative Research Paper and Quantitative Research Paper and an Integrative Paper that provides an overview and organizes the study into a coherent thesis.

Integrative Paper (INP)

As a final requirement for the DM dissertation, each student in the DM Program writes a short overview statement introducing their qualitative and quantitative research studies, making substantive observations and conclusions about each study, and presenting a personal reflective statement about its significance to the author and the practice. The initial research proposal is a preliminary way to frame the dissertation overview. Based on the student’s experience by conducting the qualitative and quantitative study, the final synthesis needs to be re-written, revised, and critically evaluated. The overview statement and the qualitative and quantitative research papers serve as the dissertation requirement of the DM Program.

Additional deliverables for PhD in management: Designing Sustainable Systems track

Although trans-disciplinary research is the main focus of course of the Designing Sustainable Systems track in the PhD in Management program, candidates need to be grounded in a disciplinary field. Therefore, throughout their course of study, candidates read seminal works and acquire knowledge that leads to a grounding in their chosen discipline (marketing, strategy, accounting, information systems, organizational behavior, finance, or economics). Students are required to take a comprehensive exam demonstrating adequate knowledge of the field's theories, research methods, and results. Upon passing the comprehensive exam, students are advanced to candidacy for the PhD degree.

Doctoral candidates in the PhD in Management; Designing Sustainable Systems program undertake dissertation research during their fourth year to extend their contributions to managerial knowledge. Informed by courses in design thinking, sustainability thinking, and complex systems thinking, candidates will incorporate human values and appropriate methods of analysis into their research. An original and significant endeavor, the dissertation includes a detailed review of the topic, relevant research questions, methods of inquiry used, findings obtained, and their implications.


Book List for Spring 2018

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