Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)

Practical information

Program duration
4 years

Entry requirements
Master + at least 5 years of professional experience

Degree level
Doctorate in Business Administration


The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) offered by Grenoble Ecole de Management is a research-based degree which is the highest-level business qualification attainable.

It is a unique, research-based, issue-driven qualification that culminates in a doctoral degree (Doctor of Business Administration).

It focuses on the broad area of the management of technology, organizational change and innovation. It can also cover more traditional research topics in the fields of management, finance, marketing, organizational behaviour, etc.


This DBA is delivered in different locations.

  France (joint with Pisa, Italy)

  USA (California State University Northridge)

  India (Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad).

  Switzerland (Webster University in Geneva)

  China (Tongji, Chongqing and Sun Yat Sen)

  France (en français)

Regardless of the location, the content of this program is the same and the awarded DBA degree is that of Grenoble Ecole de Management.

Mark Smith, Director of the Doctoral School on Campus Channel


The DBA program is divided into two stages:


Stage I – Training in Doctoral Research in Management Sciences:


Philosophy, Methods and Tools (18 to 24 months)

The DBA candidate starts by learning research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques to conduct, write up, and publish research to doctoral standards. Students complete a series of four to six research training workshops held in Grenoble and in the partner countries.

Between the workshops there are periods of individual supervised research. The candidate prepares a detailed research proposal for his/her thesis. Under the direction of doctoral supervisors, the student also completes a “pilot study” before embarking on the main fieldwork for the DBA research.

Before being allowed by the thesis committee to proceed to stage 2, students must fulfil certain written work requirements. Four pieces of work must be produced:

  • A Project Proposal (1500 words)
  • A comprehensive Literature Review of publishable standards (7,500 words)
  • A Research Proposal (7,500 words): fully justified research question and hypotheses, intended methodology, pilot test study and expected results;
  • A DBA thesis Research Plan and Scheduling

When successfully completed, stage I leads to the delivery of the Certificate in Research in Management Sciences.

Stage II: Thesis

(24 to 30 months of part-time study)

The DBA research and thesis element of the program consists primarily of individual research, under the supervision of a fully qualified professor who brings a broad range of expertise and international reputation in technology, innovation and change management.

The DBA thesis should exhibit substantial evidence of original scholarship and contain material of a publishable standard, as well as useful managerial recommendations.

A candidate for the degree of Doctorate of Business Administration is required to show ability to conduct original investigations, to test, apply and/or examine ideas – his/her own or others’, and to understand the relationship of his/her theme to a wider field of knowledge.

This may involve the identification of current issues and the application of theory relevant to problem-solving in the candidate's work environment and/or the identification of both theoretical and practical issues to facilitate future implementation of operational and/or strategic plans within his/her organisation.

Faculty Members

Each DBA candidate is assigned a research-active professor from Grenoble Ecole de Management.

The Supervisor brings a broad range of expertise and an international reputation in research on business innovation, technology management and the organisational dimensions of technological change.


The DBA program enables students:

  • to understand the ‘state-of-the-art’ in their field of research,
  • to acquire the necessary understanding and expertise in appropriate research design, data-collection methods and data-analysis techniques,
  • to conduct, write and disseminate high-quality research of doctoral standard,
  • to achieve a greater level of effectiveness as a professional practitioner in managing technology, innovation and change.


Companies gain from applied research

Companies that choose to sponsor candidates in this respected DBA program benefit directly from their research and study. Each candidate conducts doctoral research on actual business and management issues, often based on their own company’s current and anticipated needs. Additionally, the company needs not lose valuable managers while they pursue this part-time program.


DBA graduates are faculty members in universities worldwide such as:

  • Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), Greece
  • ESC Rennes, France
  • Florida International University, USA
  • Hong Kong Institute of Technology, China
  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico
  • Lebanese Canadian University, Lebanon
  • Megatrend University, Serbia
  • Okanagan School of Business, Canada
  • Southern University at New Orleans, USA
  • Universidad Externado de Colombia, Colombia
  • University College of Media Arts and Sciences (UCMAS), Oman
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA
  • University of North Carolina, USA
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
  • University of Southern Mississippi, USA

DBA graduates have current teaching appointments in universities such as:

  • Antai Management School of Shanghai Jiaotong, China
  • Campus Concordia University, USA 
  • Central Michigan University, USA 
  • China Europe International Business School, China
  • China Three Gorges University, China
  • Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark
  • DeVry University On-line, USA
  • Ecole de Management de Lyon, France
  • EGADE Business School, Mexico
  • ESC Marrakech, Morocco
  • ESC Rennes, France /li>
  • ESSEC Paris, France
  • FH-Joanneum, Austria
  • Florida International University, School of Accounting, USA
  • Grenoble Ecole de Management, France
  • HEC Paris, France
  • Helsinki University of Applied Sciences, Finland  
  • Hong Kong Institute of Technology, China
  • IMD Lausanne, Suisse
  • ITESM, Mexico
  • Lebanese Canadian University, Lebanon
  • Malta Institute of Management Business School, Malta 
  • Megatrend University, Serbia
  • North Central University, Argosy University, USA 
  • Our Lady of Holy Cross College, USA 
  • Shanghai Normal University, China
  • Southern Cross University, Australia
  • Southern University at New Orleans, USA
  • The University of North Carolina, USA
  • The University of Southern Mississippi, USA 
  • UIR Rabat, Morocco
  • Université Pierre Mendes-France, France
  • Universidade de Caxias do Sul (UCS), Brazil  
  • Université Paris 8, France  
  • University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • University of Liverpool, UK
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Canada
  • University of Phoenix, Louisiana, USA 
  • University of Wales, UK
  • Waseda University Tokyo, Japan

Holders of Grenoble Ecole de Management doctoral degrees are eligible to apply for academic positions in most international universities and institutions of higher education. Many alumni from our doctoral programs currently hold tenured positions in accredited business schools worldwide. On occasion, in some institutions, Grenoble Ecole de Management doctoral degrees may not figure on the list of eligible qualifications. We recommend that our graduates check on this prior to applying for a position.

DBA graduates are currently working in companies such as:

  • Allibert-Trekking
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • China Pacific Life Insurance Co., Ltd.
  • Credy Banka
  • Ericsson
  • Fluor
  • Ingénieurs du Monde
  • Nexans
  • PSA Peugeot Citroen
  • Quantar Solutions Ltd.
  • LLC
  • Terex Corporation

DBA Student Frances Turner, a lecturer at Menlo College in the USA, gives her point of view on Grenoble Ecole de Management's DBA program



Candidates for this program are recruited from all over the world. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds - sciences, humanities, and technical and engineering fields. Generally they are high-level professionals, usually managers or executives with advanced degrees in business disciplines.

Admission and application terms differ depending on which program you wish to attend:

  France (joint with Pisa, Italy)

  USA (California State University Northridge)

  India (Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad).

  Switzerland (Webster University in Geneva)

  China (Tongji, Chongqing and Sun Yat Sen)

  France (en français)


Dr. Sabatier, DBA program Director at Grenoble Ecole de Management, explains the DBA application process, including research proposal.

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Marta Baroth