The genesis of Business Science Institute
No one is a prophet in their own land when they are born international!
The story of Business Science Institute is one of international managers who, several years after completing an MBA and acquiring extensive business experience, feel the need to explore their practice further, reflect on their experience, create and share knowledge. They then contact their former professors about applying for a place on a PhD programme.
But traditional PhD programmes, which focus on preparing university academics for "Publish or Perish" careers, do not directly address the objectives and the realities faced by these practising managers!
This is how a group of university professors with the credentials of having supervised numerous theses plus a long experience of running Executive Education programmes came up with the idea of creating Business Science Institute: an international academic networked organisation devoted to delivering an Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) for managers.
But why a networked organisation?
Because the main feature of a DBA for managers is that the thesis topic comes from the doctoral student themself and not from the professor as in the traditional PhD. The manager brings their own experience, ideas and insights to the programme and the role of Business Science Institute is to find a professor who is fundamentally interested in the manager's research question. No university has the in-house academic resources to cover research areas as diverse as "green finance", logistics or the management of international organisations. A student once even described us as a "dating agency"!
Why set up operations in Luxembourg?
Since our ambitions were international, the idea of setting up in Luxembourg came naturally, and the Ministry of Education recommended that we consider the Château de Wiltz, where several non-profit organisations in the education sector were already located.
In 2013, the first international groups of doctoral students were set up in response to demand and the availability of professors to support the network. Indeed, without professors, there would be no thesis supervision and no DBA. Montreal, Tunis, Geneva, Luxembourg, and Dakar were among the first cities where the initial seminars were held, first in French, then in English, and finally in German.
And then some managers asked us if it would be possible to organize distance learning modules, because they couldn’t attend the groups. So, well before the COVID crisis, the programme was made available online, first in French, then in English, and finally in German once again.
In 2015, the first-ever book in the EMS Business Science Institute collection called 'Knowledge Creation by Managers' was published. Since then, the collection has grown to 28 titles written in all three languages by professors who explain what a DBA actually entails, and by Doctors in Business Administration who share the impact of their research.
The managerial impact of the DBA is indeed one of the major focuses of the programme. Working towards a DBA is not only about investing one's time to earn a degree, it is also about the willingness of experienced managers to create knowledge, to share it, as well as to create impact for themselves, for business, and more generally for society.
In the space of just a few years, Business Science Institute has become an internationally renowned Executive DBA provider, achieving AMBA accreditation in December 2020 and ranked 4th worldwide in the Dubai DBA 2020 Ranking. The programme currently has 200 doctoral students from more than 40 countries and over 100 international professors.
Communicated by Business Science Institute