The DBA Thesis

Page last updated on 08/06/2023

The Thesis Characteristics

The thesis is a publishable piece of written work.

It is also an individual piece of applied research that mobilises the candidate’s professional experience and their academic knowledge, as well as generating innovative links between theory and business / management practices

It shows demonstrable impact on the Executive DBA student’s area of management practice or interest.

It focuses on a theme related to business or management.

As a general rule, the thesis follows a traditional format, including an introduction, a literature review, a conceptual/theoretical section, a discussion of results, the managerial impact of the research, a conclusion, and a bibliography.

The format of the Executive DBA thesis is quite flexible provided that the quality is there. Generally, it is a document of about 150 to 200 pages.

The defence of the thesis

The defence of the Executive DBA thesis takes place after authorisation by the scientific committee, taking into account the written document submitted, the supervising professor’s report and an external examiner’s report.


  • Thesis defense in late September/early October during the Annual International Week, year n,
  • Authorisation and reports by 2 external examiners, 31 August year n,
  • Submission of the final version to Business Science Institute and to the external examiners: 1 July, year n
  • Authorisation to proceed from the Business Science Institute Scientific Advisor: 30 June year n
  • Submission of the thesis to Business Science Institute: 1 June year n
  • Thesis approved by the thesis supervisor: 31 May, year n
  • Pre-presentation (mock viva): last follow-up seminar before the scheduled thesis defence (viva) in year n.
  • Doctoral supervisory follow-up seminars: year n-1/-2
  • Beginning of the writing of the thesis: year n-4
  • If this schedule is not respected, the defence will not be able to take place at the end of September of year n.

The defence is public and formally announced.

The examination panel is composed of at least three examiners from the programme and possibly a practitioner.

The defence follows the following process:

  • Oral presentation by the candidate (20 to 30 minutes),
  • Remarks, questions from examination panel members,
  • Discussion with the examination panel,
  • Deliberation and advice on potential for publication,
  • Public announcement of the results and award of the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration from Business Science Institute and the Doctorate in Business Administration from iaelyon School of Management.

Publication of the thesis

The objective of the Executive DBA is to enable those graduates who wish to and if the examination panel gives its approval, to publish their thesis.

Business Science Institute offers its active support to this process but in now way replaces the efforts of our graduates who are ultimately responsible for achieving, or not, publication.

Several possibilities, subject to the agreement of the respective editorial committees, are possible:

  • Publication of the thesis in the form of a book via a publisher;
  • Publication of the thesis in the form of a book at the author’s own expense;
  • Publication of the thesis in the form of an e-book on the Business Science Institute website or on another website;
  • Publication in the form of a case study submitted to a pedagogical case centre (CCMP Paris / ECCH);
  • Publication in the form of an article in a professional journal;
  • Publication in the form of an article in an academic journal.

The role of the EDBA Scientific Committee is to advise, assist and guide the graduate, but does not replace the respective editorial committees of the different formats available for publication mentioned above.

Any publication costs are to be borne by the graduate.