The day has finally arrived … I have completed and received full academic approval on section #1 of my dissertation. For most of you, you’re reading this and saying, “what does that even mean”. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
Every doctorate degree has different requirements for a dissertation. The degree that I’m pursing, doctorate of business administration (DBA), requires a dissertation that is referred to as a doctoral study. A doctoral study is simply a scholarly response to a business problem. Simply put, this means that I will identify and address a business problem through the lens of academic writing. To frame it up for you, the business problem that I am addressing in my doctoral study is this: Some retail store managers do not have strategies that engage customers to shop at their brick-and-mortar stores.
Now that you know what a doctoral study is, I can explain what completing section #1 means. Specific to the university that I’m pursuing my DBA, they have crafted a structured guide to help students get through the doctoral study process; this guide is broken down into three sections: Prospectus, Proposal, and Application.
SECTION 1: The prospectus serves are the foundation of the study, defining what specific problem you’ll be studying and proving that there is a need for this problem to be studied. It also outlines the specific research methodology that the student will be using as well as defining the conceptual framework for the study. In a nutshell, the prospectus set the stage for what and how you will address the topic in your doctoral study. Having this section approved means that I can move on to the other sections of the doctoral study (yay!).
SECTION 2: The proposal is mainly focused on reviewing the literature that has previously been written regarding the topic you’re studying. This means you have to do a lot of research – A LOT of RESEARCH. I have read more journal articles than I care to admit. The point of the literature review is that the student becomes an expert in the topic they are studying. In addition to the review of the literature, section #2 focuses on who will be the participants in my study and how I will capture the data (whether quantitatively or qualitatively). I have completed this portion of my dissertation and am awaiting approval.
SECTION 3: The third and final section of the doctoral study is the application. This is the fun part. In this portion, I will conduct the research associated with my study and report my findings. If everything goes as planned, this section will be full on fabulous information and strategies that retail store managers can use engage customers as they shop their brick-and-mortar stores. You’ll have to stay tuned for more details on that.
Now that you understand the framework of my dissertation, having completed and received approval on section #1 is a BIG DEAL. More to come with section #2 and #3.