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Strathclyde Business School

Going global with the Strathclyde DBA

By Katerina Nicolopoulou - Posted on 17 December 2020

With a new cohort of Strathclyde DBA underway in the Gulf region, Global DBA Director Katerina Nicolopoulou reports on progress so far. 

Recently, we kicked off our Global DBA with a first cohort of 10, incorporating research students from around the GCC (UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi). 

The programme participants are creating a new generation of leadership for their organisations, industries and the region and come from a range of specialisations and critical sectors of strategic importance. Their focus ranges from topics of strategic change that is created via the effects of industry disruptors such as blockchain, or the ongoing challenges of COVID. 

With an emphasis on sectors such as IT, telecoms, banking and finance, oil and gas and aviation, and with subject specialisations that range from processes of strategy making, impact measurement, supply chain, strategic process design and cybersecurity infrastructures, the Global DBA students are set to create lasting impact and success in their chosen areas. 

It was an absolute joy to see this first cohort emerge from the region: several of the participants are our own MBA alumni, and we also have attracted candidates that did not study with the university previously. Seeing students step up their profiles from a point of view of intellectual curiosity as well as career development is a great success in itself. 

As the Global DBA Director, I am responsible for the integration of the DBA students in a cohort structure and for making sure that they are embedded within the University in terms of their departments and the University structures that are supporting research and thought leadership. I also provide regular opportunities for engagement, with targeted cohort meetings and the design of learning interactions that will support the students having a sense of progression as a group as - like any doctoral level study - the DBA is also largely self-directed. 

We are currently growing our Global DBA base and expect more students to join us for the January 2021 intake. The success of the Global DBA is related to the global presence of the university, with geographical boundaries not only presenting challenges but also opportunities. 

DBAs are not the same as PhDs; whilst PhDs often seek to develop theory and to respond to a gap in academic knowledge, DBAs are mostly pursued by practitioners who seek to gain a better understanding and to ameliorate the organisational systems and the strategic environment within which they are operating. The DBA participants can be powerful catalysts for the creation of change and impact in the companies and the industries where they operate, as they focus their outcomes of their study on practice-based solutions. My colleague Dr Steve Paton outlined the similarities and differences between a PhD and a DBA in a previous blog - Demystifying the DBA

Strathclyde Business School in the UAE has recently relocated to a dynamic and beautiful spot, the Dubai Knowledge Park, and has integrated within a cluster of education and training-focused institutions that form a knowledge hub serving the various needs of the Dubai business community.  

For more information about the Global DBA, please email: Katerina.nicolopoulou@strath.ac.uk 


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