On site November: Building the foundations of your research

November – February:

The course THEORY OF THE FIRM is one of the “Foundation Courses” in the IUM DBA Program. As such it requires a thorough knowledge of the “Development of Economic Thought”.

Based on extensive readings from numerous classical economists the course provides the students with the intellectual fundament to better understand:

Why do firms exist? What is their function, what determines their scope? How do markets work? What is the role of business in society?

These are obviously important questions for both entrepreneurs and business executives who act as “strategists” in highly competitive local and global markets.

This course introduces classical descriptive and inferential statistics with a focus on random variables, common probability distributions, estimation, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The course then focuses on the use of ordinary least squares (OLS) simple and multiple regression to model relationships amongst economic variables.

The course will finally introduce more advanced topics including time series analysis and panel data methods.

The course emphasis throughout will be on interpreting data, choosing appropriate models and methods, and on practical applications of the statistical methods.

The course relies extensively on use of the spreadsheet package Excel.

On site June: Methods for Developing your Research Proposal

March – June:

This course will provide students with the tools needed to

  • select the appropriate qualitative method for their research work,
  • plan and execute high qualitative empirical work,
  • analyze the gathered data in the most informative manner and
  • present the findings in a way to gain acceptance of audiences.
This course serves the purpose of supporting the students in the development of their research proposal. The preliminary advisors will guide the students in their search for adequate literature, their selection of the theoretical approach, and in writing up their proposal.


Based on some preparatory readings, the first on-site meeting builds the foundations for the first step in doctoral research: Developing interesting research questions. This step is accomplished off campus with the support of professors who serve at this stage as “preliminary advisors” (see the course “The Literature Project”). In addition, three intensive online courses will introduce students to the “Theory of the Firm”, “Quantitative Methods” and “Qualitative Methods”.
During the second on-site meeting, students will present their research questions to the Scientific Committee (SC). This is a decisive moment in the process as the SC will decide (a) whether the quality of work is sufficient and promising enough to continue the work and (b) who will be the advisors for the next research steps. Based on additional input concerning research methods, students then prepare their research proposal. The respective advisors support them online with hints concerning the selection of adequate research methods.
The third on-campus meeting serves to further deepen the students´ knowledge of methods, the presentation and defense of their research proposal and provides first steps in the process of writing academic articles. Back home, the students refine their research proposal and start empirical work with the online help of their advisors. They transfer the accepted research proposals into conference papers and start working on a draft for submission to an academic Journal.
The fourth on-site meeting focuses on issues concerning the implementation of research results in business organizations: organizational change, leadership, coaching and consulting. Students will get the opportunity to refine their draft article in collaboration with their advisors and will present the draft to the SC for their assessment. In the following online period the students – assisted by their advisors – finalize their submission to an academic Journal or decide to work on a case study. In exceptional cases students will be allowed to write monographs.
The fifth on-campus meeting is dedicated to further improvement of the research work completed so far. Students present the current state of their work and report on the remaining work to be done. They have the opportunity to work on their publications in close contact with their advisors, and deepen their know how on how to write a synopsis of research work and an executive summary. The last supervised online phase serves for finalizing the research work, revising publications, writing-up a synopsis of the research project or a monograph. Students will also prepare for the final presentation of their doctoral work to the SC.
During the last (sixth) on-site meeting the doctoral students present the accomplished research work and defend this synopsis to peers and advisors. Based on the feedback received, the students have a last opportunity to improve their research synopsis or monograph which they will defend to an academic jury half a year later.



Seminars on theoretical and methodological foundations, with blocs of on-site teaching reinforced by on-line learning resources and distance video linkups. This part of the programme ensures the knowledge base and methodological maturity necessary for carrying out research at the level of the DBA.

Specification of the DBA research project, taking into account the aptitudes, motivations and interests of each student. The development of a research proposal takes place progressively, through the DBA candidates own work, through on-site and on-line exchanges with advisors, other faculty members and international experts and, through exchanges amongst the DBA students themselves.

The goal of the first year of the program is to develop research questions based on the state-of-the-art in relevant literature and a research proposal. If successful, a Certificate of Research in Business Administration is granted to the student.



Seminars concerning organizational change, leadership, coaching, and consulting, with on-site teaching reinforced by on-line learning resources and distance video linkups, notably for building skills in qualitative and quantitative empirical analysis needed in the research projects.


Regular progress in the execution of the approved research proposal, under the advise (on-site and on line) of two selected advisors.


The goal is to successfully submit a paper to an international conference in the field of the research.



A programme of core seminars which help reinforcing skills in academic writing and public presentations using oral as well as visual online and off-line media.


The pursuit of the research programme, the submission of a manuscript to an international academic journal with the support of the advisors and fellow students (on-site and at a distance through video-conferencing, “classroom discussions” and mutual reviewing). This guidance includes the stages of writing up the research synopsis and preparation for its presentation and defence.


The goal is to finish the empirical work, to publish the research results, and to successfully defend the doctoral work.

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More info about this program

INSEEC U. undertakes that the collection and processing of your data made from this website, comply with the General Regulations on Data Protection (GRDP) and the Data Protection Act.
Read more

Ask to be called back by the Admissions Manager

INSEEC U. undertakes that the collection and processing of your data made from this website, comply with the General Regulations on Data Protection (GRDP) and the Data Protection Act.
Read more