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Online Doctoral Degree in Business Leadership

Research online business leadership doctoral degree programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

Doctoral programs in management can be found in an online format under various names, such as a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Management. Several schools now offer business leadership doctoral programs online, allowing students to take classes that fit their schedules while continuing to work full-time.

Applicants to an online business leadership doctoral program need to hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, often in a business subject. These programs require students to research and write a dissertation. Though the coursework can primarily be completed online, some on-campus residency periods may be required for online students.


Doctoral Degree in Business Leadership

Degree titles for business leadership programs vary somewhat by school, with examples including the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Organizational Leadership, Ph.D. in Organization and Management and Doctor of Management (D.M. or D.Mgt.) in Organizational Leadership. The coursework throughout all programs, however, is quite similar. Possible topics include change management, data-driven employee assessment and technological integration. Students typically spend 4-6 years studying for a doctoral degree.

Information and Requirements

A master's degree in business or a related field is sometimes a prerequisite for admission to online doctoral programs. Additional certifications or work experience may also be required. Because coursework is delivered online, students must have a computer with Internet access. Some schools also require attendance at campus-based seminars as part of their curriculum. In order to receive a Ph.D., most students are asked to write a dissertation on the topic of their choice.

Common Courses

Courses in a doctoral program typically address advanced concepts in business leadership. There are no general education requirements.

Structural Leadership

The course focuses on developing the student's understanding of leadership as a whole. Principles, strategies and theories of leadership will be applied by the student in various scenarios, including those involving organizational issues and conflicts.

Communication Strategy and Practice

Emphasis in this interactive course is placed on the development of personal and professional communication skills, including various self-motivation strategies and time management techniques. Students will be expected to share as well as learn, providing personal insight into effective communication methods they may have used or witnessed in the past.

Organizational Theory & Design

Students develop several plans and projects that optimize the key elements of organizational design. Applying relevant theories to existing performance or effectiveness models, successful students will finish the class capable of utilizing appropriate theory and design examples to guide future research.

Management Theories

Designed to teach students how to utilize modern theories and practices in management while addressing organizational development and responsiveness, emphasis in the class will be placed on the importance of flexibility, adaptivity and creativity in problem-solving and project completion. The significance of work teams and 'best practice' usage is also discussed.

Team Leadership

The class focuses on the meaning of the word 'team' and its many characteristics, including various life cycle stages, positive and negative features as well as outside forces that can impact a team. Students will develop plans of action to address situations and events that can harm a team, as well as build overall confidence in effective team leadership.


Career Information

Careers for graduates of the doctoral program can vary widely and are spread among many types of industries. Common career paths may include business or management consulting. The BLS projected job growth of 14% for management analysts, faster than the average for all occupations, from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported, the median annual salary for management analysts was $81,320.

There are several doctoral degree options if you are interested in pursuing a doctorate in management, including Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Management. While there are many programs available online, many will require some on-campus residency.

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