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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Congratulations 2019 Grads!

The following is a list of our graduates and their dissertation titles.

Shola Ajiboye
Designing the Framework of Entrepreneurial Relationship Management (ERM) for Strategic Actions and Effective-Decision Making

Dijo Alexander
Building Big Data Analytics as a Strategic Capability in Industrial Firms: Firm Level Capabilities and Project Level Practices

Lucia Desantis-Heddleson
Tinkering with Emerging Adulthood: The Relevance of Bonding Edu-Mentor Behaviors and Identity Across Educational Settings

Suad Dukhaykh
Factors Influencing Nontraditional Career Choice Among Professional Saudi Women

Yolonda Freeman-Hildreth
The Patient Perspective:  Exploring the Influence of Social Interactions on Chronic Disease Outcomes

Jeff Frey
The Sustainability of Nonprofit Leaders: Principles and Practices that Restore and Encourage Personal Wellbeing and Professional Effectiveness

Donna Iucolano
Hyperconnectivity Giveth and Taketh Away: Reconciling Being an "Always-On" Empowered Consumer and Privacy in an Era of Pervasive Personal Data Exchanges

Ivone Juarez Barco
Inspirational Professors, Their Emotional Intelligence and its Role on Relational Climate

Varun Nagaraj
Emergent Learning in Digital Product Teams

Daniel Newmeyer
Improving Job Satisfaction for Nurses in Acute Healthcare Facilities through Engagement and Teamwork

Emmanuel Quansah
Adaptive Leadership in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses:  The Role of Primary Stakeholders Feedback in Achieving Strategic Adaptation

J. Krist Schell
Antecedents of Radicality and Commercial success Outcomes in SBIR Projects

Robert Warren
A Mixed Method Study Exploring How IRS Special Agents Choose Cases for Investigation

Thursday, June 6, 2019

DM Reflections: Bo Carlsson, PhD

Many of you may recall the DM course assignment called “Reflection Paper”.  Continuing that theme, we will regularly feature a Q&A with members of the DM community. The spring/summer edition of the DM Digest features a conversation with Bo Carlsson.

What was it like to be part of the innovation team that created the first-in-market Doctor of Management Program?

It was exciting! The idea of creating a new type of program for practicing executives was both innovative and stimulating. My own research had always been based in my home field of economics but often crossing the boundaries of sub-disciplines within economics as well as drawing on knowledge in other fields like engineering, management, and economic history. I had always found it regrettable that macroeconomics, microeconomics, and management had evolved into separate disciplines without much boundary-spanning research and without much interest in practical application. In the early 1990s the Economics Department had just moved from the College of Arts and Sciences into the Weatherhead School of Management, and I welcomed the opportunity to work with people in management in designing the new program. The program team was hand-picked to include leading scholars in each sub-discipline – people with tenure and broad experience, willing and able to take a broad interdisciplinary view and who were not forced by the tenure clock to produce more publications in their particular sub-discipline.

It was clear from the beginning that in order to create value for organizational leaders with many years of experience and practice in a management field who are at an inflection point in their careers at which they have to decide whether to advance to the next level (often requiring new skills) or consider other career options, we needed to create an entirely new type of program. As our discussions evolved, it became increasingly clear that the new program would need to be research-intensive, rigorous, and oriented to management practice at the doctoral-level. The program requirements would include: 

  1. Providing state-of-the art knowledge in a rapidly changing global environment. This would require new courses with both interdisciplinary and integrative content; standard courses in conventional management sub-disciplines would not be sufficient; and 
  2. Building on each student’s experience and complement it with practical and rigorous research skills; the research questions would be derived from problems of practice identified by the students, not by standard theory.
A program like this had never been done before. It was an exciting challenge!

Tell us about how you help experienced managers change their thinking and approach through empirical research.

Students are asked to think about a problem of practice based on their own management experience. Sometimes the problem falls neatly into the domain of a particular sub-discipline, but most of the time it does not, at least in my own experience as an advisor in the program.  The relevant domain may be in the intersection between several sub-disciplines – which means a significant challenge for the student but also for the academic advisor whose expertise is typically in only a narrow sub-discipline. The students are asked to find out and summarize what is written about the problem and then articulate a research question. The real challenge lies in framing the research question.

In a discipline-based doctoral program the research questions typically fall within well-defined disciplinary boundaries. But in a truly cross-disciplinary program the research domain is much broader and less well-defined. The challenge for the advisor is to determine where his or her expertise can help and then learn, along with the student, where to seek new knowledge and make sense of it. It is truly a journey of discovery – exciting!

The program is designed to help students in the process of framing and articulating their research questions – through the conceptual paper, grounded theory-based qualitative inquiry, and quantitative and mixed-method analysis. The academic advisor is the coach, while the student becomes the real expert on the topic at hand. After all, that is the true meaning of a doctoral education.

How has the program evolved over the years?

The basic structure of the program has remained largely the same: 3-year, residency-based program.

The overall aims of DM inquiry have also remained constant: (1) to develop capabilities for creating new knowledge and insights into problems of practice using a coherent framework and language that bridges theory and practice through diverse methodologies; and (2) through the process of building capabilities for knowledge creation, to provide transformative experiences for thoughtful practitioners to foster a community of practitioner-scholars engaged in life-long scholarship and actively leading the practitioner and academic discourse on policy, practice and  public issues of management.
The main features of the program have also remained largely the same:

  • Transdisciplinary curriculum (including humanities and social sciences); Management in a broad sense; not Business Administration
  • Integrative inquiry courses
  • Both qualitative and quantitative methods required
  • Heavy research emphasis: the Scholarly Practitioner
  • Broad global perspective and participation
  • Transformational, globally oriented, cross-disciplinary research-intensive program for organizational leaders…

The balance between integrative (interdisciplinary) and methods courses has shifted slightly over the years toward more methods courses. The inquiry methods have also shifted toward more emphasis on quantitative research and introduction of mixed methods (using both qualitative and quantitative analysis).

In the early years of the program students were required to write Reflection Papers following each residency in which they were asked to integrate and reflect on the learnings from each seminar as well as on the residency as a whole.

In the beginning each student was required to complete an Applied Research Project (ARP) based on the portfolio papers (summarizing the takeaways from each year) and an integrative summary – essentially similar to a doctoral dissertation. Later the degree requirement was changed to a sequence of papers (a conceptual paper in year 1, a qualitative research paper in year 2, a quantitative research paper and an integrative paper in year 3).

From your perspective, what is the importance or practical application of DM training?

The importance lies in the application of new integrative, transdisciplinary knowledge to management practice.

DM research has both academic rigor in terms of methodology and substantive relevance in terms of practical application. As Kurt Lewin, the founder of social psychology, once said, “There is nothing more practical than a good theory.”

In the DM Program we start with a problem of practice, develop a theory to solve the problem, test the theory empirically, and then apply it to management practice. As the journey progresses, the researcher often winds up with a much better, more penetrating, and more sharply focused question than he or she started with. That is the nature of research.

If resources were unlimited, what would you recommend to help DM students through their transformative journey?

I would allow more time to do a more thorough literature review of the problem of practice in the first year. Identifying the relevant literature is more difficult in transdisciplinary research than in intra-disciplinary research, and it is not always clear what lenses or theories to apply.  I have often found it frustrating that once the domain of the problem of practice has been determined, there is too little time to explore the relevant literature more deeply. As a consequence, the results of the research are not perceived by academic scholars as being as solid and convincing as they could be, and therefore have less impact on both academic and practitioner scholarship than they could have. But at the same time, it needs to be kept in mind that the DM research is just the beginning of the journey; the knowledge and research skills gained should equip the student to continue the research at a higher level.

Spring/Summer Alumni Council Update

News from Beth Fitz Gibbon, DM ’09 and Joann Farrell Quinn, PhD ’13,
Alumni Council Co-Chairs

Congratulations to our 2019 DM and PhD graduates! You are joining a proud and accomplished group of nearly 300 alumni and we hope you will share your voice with us. If you would like to be elected to the Council, or represent your cohort’s interests as their Class Representative, please let us know.

Degree Name
Pursuit of the DM name change continues; the majority of DM faculty and alumni voted in favor of the change to DBA. In a recent faculty meeting dicussions was held about changes that have occured in this pedagogical space since the DM Program began 25 years ago. The market has become more competitive. As Dean Manoj Malhotra noted in his email to our alumni on May 2, 2019, “Faculty will work through the summer on these issues, and present a comprehensive sett of recommendations to me in the fall. Any changes to the degree programs, including the name change, will thereafter go through various committees at the school and the university level. We hope to make substantial progress of these approvals by the end of this calendar year." 

25th Anniversary in 2020…A Celebration of You!
CWRU’s Weatherhead DM/PhD program will commemorate 25 years of producing the finest practitioner-scholars in the world next Spring. Your Alumni Council, the faculty and the administration want to make this our best attended, best received reunion ever. To that end, we need you to share your ideas for a celebration you don’t want to miss. We need your help.  No matter how near or far you are from Ohio, there are many ways you can participate in designing the 2020 Celebration: lead or be on a panel, recommend a best-in-class keynote speaker, plan the dine-arounds, etc. Please contact Beth, Joann, Sue or Marilyn to let us know you’re interested in contributing (contact info below).

Respond to the July 2019 Alumni Survey
Next month, you’ll receive a brief Qualtrics survey via email. The Alumni Council needs your input to work on your behalf to ensure your DM or PhD degree is one of your most valuable and treasured professional assets.

Be Your Cohort’s Class Representative
To enable greater participation in planning and communications, we are forming a team of Class Representatives – one person from each cohort who will gather professional and personal news from their class to share with all alumni via this quarterly newsletter. It’s an easy way to stay in touch with people who were a significant part of your life for three or more years, and to be in contact with other alums. If you would like to be nominated, or nominate another member of your class, please let us know.

Your Alumni Council
Your Council works to sustain a return-on-investment for your degree.  2019 and 2020 can be the year all alumni come together to benefit from, participate in and support alumni activities. To do that, we need your voice. How can we make your investment in your degree more beneficial and valuable? Council members are responsible for staying current with alumni concerns.  Council participation requires one conference-call meeting per quarter, with occasional in-between calls for planning events such as Reunions. Council members are nominated and voted for in periodic elections.

There are many ways to participate without a big time commitment on your part:

  • Volunteer to be your cohort’s Representative
  • Share requests and recommendations for anniversary speakers, topics of interest and social gatherings.
  • Suggest a theme for the 2020 Anniversary Celebration
  • Volunteer to help plan the celebration
  • Recommend topics for keynote speakers
  • Recommend key note speakers for the celebration
  • Suggest panel topics
  • Be a panel facilitator or member
  • Suggest Cleveland-based cultural events

If you would like to volunteer to be your cohort’s Representative, or if you have requests and recommendations for anniversary speakers, topics of interest and social gatherings, please send them to Beth Fitz Gibbon, DM ’09 ( or to Joann Farrell Quinn, PhD ‘13 (, or send suggestions directly to Sue at or Marilyn at

Unforgettable: The Engaged Management ReView Writing Workshop

By Philip Cola, PhD, Associate Director, Academic Affairs, DM Programs

On Saturday, May 11, 2019, I participated in the now second annual no-cost (free) workshop to help practitioner-scholars prepare journal articles for submission to the Engaged Management ReView (EMR) journal.  The event host was Temple University this year.  The EMR Journal Editors and the Executive Doctor of Business Administration Council (EDBAC) organizes the workshop.  One year ago, Georgia State University (GSU) hosted the first workshop of this nature, which has resulted in several publications and in-process papers, including one from Dale Hartz, DM 14 and myself.  Dale and I also participate in the Engaged Practitioner Scholars (EPS) Research Fellowship offered to practitioner scholars to continue conducting research at Weatherhead.

This year, in addition to myself, three other CWRU DM/PhD alumni participated in the workshop at Temple.  Bart Morrison, DM 02, Larry Straub, DM 15, and Montressa Washington, PhD 15, all submitted extended abstracts or draft papers to the workshop.  I am collaborating with Larry on this paper, and a series of other papers related to workforce development in unstable economic environments.  We decided that the opportunity to get feedback from seasoned EMR editors in person was too good to pass up.  Larry and Montressa are also EPS Research Fellows at Weatherhead.   Three of 15 EPS fellows attended and we hope to grow that number substantially in the future, as the EMR Journal is a terrific outlet for research fellows to dive back into their research and move something toward publication with a supportive editorial team.  We also hope to continue to grow the number of alumni participating in the future and re-engaging them with their own research agendas.

I was also able to co-chair, with my friend and colleague Louis Grabowski from GSU, one of the three feedback panels with the prospective authors.  Louis is a graduate of the Executive Doctor of Business Program at GSU and now he serves as the Director of that program.  He and I very much enjoyed reading, editing and conversing with the authors in our group.  We told them it was time to “join or re-join the conversation the contemporary conversation about their research”.  This idea resonated well with the group, and although we were critical at times, we tried to provide positive constructive feedback to move their research agendas forward and to submit to EMR after a round of edits following the group’s collective feedback.  Kalle Lyytinen and Lars Mathiassen (GSU) chaired the other two feedback panels and a total of 11 papers were submitted and reviewed.  Participating authors came from Assumption College, Case Western Reserve University, Franklin University, Georgia State University, Harrisburg University, Henley University, Newman University, Penn State University, Shenandoah University, and Temple University.  There was much diversity of topics, approaches and all three EMR genres of writing were included in the proposed submissions (i.e., empirical, essay, and translation).  The wide variety of papers and representation from many organizations made the day very rewarding.

Again, the goal of the workshop is to have executive doctoral students and graduates prepare articles for submission to the EMR Journal.  The journal is a joint venture between EDBAC and Case Western Reserve University aimed at publishing research from the EDBAC community.  Participants learned about the profile of the journal, received guidance for how to develop submission, and gained experience about developing and reviewing articles for the journal, as presented by Kalle and Lars.  Louis presented a session on his personal experience with writing, re-writing and re-writing again one of the first submissions and empirical publications of EMR.

Temple University was a terrific host this year and participants left excited for their next steps with their own research agendas.  Everyone received a good deal of feedback, but more importantly now had an even more concrete plan as to what to do next in the publication process.  One participant wrote to Kalle and Lars, “Your strategic insight and vision didn't just create EMR, but created a foundation for an unforgettable experience for faculty and researchers alike. I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to seeing many publications from those assembled.” 

I agree completely, and additionally, for me personally it was re-invigorating and refreshing to have so much energy around people’s research interests.  We truly did re-join the conversations that we are all interested in having about our research.  Now it is back to revising my current pending submission to EMR and working on the next one to come later this summer!

Spring/Summer 2019: Greetings from the Director

By Kalle Lyytinen 
The 24th year of the DM programs is winding down. We awarded 12 new degrees, whereby the total number of DM/PhD alumni will now be a little shy of 300: 215 are DM graduates and 83 are PhD graduates. Next year, when we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the DM program and 10th anniversary of our PhD program, we will break the magical 300 number. By far, we are one of the largest doctoral alumni groups in management in the world!

This year has been eventful in the history of the DM as we have gone through a careful positioning of our programs, including exploring a name change of the DM toward DBA with a positive alumni and faculty response. The professional doctorate degree market is changing and so is the competition. We need to meet the expectations of potential new student audiences. As part of this process we recently organized a task force lead by Professor Richard Boyatzis, participated in by faculty, alumni and staff, to look at changes in DM/DBA market positioning, curriculum and so on. The task force submitted a report, and we are currently examining ways to integrate the recommendations into our curriculum and marketing message. Changes address items such as the number and length of residencies, required methods courses and the pricing of the program. The report also seeks enhanced ways to integrate practice engagement during the program through increased alumni involvement. We are currently reviewing these options and will develop over the summer more detailed plans of future program changes.  We expect to announce the changes in the DM Program in the fall and the timeline for implementation.

We have also created a second task force lead by Professor Jagdip Singh which will conduct a program review of the PhD program. We expect this task force to finish its work by the end of summer. We will introduce related changes at the same time as we announce the changes in the DM. All these steps are carried out to ensure our programs’ continued scholarly leadership and to advance the legacy of the DM program in the next 25 years.

The strength of this community has always been its intellectual openness, boldness and entrepreneurial spirit combined with academic honesty and rigor. We hope that the proposed changes will continue to advance our community as a strong innovator and advocate for practitioner focused doctoral degrees. I look forward seeing all of you in the April 2020 as we celebrate 25 years of history rooted in excellence!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Annual DM Research Symposium

To welcome our students and kick off the spring semester, the annual DM Research Symposium was held on January 16, 2019. To start the day, Kalle Lyytinen greeted everyone in attendance and at the end of the day, he also provided his valuable comments in an overview of the day-long session.

Twenty-six students presented  the status of their qualitative or quantitative research at the Symposium. Please see the list of presentations here. The dissemination of research is one of the most important pieces of doctoral education.  A key benefit of this activity is that students find feedback from peers and advisors to be very valuable throughout the research journey.

First year students attended the presentations as well to learn about all the fascinating, rigorous and relevant research that is ongoing within the program. 

Each presentation included the following in a 12-minute timed presentation:
  1. Problem of practice 
  2. Research question(s) and the theoretical framework or hypothesized model
  3. Description of the sample and any other relevant methodological details
  4. Emergent results and supporting data analytics 
  5. Implications of the results 
  6. Limitations and future research
  7. 3-5 key references

Friday, January 25, 2019

Winter 2018: Greetings from the Director

By: Kalle Lyytinen
A new year, 2019 has begun and I am celebrating my 10th year as the Director of the program. As Director, I have met and worked with 15 different cohorts of this program. At the same time, we are midway through our 24th academic year in the program and are preparing for the 25th anniversary. We just had our January residency with typical cold Cleveland weather which everybody learns to deal with during the course of the program. We gracefully overcame weather-related challenges!

During this spring we will continue our efforts to compete better in an increasingly crowded marketplace of executive DBA programs (there are 45 of them just in North America). To address this challenge, we started our capital campaign, continue to invest in DM community efforts and work on the proper and sharper marketing message with Weatherhead’s marketing team. We plan to implement changes to our website and its content and invest more on Internet searches and online marketing.

Another issue we seek to address is the desire to change the degree name as expressed by a portion of the DM alumni and student community to the established and ‘standard’ label of DBA. You have received by now the invitation to express your opinions and justifications for changing the degree name and to vote in favor or against it. We hope that we can reach over half of our alumni (approximately 145 alumni) so that we can say after the vote that whatever the outcome, we had at least half of the alumni express their opinion on this important matter. 

We will announce the results of the alumni vote in February and then have a DM faculty meeting to vote on the name change. If the majority vote is in favor, we are hopeful we will get the proposal for the name change to the University board and administrators by mid-March so that the University Board of Trustees can make a decision in the summer. If enough backing is offered at each stage, by 2020 when the program celebrates 25 years, the name change will be official. If the decision is positive we will start sending out documents to all who want to use the new degree name.  Our decision has been that this change is not obligatory. If you want to keep your title as DM or EDM, you can do so! Finally, I want to thank everyone on the alumni committee who has overseen the process for their help and support.

Mark your calendar for our 25th year anniversary planned for April 24-25, 2020! If you have any suggestions for the program or want to be involved in planning or organizing the program please contact either Beth Fitz-Gibbon ( or Joann Farrell Quinn