Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

A Market Analysis Framework for Business Doctoral Education Opportunities

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

A Market Analysis Framework for Business Doctoral Education Opportunities

Article excerpt


Both the popular press and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) predict that demand for business doctoral education will increase substantially (e.g., AACSB, 2013; Damast, 2010; The Economist, 2013). Indeed, AACSB (2013) noted that doctoral education is entering a new age filled with significant challenges but substantial opportunities for increasing doctoral program innovation, accessibility, and delivery. Yet, understanding the market for business doctoral education has proven extremely challenging, with few attempts made even to codify a process of analysis for this opportunity. This is especially important given increasing pressure on institutions to develop resources-and to utilize them more effectively-and the concomitant pressures to improve institutional reputation and branding. Since these are largely strategic marketing issues, the authors adapt classic market analysis as a preliminary framework for accomplishing this task.

There is a growing body of literature that adapts business-related marketing concepts to higher education (Kotier & Fox, 1995; Kotier & Levy, 1969a; 1969b; Bugandwa Mungu Akonkwa, 2009). For example, Ma and Todorovic (2011) and Hammond and Webster (2011) explore the concept of market orientation in institutions of higher education. Munteanu, Ceobanu, Bobalca & Anton (2010) apply the idea of customer satisfaction in a university setting.

The purpose of this paper is to develop a market analysis framework to explore strategic opportunities in the doctoral education market. The paper extends the current literature by adapting the classic market analysis model to this facet of higher education. The authors use the following dimensions, as suggested by Aaker (2014), to structure the market analysis framework: 1) emerging submarkets, 2) market and submarket size, 3) market and submarket growth, 4) market profitability, 5) cost structure, 6) distribution systems, 7) market trends, and 8) key success factors. In this paper, the authors first review and discuss the relevant literature and market analysis models. Next, the various dimensions of the proposed market analysis framework are defined and the relevance of the framework to doctoral education is discussed. Also included are examples of data, and their potential sources, that may be obtained for the various dimensions. Lastly, the authors conclude with a discussion of the advantages and challenges of employing the framework.


Business doctoral program opportunities

The demand for Ph.D. holders has been growing over the past 20 years, largely driven by the increase in the number of university students both internationally and nationally (DeMeyer, 2013), resulting in increased recruitment of faculty with doctorates. DeMeyer (2013) proposes that business doctoral education needs to change to keep up with this increasing demand. DeMeyer points out that there needs to be more diversity and efficiency in the delivery of doctoral education and there will be a growing variety in doctoral program models. This is echoed by AACSB's Doctoral Education Task Force.

The AACSB Doctoral Education Task Force recently performed an in-depth review of business doctoral education, its global trends, and its future needs. The Task Force focused on concerns regarding the purpose of business doctoral education, sustainability of doctoral programs, access to doctoral education, and quality of education. In its report (AACSB, 2013), the Task Force noted that doctoral education is entering a new age that is driven by globalization, technology, and evolving faculty models and identified several challenges and opportunities. Consequently, educational institutions could expand the missions of the doctoral program to serve a broader set of individuals with a wider range of career paths, thus increasing the competencies and employability of doctoral graduates. …

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