University spaces form something of a communal meeting place for practitioners in the field and academics that research problems faced in business. Both sets of experiences have value to offer to a discussion, and the intersection of both worlds can produce unique and unconventional approaches to solving problems and doing business.
The Fox School’s Executive Doctorate in Business Administration program marries the worlds of business practice and academic scholarship, inviting professionals to develop their theoretical acumen and research skills to better address the problems they encounter in their own work. Graduates of the DBA program are valued and sought after as individuals who understand the demands of firms in a very real and practical way while also embodying the critical thinking and thoroughness that comes from academic pursuits.
That’s why several Fox DBA alumni were selected to share their expertise and help decide the recipients of the 2022 Responsible Research in Management award. The award is presented by the Responsible Research in Business & Management (RRBM), an organization tasked with sharing and developing valuable scholarship in the realm of management and organizational research.
Shauna Yeldell, DBA ’19, participated on the review board that vetted the research. As a former business executive with decades of experience in commercial lending, Yeldell was able to bring a real-world perspective when considering the potential for research to make an impact in her field.
“I’ve always wanted to be in a position to be called upon, to share my work experience and research perspectives,” says Yeldell. “You need practitioners out in the world working, but you also need researchers who offer recommendations that business leaders wouldn’t come to on their own.”
Thomas Stone, DBA ’18, was also selected for the review board. Stone’s years of senior executive experience in finance and strategic planning provided him with a unique qualification to understand the real-world potential of a proposal.
“In the DBA program, we were always focused on developing knowledge that will have an impact on business and not just remain an abstract, theoretical exercise,” says Stone. “As current and former business executives, DBA students and graduates have a bias toward actionable findings for research.”
Like many students of the DBA program, Yeldell and Stone were able to develop their familiarity with academic writing while gaining insights from committee members and classmates. Sitting on the review board afforded them an opportunity to engage in the kinds of rigorous theoretical work undertaken during their coursework while sharing their time to help highlight and uplift meaningful research.
“I wanted to be able to provide my perspective as a banker in asking how we can empower people with fewer resources,” says Yeldell. “The DBA program helped teach me how to process and understand that style of scholarly writing, and I was able to broaden my perspectives through the literature and techniques we were taught.”
Both Yeldell and Stone expressed gratitude in having the opportunity to take part in the process and an interest in an ongoing engagement with academia.
“My tie to academia is always thinking about how we can really measure impact and communicate those findings in a way that’s understandable to the folks that are making decisions,” says Yeldell. “The methodology and subject of the paper I read were really interesting, so I had a very pleasant experience.”
“I’ve been accepted to serve on the Executive Review Board next year, so I will have the chance to see other research that may be as significant as the article I read,” says Stone. “I’m looking forward to it.”