Organizational Leadership (Ed.D.) - The Dissertation
The dissertation will be a field-based, practice-centered inquiry that attests to the student's understanding of the field and ability to conduct scholarly inquiry about an issue related to leadership practices and performance in organizations from which other leaders can benefit. In addition, the research must provide a unique contribution to the understanding of organizational leadership.
Students may conduct qualitative or quantitative research, culture evaluation, needs assessment, or any other type of research which meets the approval of their Dissertation Committee. The dissertation is expected to meet the highest standards of scholarship and inquiry, and should demonstrate doctoral level composition and format. The writer should identify the problem and its significance, outline the background and literature that informs the problem, and collect and analyze data. This should result in a written document detailing findings, implications, and recommendations for future policy, governance, and/or practice.
The Organizational Leadership major is a 60 semester hour program. The dissertation courses include a minimum of 12 hours beyond the 48 hours of designated courses.
Every Organizational Leadership student will be required to write and defend a dissertation. The Organizational Leadership course of studies emphasizes the development of theory-in-use research and skills with a practitioner focus. A doctoral research study addresses a problem of practice, where the focus is upon the integration of knowledge or its application. A variety of research methods may be used, resulting in a number of alternative forms of scholarly study, such as an organizational improvement study, a culture evaluation study, a governance and policy analysis study, or a problem resolution study. A dissertation generates or confirms knowledge and expanded capacity while linking theory-in-use to current best practice. The process of scholarship, research, and leadership utilizes a variety of research methods, including empirical, interpretive, or critical. All doctoral research studies and dissertations will result in a substantial written document.
Three credit hours of a dissertation seminar are required. The seminar may be taken when the student successfully completes the courses offered during the term in which the student participates in their third summer residency. This enables the graduate students to integrate coursework, field-based action learning, and organizational improvement initiatives into the research design of their dissertation. Nine credit hours of dissertation credit are required during year three. Graduate students not defending their dissertation during the summer following the third year will be expected to maintain continuous enrollment and pay a dissertation continuation one hour tuition fee for each subsequent term until the dissertation is defended and approved.
A Dissertation Policy Manual will be issued by the Division of Graduate Studies in Leadership and published annually. Students are expected to follow all policies, procedures, and guidelines contained in the most recent manual. A student that is unable to complete their dissertation within one year must follow the guidelines issued for the following year. For example, a student that completes their 700 and 800 level coursework in 2010 will be given a Dissertation Policy Manual issued at the Summer Residency Institute in 2010, but if the student's dissertation is not completed by June 30, 2011, the student will then be expected to follow the guidelines and policies contained in the Dissertation Policy Manual issued in July, 2011.
Degree Completion Limits
The Ed.D. program is designed as a lock-step curriculum, which is to be completed in 27 months, plus the dissertation. The time limit for completing the dissertation is four years from the point of completing the DOL-915 course. Any exceptions to this policy must be made via a written petition presented, approved, and filed by the Division Chair.
Doctoral students not completing the dissertation by the end of the July term of the fourth year will be required to maintain continuous enrollment. They will be required to enroll in a one-hour Dissertation Continuation course (DOL-922) with the university each successive term until the dissertation is successfully defended. Students will pay the one hour tuition fee and a $25 per term resource fee to maintain continuous enrollment.
Doctoral students will attain candidacy status upon successful: