Doctor of Business Leadership

Doctor of Business Leadership

An Important Career Landmark

The Doctor of Business Leadership (DBL) is designed to prepare senior executives to more effectively assume overall leadership responsibility within a substantial multi-business unit organisation operating in intensely competitive national and global markets. The DBL involves a learning journey that has been identified by corporate leaders, their boards and past DBL participants as vital preparation to deal with increasingly complex and dynamic contexts.

Many corporate leaders have gained their formal organisational positions as a consequence of their performance and meritorious achievements, complemented by general management education in courses such as the MBA, but frequently have not had opportunities to undertake higher education CEO level leadership courses suited to senior corporate executives where the outcomes of Master level courses in management have been surpassed. The DBL equips candidates to accelerate their leadership development by assisting them to make explicit their implicit personal contingent leadership paradigm, drawing on their personal leadership journey.

The DBL provides personal challenges and capability enhancement opportunities for experienced executives who have demonstrated the ability to contribute to the success of their enterprises over at least a ten-year period and who have completed a Master Degree in a relevant business or leadership discipline.

The DBL reflects the proposition “when theory is deduced through practice research, it is more likely to successfully guide future practice.” In essence, good theory is good practice.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion, candidates will have the capacity to:

  • Act with ethical, legal, social and environmental responsibility in their own business context with consideration of the global impact of their actions

  • Articulate their role aspirations in a business environment demonstrating understanding of the history that shaped the development of their field of business and how they are perceiving and shaping their future

  • Identify global stakeholders in their field and recognise their role in the development and oversight of their particular business environment

  • Source, analyse, synthesise, evaluate and transform information to inform decision making processes

  • Apply specialist skills, relevant theory and logical thought to decision‐making in business practice

  • Select and apply appropriate methods, models and tools to solve problems in response to a range of business scenarios and strategic business needs

  • Demonstrate leadership and collaborative skills to perform effectively in a team within a business context

  • Communicate knowledge and ideas to a range of stakeholders, both verbally and in writing, including the use of modern technologies

  • Communicate effectively in culturally diverse business environments and apply skills and knowledge to international contexts

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of who they are as a leader/manager in their context, including understanding of the complexities.

Program Overview

The Doctor of Business Leadership commences with four coursework double-subjects covering  leadership theories and practice, case analyses, leadership ethics and leadership issues, which provide a background of relevant leadership knowledge, research skills and insights required for the second stage of the course.

Following completion of the four coursework double-subjects, under supervision candidates evolve and critique (and, if necessary, re-think) a personal contingent leadership paradigm through documentation and analysis of personal leadership experiences, which is then submitted for external examination.

The Doctor of Business Leadership is recognised nationally and internationally under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

The course can be completed remotely over the internet and via video and voice conferencing.

Program Faculty

Professor Ramzi Fayed

Professor Stephen Duns

Professor Leigh Gassner

Professor Stan Glaser


Professor Jessica Murphy

VLADAs leonas

Professor Philip Hadcroft

Associate Prof. Khimji Vaghjiani


Who Should Apply

Executives who should apply for admission to the Doctor of Business Leadership include, for example:

  • Experienced senior executives preparing to take on more significant leadership roles;
  • Business unit leaders aspiring to CEO-level positions;
  • Leaders of substantial teams wishing to broaden and boost their career trajectory;
  • CEO-level leaders looking for an opportunity to consolidate and demonstrate contributions to leadership practice throughout their career.

Admission Criteria

Applicants to the doctoral program are expected to satisfy the following academic criteria:

  • Possession of a Master’s degree by thesis or dissertation appropriate to the professional field of the applicant; or
  • Possession of a Master’s degree by coursework appropriate to the professional field of the applicant completed at a superior standard; or
  • Possession of a Bachelor’s degree with Honours (typically 1st Class or Class 2A Honours level or equivalent); or
  • In exceptional circumstances, an equivalent academic background that is considered by the University to be an appropriate preparation for independent study and research work at doctoral level.

An applicant may be required to satisfy the University that they are able to understand and communicate in both written and spoken English at a level adequate for the purpose of pursuing doctoral level research. To proceed to stage 2 the candidate will need to present a Critique proposal that satisfies their Review Panel.

In addition to the academic criteria listed above, applicants are normally expected to have a minimum of 10 years of relevant professional leadership practice experience to be admitted to the course. 

More information and how to enrol

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