Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.

EDUCATION DOCTORATE GRADUATES’ PERCEPTIONS OF A SCHOLARLY PRACTITIONER DOCTORAL PROGRAM PREPARING THEM TO BE PROBLEM SOLVERS AND CHANGE-AGENTS

J. McAtavey

Barry University (UNITED STATES)
Developing knowledge, skills and experiences of employees adds value to an organization. Improving employees’ performance contributes to the growth and productivity of the organization. Human Capital Theory asserts that the growth of higher education is a result of a knowledge economy where the need for more cutting-edge skills and expertise are important for leaders’ and organizational success. Due to this trend, universities are offering professional education doctorate degrees that emphasize scholarly-practitioner approaches. These programs are more experiential in nature and are designed to prepare leaders to lead multifaceted organizations. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological research study was to explore the perceptions and lived experiences of graduates from a scholarly-practitioner educational doctoral program. The researcher sought to understand the graduates’ perception of how prepared they were to implement effective solutions to effect change in organizations. Data was collected and analyzed from the first ten participants who responded to the survey. Repeated patterns of meaning where identified during the data analysis process utilizing thematic analysis. Themes were identified, and their meanings and implications were theorized relative to previous literature. Three themes emerged. The first being that their Education Doctorate (EDD) program provided them with experiences, knowledge and skills which was the impetus for them being able to lead change-driven solution initiatives after they graduated. The second theme was that they were prepared to research and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, teams, organizations, and the organizational community at-large. The third theme showed that they learned how to work with diverse communities and build partnerships. The study utilized a theoretical framework of Bandura’s self-efficacy which focuses on an individual’s belief in their ability to thrive in a specific situation. One of the four major sources of self-efficacy is “mastery experiences,” where performing a task well increases a person’s sense of self-efficacy.