G. Robinson1, G. McLaughlin2

1Capella University/Chancellor University (UNITED STATES)
2Capella University (UNITED STATES)
The new Doctor of Business Administration [DBA] Program at a recognized US University is a disruptive innovation in the field of doctoral education. It is meeting the demand for professional doctoral education as a next step in individual professional development. It is disruptive in several ways. First, the courses and curriculum, face-to-face Residencies and Mentor courserooms are innovative by design. Second, learners are matched with a DBA Mentor, chosen for their expertise and strong interpersonal skills. Third, the dissertation process begins immediately with learners choosing a preliminary topic by end of quarter 1.

One of the unique innovative characteristics is its high touch character achieved through technology. Additional elements of disruptive innovation are examined in detail:

1. Recognition that online education is an innovative and disruptive force in the delivery of higher education. Christiansen (2011 ) and others have commented on the advantages of online education and as a disruptive force.
2. Design is the new fulcrum for management to achieve its performance goals. A truly adaptive design, the Capella DBA degree's composes ten core courses, ten parallel mentor course rooms, three increasingly demanding face-to-face residencies and two dissertation courses. All formulated to enable the candidate to graduate in 12 quarters or less.
3. Learners continuously express their satisfaction with the program, as it does not have the “feel” of an online degree. This is truly a disruptive innovation outcome. There are numerous real-time instructor presentations with learners participating, ample time with Mentors and a series of coordinated presentations and a comprehensive strategy on completing the dissertation.

In essence the new University DBA program meets the definition of innovation (Zhuang,1995 and Zhuang, Williamson, and Carter 1999), through three qualities of innovation:

1. An invention, i.e, creation of something entirely new;
2. An improvement, i.e., a refinement of what has been developed;
3. The diffusion or adoption of innovation developed elsewhere (Zhuang, et al., 1999) p. 58).

It is inventive from the aspect of something entirely new by beginning the dissertation in the first quarter, and providing learners with a comprehensive strategy and unique resources to complete the dissertation in 12 quarters.
It is an improvement from the aspect of closer contact with candidates and the mentoring process as would be experienced in a more traditional setting.
It is the result of diffusion or adoption of innovation developed elsewhere through the application of competencies and outcomes pedagogy.