Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Linda Samek, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Debra Espinor, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Justine Haigh, Ph.D.


Many students explore business topics in their dissertations because they are relevant research areas for future scholar-practitioners such as leaders, educators, researchers, and consultants. Nevertheless, there is limited scholarship on the content of dissertations from PhD and practitioner doctoral programs. Dissertation research methodology choices, page lengths, and research topics have not been studied extensively. Few studies have been conducted to explore the differences and similarities between researcher-oriented and practitioner-oriented dissertations. This study examined dissertations written on business topics in the recent ten years using content analysis to address these gaps. A sample of dissertations uploaded in the years 2010, 2015, and 2020 from an open-access academic database, Digital Commons Network Business Commons (2020), was used. This study found from the years 2015 to 2020, there was an increase in the number of qualitative dissertations compared to that of the year 2010. Mean page length of dissertations was longer for PhD programs compared to practitioner doctoral counterparts. Page lengths of quantitative dissertations were shorter than qualitative dissertations on average. In 2020, a new business research topic, Business Analytics, emerged. The Chi- Square tests of independence; the one-way ANOVA and the post-hoc Tukey HSD test; and the independent t-tests were used to analyze relationships for dissertation page lengths, methodology choice, and the publication year (2010, 2015, and 2020).