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ESCP Business School has launched Global Executive Ph.D. program_Aug_1
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ESCP Business School has launched Global Executive Ph.D. program 


ESCP Business School are welcoming top-level executives into their community with the launch of their brand-new Executive Ph.D. program.


Why did ESCP launch a Global Executive Ph.D.?

We saw several reasons for launching an Executive PhD designed for senior executives motivated by academic research. 


Our goal is to give senior executives, all motivated by lifelong learning, a real opportunity to complete a PhD level program based on a research based thesis. This consistent with an executive’s busy schedule. We are very excited about the research and learnings that this program will produce. An Executive Ph.D. is a research-oriented program allowing participants to become the “world

expert”, on a particular subject. Our participants have 10 - 25 years of senior experience behind them. Combining this rich experience with rigorous research will produce real world and applicable findings.  Additionally, ESCP is one of only three business/engineering schools in France to have a doctoral school and therefore able to deliver state-recognized (PhD) diplomas.  


It is so apparent today with the current COVID 19 context that, all around the world, individuals and organizations are experiencing rapid and unprecedented change in what they do, how they do it and even why they do it. Increasing globalization, geopolitical changes and the emergence of new technologies demand new ways of working and a new and diverse set of skills. 


The launch of the Global Executive Ph.D. program coincides with the values of lifelong learning, part of ESCP’s key values and something which is required in today's world. We all need to learn continuously, regardless of what stage we are in our career. Study and academic challenges do not finish after an MBA or an Executive MBA! Today's new leaders are those who embrace continuous learning and who strive to continually increase their knowledge, skills and abilities.


For which audience this program is designed? 

We are attracting an extremely strong cohort of international, high-level executives all sharing successful academic and professional careers.  This network is quite unique. 


Our Executive Ph.D. is designed for executives passionate about lifelong learning, motivated by research at the highest level, and who have a strong desire to constantly challenge themselves.  

In our experience, high-level profiles with 15+ years of professional experience are looking for a new stage in their career. Some individuals want to build on their professional achievements, become an expert in their field and eventually share their experience through teaching in Business Schools and Universities. Others want to become full-time professors and need a doctoral-level program compatible with an executive's agenda to achieve this.


The participants we have admitted are senior executives who work in a wide variety of sectors, finance, banking, retail, fashion. As I said, they all share a passion for learning and knowledge and want to combine their high level experience with research. 


The program we have designed is fully adapted to busy schedules. 


What are the main criteria of differentiation of ESCP’s Global Executive Ph.D.?  

The research based PhD with the possibility of gaining a state recognized degree, for those taking the Academic track, is quite unique on the market. When you combine this with the senior and international participants and faculty, you have a program that is a world leader. 


Participants benefit from access to the best international professors on the ESCP Business School campus as well as visiting professors from other top schools (such as Harvard, Wharton, Tsinghua, etc.). The program allows you to become a knowledge leader in your field and boosts both your personal & professional development at this vital stage of your career. 


Depending on the topic you choose, the program will increase your added value for your company, your customers or your partners and allow you to become an opinion leader in your field and make meaningful contributions in real-life situations.


  • As far as the format is concerned, as indicated, the program is part time and is a 3 to 4-year program. The first year, the program is structured around three weeks (two in Paris, one in our Madrid or Berlin campus).  Two weeks are devoted to research methods (what is research, how to do research, what type of data should be collected, etc.) as well as one week with advanced specialization courses or seminars. These seminars allow you to develop your research skills and deepen your understanding of topics related to the research areas you wish to concentrate on or learn from.   


The primary objective is to equip you with the tools to write a PhD thesis. The second objective is to introduce you to different thesis advisors and to find the faculty member who you will work with for your thesis. This part of the program is absolutely crucial. We need to work with you to find the advisor that is suited for you both technically and as far as personality is concerned.  The third objective is to help you refine the subject matter of your thesis.  


The following years - 2 or 3 years - are devoted developing and writing your PhD thesis, the central part of the program. We are often asked what the workload is. Depending on the time, you need to spend an average of 15-20 hours per week on your thesis.


Compared to a traditional PhD, there are two advantages for senior managers & executives. It allows people with a busy schedule to complete a thesis while working. The second advantage is that candidates, during the first stage of the program, have the time to refine their thesis topic and find the appropriate thesis advisor. We require the same level of quality for our full-time doctoral candidates as our executive doctoral candidates. The difference lies only in the format of the full time doctoral program and the profile of the candidates (significantly more senior for the Executive PhD).


Of course, you will become a part of our influential worldwide network of 60,000 ESCP graduates spanning more than 150 countries!



MICHAEL HAENLEIN, Professor of marketing, Associate Dean of ESCP Executive Ph.D. and Scientific Director of the ESCP Europe Research Center on Big Data.


He is the most cited researcher in the field of Word-of-Mouth, among the top three in the field of Customer Relationship Management and among the top ten in the field of Social Influence. Since May 2019 Michael is part of the Executive Committee of EMAC where he serves as Vice President Corporate Relationships.



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