“I’ve Been in a Box Too Long and I Didn’t Even Realise That I Was.” How Can We Conceptualise the Subjective Well-Being of Students Undertaking a Part-Time DBA? The IICC Model

David Stoten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The well-being of doctoral students is a matter of concern for the Higher Education sector, not least during the Covid pandemic. The challenge of a doctorate is regarded as a test of a student’s capability as an independent researcher and for future career potential. However, this challenge extends beyond the formal examination process to include a test of the student’s resilience and the ability to cope with a multitude of pressures that emanate from a variety of sources. Hitherto, much of the research into doctoral students’ well-being has concentrated on the experience of full-time Ph.D. students. This article reports on the well-being of part-time students enrolled onto a professional doctorate—the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). Unlike full-time campus-based doctorates, many part-time professional doctorates are often remote, take longer to complete, and present a range of challenges that affect work, family life, and health, albeit to varying degrees. This article set out to ascertain how British and Dutch DBA students cope with the challenges of studying for a part-time doctorate. In doing so, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to elicit students’ experiences of their doctoral journey and their subjective well-being. The findings point not only to the stress placed on personal well-being and family life but also the resilience of students and the sense of fulfilment that is associated with doctoral study. This article offers a conceptualisation of this complex phenomenon through the Individual, Institutional, Challenge, and Coping strategies (IICC) model.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Continuing Higher Education
Early online date6 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2022

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