Crafting and Critiquing a Doctoral Problem Statement

Topic: Crafting and Critiquing a Doctoral Problem Statement

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Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.

—Robert F. Kennedy, June 6, 1966

As you have progressed through the early stages of your DBA journey at, you have begun to form relationships with your fellow candidates, and they should have become trusted colleagues. Such colleagues can provide necessary support. They can also provide objective, thoughtful critiques to help you improve upon your work. As Kennedy noted, it takes bravery to face the critique of one’s peers. It also takes courage to give thoughtful, rigorous, and constructive criticism. Yet both are vital to your continued success. If you expect to receive the full benefit of such a critique, you must invest the time and thought necessary to give such a critique to your colleagues. Your doctoral problem statement will serve as the foundation for the remainder of your doctoral study. Nothing is more important to success than constructing a proper foundation. Use the opportunity to give and receive critique from your colleagues to ensure that foundation is solid and secure.

To prepare, recall the potential research question you identified in DDBA 8006

a 100–200 word doctoral problem statement that adheres to the guidelines outlined in the DBA rubric. The problem statement must comprise of the following four parts:

The hook with citation (current/peer-reviewed scholarly article)
The anchor with citation (current/peer-reviewed scholarly article)
The general business problem
The specific business problem

*IMPORTANT*Specifically looking for 4 sentences: 1) Hook – think of a catchy headline that grabs your attention; 2) Anchor – this grounds/supports your hook with numerical data; 3) general business problem – identifies what is the problem, who has it, and how they are impacted, and 4) specific business problem – who owns the problem, what are they lacking or need to improve upon their circumstances.

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