Weatherhead launches new design and innovation doctoral program


Arianna Wage / Observer

The Weatherhead School of Management, which is primarily housed in the Peter B. Lewis Building, recently opened its the department of design and innovation, drawing faculty from marketing, policy and strategy and information system fields.

Tanvi Parmar, Staff Reporter

The Weatherhead School of Management recently started a new Ph.D. program in the Department of Design and Innovation, chaired by Professor Dick Buchanan, who headed the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University.

This department combines three groups of faculty across the fields of marketing, policy and strategy and information systems. All three fields share common concerns for industry and management.

The faculty members’ goals are to focus on creating knowledge for generating novel and valuable products, services and systems, as well as developing organizational leaders and entrepreneurs who are skilled in designing innovative, value-creating relationships with customers, stakeholders and society.

Buchanan hopes that the addition of this department will move the school to a good balance between analytics and practical work.

The department offers a Ph.D. in management. It is the first ever doctorate in operations research grounded in the analytic system science. It also is the first doctorate in organizational behavior, centered around a humanistic, appreciative approach to management inquiry. Not to mention it is the first ever Doctor of Management (DM) for practitioner- scholars, concerned with analyzing problems of management practice.

The principles for the Ph.D. in management with a concentration in Design and Innovation are to provide a rigorous interdisciplinary training in theory and methods through core courses and to challenge students to develop research articles in each year of study that draw from their interdisciplinary trainings.

The program offers six courses: research theory and method, qualitative research methods, measurement in management research, multivariate data analysis, theory building and analysis and advanced data analysis, that are intended to offer interdisciplinary orientation

At the end of their first and second years, students are asked to write and present a publishable paper that displays their progress in the program. Students also must attend the interdisciplinary research seminar series during each year of study. After finishing coursework, students will take an exam that will determine whether or not they can begin the dissertation phase of the program.

The program offers either an information systems specialization or a marketing specialization, and each seeks different kind of students.
Buchanan said, “I certainly hope that students understand and find new kinds of jobs and be better equipped for management positions. [I hope] they keep their education relevant to the needs of business and management.”