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PhDs for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 9:57 AM

I've recently come across a Phd program that focuses on leadership and service vs the very traditional biz or engineering etc... I'm wondering what the concensus is on attaining a Phd for industry or if they're really intended to head into academia? Any thoughts or comments would be grealty appreciated.

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#1

Re: PhD's for industry or education

07/16/2007 10:47 AM

I have no idea what that program would be teaching. \

In companies that I've worked for they pay Phd's much more money but understand they do much less work. I was in a meeting were we needed to get some engineering work done in a hurry and we needed to decide who to assign it to. We eliminated all the Phd's as useless in a crunch and gave it to a young engineer who did an excellent job in much less time.

Maybe the number of Phd's add something to a companies prospectus, I don't know why they put up with them.

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#2

Re: PhD's for industry or education

07/16/2007 11:02 AM

Keep in mind that the Phd program isn't specific to engineering as I have no intention of heading down that path.

Many institutions are developing leadership development programs, including U of WI - Madison. For the naysayers, Madison has the highest density of Fortune 500 CEO's than any other US school including Wharton and Harvard. (MBA's)

I'm picking up on the fact that die hard engineers have no time to be thinking about these things as they are too busy "doing".

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#3

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 11:49 AM

My first thought is a question. This is not meant to be flippant, so please don't take it as such. Has the MBA become so common that the PhD is the "new" MBA? Here's another thought (again, a question): Would getting a PhD in leadership or service make someone so "overqualified" that they would have a hard time landing a job?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 12:10 PM

Great questions. I posted really to get those answered. I have a MSOM (Operations Management) but like you said, every T,D, & H has one or something of the equivelant. (MBA) There are a lot of discussions lately about leadership development, GE has been doing it for years and even has their own "university" for training. Like you asked, I fear being overqualified and would have no choice but to go into academia. Or is the degree so general that it really doesn't fit the mold for anything?

I guess the question still remains, are MBA's like BS degree's? Is a PhD specific to academia? (The pay and hours would be nice!) Is "leadership" a new buzzword that everyone is latching onto or is it there a legitate need for "qualified" leaders?

If anyone's interested, the degree is offered by Cardinal Stritch here in WI and UW Madison also is developing a similar program.

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#5

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 3:27 PM

Leaders are defined in many ways, so yes, a leader "does" something. But in the same manner that engineering evolved into a "degreed" program, it seems as though leadership is also.

If you're truly interested in what I'm talking about, search the archives of the Wall Street Journal, CareerJournal.com, Business Week, and Industry Week. All of the them have been speaking about the lack of good leadership and what can be done about it.

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#6

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 3:34 PM

Folks,

This is a moderated forum. Stop the personal attacks. Call it even and get on with a substantive discussion. Insults have been deleted and the slate is clean.

Moose

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#7

Re: PhD for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 3:46 PM

I shall re-phrase my response.

I don't believe Leadership & service is a valid topic for a phd.

I don't believe leadership can be taught.

Were I interviewing some one for a job I would be sceptical of such a qualification...

What would you think if you were in that position?

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: PhD for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 4:50 PM

What would you think if you were in that position?

Interesting point, if I were a hiring manager that would really make me think twice.

I don't believe leadership can be taught

I realize this is an engineering forum, but I would like to discuss this further. Offline? I haven't an opinion if it can be taught, is instinct, or both.

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#10
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Re: PhD for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 5:07 PM

Can leadership can be taught?

Yes, it is a good question, its the old nature vs nurture thing.

I s'pose if I'm honest I'd say I believe it can be improved/honed, certainly by experience...

But there are definitely those who can lead and those at can't.

I'm old enough to know my strengths and limitations...

I can lead and motivate, a good team leader...but I'm a poor manager!

I don't have the patience for the admin' and am not good at disciplining people.

So leadership also depends on the circumstances...I can lead a team but not a company!

I'd rate honesty and loyalty to the people who work for you as paramount...you will get honesty loyalty and commitment back.

Unfortunately honesty seems a rather rare and flexible commodity in senior management in my experience.

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#9

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/16/2007 4:58 PM

I don't intend to be critical of previous comments and thoughts. They deserve consideration especially in light of the general lack of leadership in business and industry and the attempts at filling that void.

However, I agreed wholeheartedly with Del the Cat. The notion that one can study 'leadership' and become a leader by so doing (with a PHD no less) is preposterous. I believe that leadership can be learned (and not by all), but not taught.

There are many people in positions of 'titled' leadership, but they are labeled leaders because of their status, reputation, etc., in business, politics, society, etc.; others follow these people because they have to, they will benefit by doing so, or believe they are expected to.

True leadership is an intrinsic trait of ones character and leads others to follow unconditionally.

I could ramble on, but enough for now.

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#11

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/17/2007 12:49 AM

A PhD helps to train a person to do systematic research: such as literature review, plan and execute a experiment and further discuss and publish to a community.

Getting a PhD in fields such as leadership and service is also possible to hone one's skills. Thus the "Art of doing" changes to "Science". For example, if you choose a PhD to do research in the topic of "How to promote innovation in service", you may infer from the study why some firms were successful. Hence when a company hires you, they get benefited if they employ you in your domain or atleast they know you can do a systematic research. Today getting PhD in technology management is being preferred than getting a MBA for Research and Development specialists.

Kindly note any education never goes wasted and I strongly recommend to pursue and use your learning in the job.

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#12

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/17/2007 3:10 AM

I think this is all related to the very old philosophical topic "Autoritas" versus "Potestas":

"Autoritas" is the true natural leadership, earned, learned or intuitive. A given person may have "autoritas" on me if there has been a previous experience of good leadership, or by good name of the authority beholder, or by natural charm.

"Potestas" is the given leadership, or power, related to a superior instance. I mean the person has no true "Autoritas", i.e. a questinoble leader in the best case, a tyrant in the worst.

The matter is that most good leaders may start by "Potestas" and in time gain "Autoritas" over their staff.

So in my oppinion "Potestas" can be taught, but "Autoritas" cannot.

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#13

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/17/2007 7:58 AM

Some interesting points, attaining a degree such as the "PhD for the advancement of leadership and service" doesn't mean that you should or will get put into a leadership role but rather can help facilitate leadership development within an organization or conduct research on what makes good leaders effective.

Some are born with, some develop it, a lot never get it.

So if the degree were to be paid for by an employer, would you get it?

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/17/2007 8:33 AM

So if the degree were to be paid for by an employer, would you get it?

Hmm, in my sad old cynical jaded opinion the course would probably a 'staying awake contest' and as such I'd rather be doing real work! (or playing golf).

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#15

Re: PhDs for Industry or Education

07/17/2007 8:42 AM

I am a retired Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineer, I have met many smart and/or educated people but to teach an PHD in leadership is not possible. Yes many items that lead to leadership can be taught but the main ingredient is the person. In all my carreer I met one Leader Black Cat Barton the man who started Greenville, SC Community college. He was a famous football player and had enormous charisma.

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