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Perhaps someone with direct experience can help with some clarification.

My research interests involve human resources in the truest sense. But the phd program in which I have an interest is listed as an "interdisciplinary" degree. I have a masters degree from an AACSB school in accountancy (24 hours in graduate accounting). Of course, the phd would NOT be AACSB because it isn't even a business degree.

My real goal is to conduct research related to business decisions made based upon labor availability and the implications of technology, etc.

So my question (even after reading the AACSB definition) is if I pursue such a degree (where my passion lies), would I be considered AQ for a college/school of business as per AACSB standards? My intuition tells me no, but I just want to get some feedback.

I should clarify that I'm not only interested in the AACSB official position, but also in how a faculty in business schools might view such a situation. That's why I included the "direct experience" part. Any faculty members at AACSB schools with an opinion?

I've reviewed 13 "similar" questions on this site and am still lost as to the answer as the other questions differ significantly in the details.

Thank you

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    Why don't you ask AACSB for an interpretation? If they agree you would be qualified, get it in writing. You need to know not only what the rules are, but how strictly they are interpreted and enforced. You will get a better answer than anything here. – Buffy Aug 29 '18 at 16:36
  • I should clarify that I'm not only interested in the AACSB official position, but also in how a faculty in business schools might view such a situation. That's why I included the "direct experience" part. Thanks Buffy – Woblee Aug 29 '18 at 16:48
  • In general, you should look at the faculty hired for AACSB schools who have HR focus and see what their qualifications are. Especially look at newer faculty hires. If some substantial portion of current faculty come from interdisciplinary degrees, then I think you would be in good shape. – Dawn Aug 29 '18 at 17:30
  • Related, not B-school specific: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/95081/… – Dawn Aug 29 '18 at 17:41
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When a department looks to hire, they have to make an official statement about which degrees should apply to the position. So the first place to look is job ads for positions you are interested in. There should be a sentence like, "Applicants should have a Ph.D. in ..." to show the "acceptable" degrees. As Business schools typically hire in the Fall, there should be many examples of these job ads currently circulating.

However, what departments do is more important than what they say. Notably, departments may say they are open to interdisciplinary degrees, but then only hire from disciplinary programs. To check this, you should look at the CVs of current faculty at AACSB schools who have HR focus and see what their qualifications are. Especially look at newer faculty hires. If some substantial portion of current faculty come from interdisciplinary degrees like the one you are considering, then I think you would be in good shape. Otherwise, I would reconsider your plan.

  • That's very good advice. I'm already reconsidering my plan. I'm actually interested in "teaching" business and doing research related to HR, etc. and HR seems to sometimes be a business discipline and other times is considered a social science depending on the exact school. I doubt there are many opportunities in either...which is why I would want to be able to "teach" (probably accounting) within a business school. But yes, you've at least partially confirmed what I suspected. – Woblee Aug 29 '18 at 18:31
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    Seems like it would fall either under business (HR) or economics (labor economics). I am not sure what you mean by "I doubt there are many opportunities in either." I don't think the opportunities would be different in those fields compared to accounting? In most schools, you teach in your research area. If you want to teach accounting, you would not research HR or labor, you would research accounting. – Dawn Aug 29 '18 at 20:37
  • Accounting is extremely high demand. HR demand (even in a school of business) is much less. I've even considered doing the PhD that I want and applying to a "teaching" school. The issue being that I'm not sure any research I did would be taken seriously. In the end, I'll likely end up in a more traditional business program that can hopefully incorporate some of what I want to do. I guess what I'm saying is I want, as you put it. a "labor economics" degree with business school pay (just being honest). Was hoping to use the accounting masters (I'm also a CPA) to make that work. – Woblee Aug 29 '18 at 20:53
  • But as you referenced earlier, @Dawn, the job announcements tend to reference accounting phds, etc. – Woblee Aug 29 '18 at 20:55
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    I see what you are getting at. Accounting faculty are in higher demand right now, but I can't guarantee that they would be by the time you finish your PhD. You are correct that business departments pay more than econ departments, but most econ departments are catching up (past 6 figures in most R1 and R2 cases). It is not unusual for economists to be hired by business schools, although the fit has to be there. Also, even in a "teaching school" you would need to have the appropriate PhD. I don't think it is substantially easier to teach outside of your PhD in a "teaching school." – Dawn Aug 29 '18 at 22:06

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