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I know that the end product of a master's thesis can be not only a scientific finding, such as the relationship found between certain variables, but also the business plan, or even a concept for a new product or service.

What can be the end product of my PhD dissertation? My idea is to actually to carry out a research project, in other words, to have some 100-200 interviews, collect some qualitative data etc. But can a business plan / model be my actual finding? Can I make a business case, develop that something [and later sell it as a finished product], but still call this everything a PhD by turning the idea into a scientific problem, and having a product as a result / finding?

Can a PhD be an applied research?

Working title: Development of an innovative marketing product (or service) for tourism industry, and understanding a demand for such a product (or service).

Field of study: Marketing / Innovation / Tourism

  • You have not mentioned your field of study. So how would one supposed to answer the question?! – Roboticist Oct 19 '15 at 15:06
  • @matinking Marketing / Innovation / Tourism – Tema Oct 19 '15 at 15:07
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    What does your advisor say? – Bill Barth Oct 19 '15 at 15:09
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    @Tema that would depend on the specifics of the field and on your particular university requirements for being awarded a PhD. If you don't have an advisor yet nor contacts at the university, you can look at former theses of previous students; if no one has that it probably means the answer is no. – Davidmh Oct 19 '15 at 15:14
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    Typically if you do a PhD, the IP will belong to the university (at least partially, but often entirely), so the eventual product would not be yours to sell. Based on your post, I must ask the question why you want a PhD? I get the feeling you misunderstand PhDs on a conceptual level. – Marc Claesen Oct 19 '15 at 15:53